Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The home for VPR's coverage of health and health industry issues affecting the state of Vermont.

Remembering Dr. Alan Ayer, Who Helped Bring Thousands Of Lives Into The World

Porter Hospital
Dr. Alan Ayer attended the births of thousands of babies at Porter Hospital in Middlebury and was beloved for his kindness to patients over his many years of practice. He died on March 13; he was 71.

Many people in Addison County were saddened this week to learn of the unexpected death last Friday of Dr. Alan Ayer. Dr. Ayer attended the births of thousands of babies at Porter Hospital in Middlebury and was beloved for his kindness to patients over his many years of practice.

Dr. Ayer worked at Addison Associates in OBGYN and shared the practice with Dr. James Malcolm. The two met at the University of Vermont medical school. Dr. Malcolm started at the practice in 1975 and DR. Ayer joined him four years later. They practiced together for 36 years.

"We were at the time of transition from general practice physicians doing obstetrics. And I coming to Middlebury in 1975, was the first obstetrician gynecologist and when Alan joined me, we practiced together and did almost all of the obstetrics over quite a few years," Malcolm said.

"We touched a lot of families, that's for sure. Probably over the course of our time, both of us delivered probably just under 12,000 babies between us."

Dr. Ayer was 71 years old and semi-retired when he passed away, but he was still working on a limited basis. Dr. Malcolm said Dr. Ayer planned to retire later this year.

Dr. Ayer's wife, Claire Ayer, has been a state senator since 2002. In his obituary, his family noted how proud he was of her political career. He liked to talk politics, Malcolm said. "He was very proud of Claire, and very devoted to what it takes to be the spouse of someone who is spending four months in Montpelier, and lots of other time."

Dr. Malcolm said he and Dr. Ayer were extremely compatible and complemented each other. "We would always like to have the other guy there in a tough case or a tough delivery. And those are my favorite memories, those great successes when both of us came out of a tough case and would say, 'Well, that worked out well for that patient.'"

Calling hours for Dr. Alan Ayer will be held Friday from 4-7 p.m. at Sanderson Funeral Home in Middlebury. His funeral will be held on Saturday at 11 a.m. at St. Mary's Church in Middlebury.

Melody is the Contributing Editor for But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids and the co-author of two But Why books with Jane Lindholm.
A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
Latest Stories