Dr. Daniel Wilkins Fort, beloved father, brother, partner, and friend, died peacefully at home in Charlottesville, Va., surrounded by loved ones, on December 21, 2015. Daniel was born on November 10, 1958, in Johnson City, Tenn., to The Reverend David Acrill Fort and Margaret Poole Fort. He attended The Hill School in Pottstown, Pa., and the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., and later received his Master’s degree in Forestry at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and his MD at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. He did his internship and residency in Pediatrics at the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas and was a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Fellow and a Neuro-Oncology Fellow at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where he was later Assistant Instructor of Pediatrics. He moved to Charlottesville in 1994 upon being appointed Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Virginia, where he later held a Faculty Appointment in the Department of Pediatrics.
In 1999, Daniel left his medical practice to explore his wide range of interests and, most important to him, to spend more time with his son, Duncan. He traveled extensively, often with Duncan, including trips throughout Asia and South America, and to Antarctica and the Arctic. He made friends everywhere he went, as evidenced by the letters and calls of love and support that came to him from around the world throughout his final months. On these trips he also explored his love of photography. In his last years Daniel spent much of his time at his second home in Pointe au Baril, Canada–a place he had come to love and where he made many dear friends.
Daniel nurtured his interest in both medicine and environmental issues throughout his life and in his philanthropic work. He was a key fundraiser for endowing the Karen Jargowsky Chair in the University of Virginia Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Department. He served for many years on the board of the Bishop Mazereka Christian Foundation in Uganda, supporting development and self-sufficiency through health care for women and infants and education for children. His interest in environmental issues continued through his service as Chair of the Board of the Rice Rivers Center at Virginia Commonwealth University and as a member of the Leadership Council at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. He also served as a board member of Coker College, the St. Anne’s-Belfield Foundation, and The Hill School.
Daniel is survived by his son Duncan Magee Fort; his sister Margaret Fort Bridgforth; his brother William Acrill Fort; four nieces and nephews; his longtime partner Kate Haw; and by countless friends young and old.
A funeral service will be held at 11:00 am on Tuesday, December 29, at Christ Episcopal Church, 120 E High Street, Charlottesville.
It was Daniel’s wish that, in lieu of flowers, those who wish to make a gesture in remembrance of him plant a tree or make a contribution to the charity of their choice.