Dr. William Henry Moncrief Jr.

Moncrief Enlarge photo


Dr. William Henry Moncrief, Jr. died Tuesday, April 10, 2012, in Fort Belvoir, Va. He was born to Col. William H. and Ulah Moncrief on Aug. 16, 1921, in Denver. He was 90.

After graduating from Vanderbilt University and Emory University School of Medicine in 1944, his post-graduate medical education took place at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, and Fitzsimmons and Walter Reed general hospitals.

Known as “Bill,” he was board-certified in general surgery and thoracic/cardiovascular surgery.

In 1957, he married Betty Ernst in Washington, D.C. The marriage ended in divorce after 20 years.

Dr. Moncrief achieved the rank of major general during his 31 years of military service, which spanned the three wars of his generation, World War II, Korea and Vietnam, and included both professional and administrative assignments. After graduation from the National War College in 1966, Dr. Moncrief was detailed to the State Department where he oversaw the entire civilian health program in the Republic of Vietnam for the U.S. Agency for International Development and was the senior adviser to the Vietnamese Ministry of Health.

Dr. Moncrief’s military service ended with a series of assignments as commander at Brooke General Hospital, and Letterman and Walter Reed Army medical centers. He received numerous honors, including the Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit with two oak-leaf clusters.

His family said he particularly enjoyed receiving his parachutist’s badge after Jump School in 1960, while at Fort Bragg, N.C.

After his retirement from the Army in 1973, Dr. Moncrief entered private practice in San Francisco, including serving as chief of staff at French Hospital in San Francisco.

He served as president of a number of state and national review organizations including the San Francisco Professional Standards Review Organization, California Medical Review and American Medical Peer Review Association.

In 1995, Dr. Moncrief retired to Durango. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and mountain biking. He was an avid reader of history, political science, health policy and anything about Scotland.

Dr. Moncrief was preceded in death by his son, Stephen Moncrief.

He is survived by his children Jeff Moncrief of San Diego, Laura Grady of Burlingame, Calif., Candace Anderson of San Francisco and Scott Moncrief of Temecula, Calif.; and six grandchildren.

Burial with full military honors will take place at 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 15, 2012, at Arlington National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Planned Parenthood at the local or national level.