Remembering Dr. Alan Ayer, Who Helped Bring Thousands Of Lives Into The World
Many people in Addison County were saddened this week to learn of the unexpected death last Friday of Dr. Alan Ayer. Dr. Ayer attended the births of thousands of babies at Porter Hospital in Middlebury and was beloved for his kindness to patients over his many years of practice.
Dr. Ayer worked at Addison Associates in OBGYN and shared the practice with Dr. James Malcolm. The two met at the University of Vermont medical school. Dr. Malcolm started at the practice in 1975 and DR. Ayer joined him four years later. They practiced together for 36 years.
"We were at the time of transition from general practice physicians doing obstetrics. And I coming to Middlebury in 1975, was the first obstetrician gynecologist and when Alan joined me, we practiced together and did almost all of the obstetrics over quite a few years," Malcolm said.
"We touched a lot of families, that's for sure. Probably over the course of our time, both of us delivered probably just under 12,000 babies between us."
Dr. Ayer was 71 years old and semi-retired when he passed away, but he was still working on a limited basis. Dr. Malcolm said Dr. Ayer planned to retire later this year.
Dr. Ayer's wife, Claire Ayer, has been a state senator since 2002. In his obituary, his family noted how proud he was of her political career. He liked to talk politics, Malcolm said. "He was very proud of Claire, and very devoted to what it takes to be the spouse of someone who is spending four months in Montpelier, and lots of other time."
Dr. Malcolm said he and Dr. Ayer were extremely compatible and complemented each other. "We would always like to have the other guy there in a tough case or a tough delivery. And those are my favorite memories, those great successes when both of us came out of a tough case and would say, 'Well, that worked out well for that patient.'"
Calling hours for Dr. Alan Ayer will be held Friday from 4-7 p.m. at Sanderson Funeral Home in Middlebury. His funeral will be held on Saturday at 11 a.m. at St. Mary's Church in Middlebury.