C. Pierce, MD, MS, PhD, 88, of Danville PA passed away peacefully on
Thursday, February 2, 2018 at Emmanuel Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation
Danville PA. He was born August 5, 1929 in Huron South Dakota, the son
of the late Henry M. and Carrie Matson Pierce.
graduated from Aberdeen High School, Aberdeen, SD, in 1947, Carleton College
Northfield MN in 1951 and from Harvard Medical School Boston MA in 1955. He
served his Internship at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston MA from
1955-1957. Dr. Pierce then served his country in the United States Air Force
from 1957-1959 and was stationed in France. From 1959-1966, he continued
his Residency at University of Minnesota where he completed his PhD in
Surgery, while doing research in Anti-Rejection Drugs for Renal
Transplantation. He was a Professor of Surgery in Renal Transplantation and
General Surgery at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond VA from
1966-1975. From 1975-1979, he served as the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Chairman in
General Surgery and Renal Transplantation at St. Luke’s Hospital. (St.
Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospital later merged.)
1979-1993, Dr. Pierce was an Attending Surgeon and served as Chairman and
Chairman Emeritus of the Departments of Surgery at Geisinger Medical Center,
Danville, PA. During this time, they began a program of kidney
transplantation. Since then, hundreds of renal transplants have been
performed, enabling many residents of the rural area to have transplants
nearer to home. He continued at Geisinger as a General Surgeon, retiring
in 1993, although continuing to teach Medical Students who rotated through
General Surgery until 2012. In 2015, Dr. Pierce was inducted into the Owen
Wangensteen Surgical Society at the University of Minnesota.
his medical career, there are many noteworthy facts. In 1968, Dr. Pierce
was one of the 16 principal participants throughout the world who were
invited to the First International Human Transplant Conference in Cape Town,
South Africa. He was also a James, IV scholar for six weeks in Scotland and
addition, he authored and co-authored 67 scientific articles. Eight of these
are listed with comments on their contributions to the development of organ
Pierce was a member of Grove Presbyterian Church where he served as a Deacon
and Elder as well as serving on the Finance Committee. He thoroughly
enjoyed his involvement in Bible Studies with other Grove members.
retiring, his activities were numerous. He became a Duplicate Bridge Player
with his wife, Sue and attained rank of Life Master and was a Stamp
Collector. He was passionate about Classical Music as well as Rembrandt.
Dr. Pierce was an avid reader of History, especially regarding World War II
and The Civil War. One of his favorite past times was taking walks whenever
he could. The long conversations that he shared with his brothers regarding
politics and sports were priceless to him and, above all else, spending time
with his family was his greatest joy of all.
recently celebrated 50 years of marriage to Sue Wilson Pierce, who
survives. They were married May 6, 1967.
addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons; Henry M. Pierce of
Seattle, WA; R. Matson Pierce and his wife Deanna of Danville PA and one
daughter; Beth Pierce Varhus and her husband Kristofor of Garnet Valley PA.
He is also survived by four grandchildren; Bryant and Tyler Pierce and
Wilson and EJ Varhus.
surviving is one brother, Robert L. Pierce and wife Sandra of Atlanta
Georgia and his first cousin, Elizabeth Ashley and her husband Ray of
Granbury TX. One niece and several nephews also survive him.
preceded in death by one brother, William H. Pierce.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Celebration of Life to be held
Saturday February 10, 2018 at 11:00 AM at Grove Presbyterian Church 330
Bloom Road Danville PA with the Reverend Dr. Robert J. Andrews, Pastor
Emeritus, officiating. Burial will be private in the Memorial Garden at the
church. Friends will be received in the Great Room at the church from 9:15
AM – 10:45 AM.
family will provide flowers. Memorial contributions may be made to Grove
Presbyterian Church or to the Alzheimer’s Association 57 North Franklin
Street Wilkes-Barre PA 18701-1309 or online at
Arrangements are under the direction of Visneski Funeral Home, Inc 42 West
Mahoning Street Danville PA 17821. www.visneski.com