Clarkson, William David

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William (Bill) David Clarkson, M.D., 82, of Floyd, Va., passed away on Friday, August 1, 2014. Bill was born February 22, 1932 in Kingstree, S.C. to Clenton and Elizabeth (Epps) Clarkson.

He received his B.S. from the University of South Carolina before going to the Medical College of South Carolina at Charleston for his M.D. degree. After completing internship at the University of Texas in Galveston, he served two years as a medical officer in the U.S. Army. He then went to Duke University Medical Center for residency training in psychiatry following which he was director of one of the first community mental health centers built in North Carolina at Burlington.

Bill was in private psychiatric practice from 1969 to 2006 in Salem, Va. at Lewis Gale Psychiatric Center (now Lewis Gale Medical Center for Behavioral Health). He was a member of the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, Roanoke Academy of Medicine and the Psychiatric Society of Virginia. Bill enjoyed helping his patients as well as being part of the treatment team at Lewis Gale Psychiatric Center in Salem. He was identified as the doctor who brought roses to the units and his office to boost staff morale.

While in practice, he also did consulting work at the Mental Health Clinics in Rocky Mount, Martinsville, Roanoke and Pearisburg. In addition, he was a volunteer at the Bradley Free Clinic and the Mental Health Clinic of New River Valley in Blacksburg, Va.

He also was a literacy volunteer and had the privilege of being a puppy raiser for St. Francis Service Dogs. We were all quite proud to see his service dog, Midas, graduate and be assigned to a partner. Dogs truly were Bill’s best friend since age five. He anticipated that there will be dogs waiting in heaven to have their heads scratched and receive high value treats.

Bill is survived by his three children, David Scott Clarkson and his wife Beverley John Clarkson of Roanoke, Va., Kenneth Edward Clarkson and his wife Suzanne Langridge of Santa Cruz, Calif., and Cynthia (Cindy) Lynne Clarkson and her husband Brian Booker of Ashburn, Va.; former wife and mother of his children, Sylvia Fortune Clarkson; four delightful grandchildren, Jasper and Phoebe Clarkson and Natalie and Ethan Booker; his sister Mary (Clarkson) Butler and many loving nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Pattie Belle (Clarkson) Ilderton.

Blood infusions were a constant part of Bill’s life in his later years. The family welcomes others in joining them in “giving back” by donating blood regularly, if able, or making a financial donation to the American Red Cross.

In lieu of flowers, donations can also be made in Bill’s name to Saint Francis Service Dogs, PO Box 19538, Roanoke, VA 24019 or at

A funeral service will be held at John M. Oakey and Son Funeral Home in Salem, Va. on Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at 2 p.m. with a one hour visitation period after the service. A Memorial Service will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the New River Valley in Blacksburg, Va. on Sunday, August 10, 2014 at 2 p.m.