Donald Pell, M.D., FCCP.
January 31, 1942 - July 13, 2023
Dr. Don Pell was a pulmonary and critical care doctor, serving in many leadership and teaching positions throughout his career. Born in Hollywood, Florida, Dr. Pell was raised in Brazil, Indiana and lived most of his life in St. Petersburg, Florida. He graduated from Brazil High School in 1960 where he won the John Philip Sousa Award for outstanding band member in recognition of his drumming skills. Dr. Pell was a brother of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and received his B.A. in 1964 and his M.D. in 1967 from Indiana University. He completed his internship, residency and a fellowship in Pulmonology at Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis and moved to Muncie, Indiana to continue his medical and teaching career at Ball Memorial Hospital. In 1978, he moved to St. Petersburg, Florida to open a private practice and continue teaching as a member of the clinical faculty at the University of South Florida. Dr. Don Simmler and Dr. Bill Jeffries joined him in practice later. Dr. Pell's specialty was treating the most critically ill or injured patients and his compassionate care touched the lives of many individuals. He was convinced that listening in detail to the patients' histories and doing a thorough physical exam led to more accurate diagnoses and subsequent treatments. Dr. Pell was known for his ability to teach physicians, nurses, paramedics and respiratory therapists the skills they needed. He believed in teaching by example and was a master storyteller who used that skill to teach. He was also dedicated to inventing new medical devices and systems to help more patients. Dr. Pell was named Physician of the Year in 2013 by the Pinellas County Medical Association and received several teaching awards throughout his career, including the B. Lynn Feaster, Jr. Outstanding Medicine Attending Award in 2011. In 2007, the mayor of St. Petersburg declared July 3 Dr. Donald Pell day in honor of his retirement and in acknowledgement of his many contributions to the community.
In both his professional and personal lives, Dr. Pell had an uncanny ability to uplift spirits through his captivating stories and infectious sense of humor. He brought lightness and joy to many people through his jokes, "King of Phlegm" hat, and enduring laughter. He had a lifelong love of music and sailing, a passion for golf, and spending time with friends and family in Indiana and Florida, especially walking the beach on Don Pedro Island.
Dr. Pell was preceded in death by his parents Dr. John and Evelyn Pell, brother Jim Pell, and granddaughter Isabella Pell. He is survived by devoted wife Dr. Paula Pell; children Michael, John, Susan, Evelyn, Christopher, and Nicholas; brothers Dr. John R Pell (Jane) and Judge Robert Pell (Jan); sister-in-law Kathy Pell; and thirteen grandchildren.
Family and friends will gather Thursday, July 20, at Anderson McQueen Funeral Home, Northeast, St. Petersburg, FL from 1-3pm and 6-8pm EST. Additional visitation will be held Friday, July 21, at St. Petersburg First United Methodist Church in St. Petersburg, FL from 1:45-2:15 with services to follow at 2:30pm EST. A private graveside service will be held at Memorial Park Cemetery, Valparaiso, IN. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to St. Anthony's Hospital Foundation, Bayfront Health St. Petersburg Foundation, or Indiana University School of Medicine.