It is with great sadness that we write to inform you of the passing of Dr. Donelson Manley, last night from heart failure. In fact, it may be fair to say he died of a broken heart after the loss not too long ago of his dear wife Celeste. Celeste was a true partner in every way, serving on the Wills Women’s Committee for many years and helping to chair the Eye Ball. The Manley Team will be forever honored at Wills.
Don was a resident at Wills from 1963-1966, serving as Chief Resident in his senior year. He did a one year fellowship with strabismus legends Frank Costenbader and Marshall Parks before returning to Wills where he has been for over 50 years. Until the mid1970s he worked at Wills and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children along with another legend, Dr. Robison Harley. In 1969 they started our pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus fellowship. Dr. Manley was Chair of the Service from 1971-1973 when he was joined by Dr. Joe Calhoun.
Dr. Manley is himself a legend at Wills. Whether it was in the pediatric ophthalmology clinics or the Wills ER, he was always dedicated to teaching. He is particularly remembered for his skills at computer animation and wealth of video teaching files from his years of practice. No one could break down the cover-uncover test in an understandable way with the elegance that Dr. Manley could. He was also an avid bicycling enthusiast, natty dresser, and wine connoisseur. It was common for him to give out a prize bottle to a resident at a lecture for getting the right answer to a question. Visit donelsonmanley.com to learn more about this generous man who was a vital part of the Wills community for so many years. What a legacy he leaves! He will be dearly missed.
Don and Celeste are survived by two daughters Laura and Allison and 4 grandchildren. At this time, plans for a memorial are incomplete.
Alex Levin MD and Julia Haller MD