Died: Wed., Aug. 28, 2019

Celebration of Life

11:00 AM Sat., Sep. 07, 2019
Location: Progressive Missionary Baptist Church

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Wilbert Washington, M.D.

February 6, 1932 - August 28, 2019


Wilbert Washington was born at Brickyard Point in Beaufort, South Carolina in February of 1932.  He was the eldest child of Joseph and Alma Washington and had three younger sisters, Dollie, Della and JoJo.  Wilbert, or Buster as he was called, lived at Brickyard Point-an area on the intercostal waterway off the Atlantic Ocean- during his formative years.  His mother made a pact with him allowing him to avoid chores if he spent his time reading and studying.  To the displeasure of his sisters, he never let his mother down.  He attended Robert Smalls High School where he had many friends and graduated in 1950.  He attended Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA, graduating in 1954.  In the fall of 1954, he began medical school at Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN.  After graduation in 1958, he did his internship in North Carolina and residency in ophthalmology at Freedman’s Hospital (now known as Howard University Hospital) in Washington, D.C.

It was at Meharry where he met Lyvonne Mackel whom he later married in Chicago.  Two sons were born to this union, Wilbert II, now an attorney practicing in Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia, and Phelgar, an ophthalmologist in Indianapolis. 

In 1963 the family settled in Indianapolis.  Wilbert began his medical practice on Capitol Avenue and was the first African-American ophthalmologist in the city.   He was known simply as “Doc” to his patients, spending 47 years in dedicated service to them until his retirement in 2010.  Wilbert was never one to rush his patients through the office.  He thoroughly enjoyed and was famous for engaging in lengthy conversations with his patients about a myriad of issues and his philosophy on life.  Wilbert didn’t run the fastest practice, but his patients clearly appreciated those conversations and camaraderie as much as their medical care.  During their lives together, Wilbert and Lyvonne traveled extensively throughout the United States and around the world, visiting many new and exotic places and familiar places with family and friends.

Wilbert was a life member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the NAACP.   He was also a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, The Indiana State Medical Association and The Society to Prevent Blindness, where he served as president from 1978-1981.   He was an active member of the National Medical Association, serving as the national vice-president and an Emeritus Ophthalmologist in the National Medical Association Ophthalmology Section.  Wilbert was a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and a member of the Aesculapian Medical Society. Wilbert and Lyvonne were members of Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

Wilbert/Buster/Doc” was preceded in death by his loving wife, Lyvonne Mackel Washington, his parents Joseph and Alma Washington, sister, Florence (Dolly) Williams and his dear friends William and Lois Washington. 

Left to cherish his memories are his sons,  Wilbert II and his wife Susan, of Reston, VA, and Phelgar and his wife Renee, of Indianapolis, IN; granddaughters Rae Robinson Trotman and Campbell Washington; great-grandson Lucas Trotman; siblings Alma Washington of Beaufort, SC, and Odella Washington Royster, and her husband James, of Baltimore, MD; uncle, Rudolph White of Beaufort, SC; brother-in law, Audley M. Mackel, Jr. of Chicago, IL; sisters-in-law, Audrose Mackel Banks of Mumford, NY,  Gwendolyn Mackel Rice of Chicago, IL,  and Marilyn H. Mackel of Marin City, CA;  and countless nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.    

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Clarence Baker
   Posted Sun September 01, 2019
So sorry to learn of Wilbert's passing. So many wonderful memories of our fraternal and Morehouse gatherings. May he rest in peace.

Danny Boykins
   Posted Fri September 06, 2019
Our deepest sympathy to the Williams family on the passing of Dr. Wilbert Washington. He will be dearly missed.

Harvey N Middleton Jr.
   Posted Sat September 07, 2019
Our deepest condolences to Dr. Wilbert Washington's family. May he Rest In Power.

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