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Born on August 6, 1953 in Nassawadox, Virginia, he was the son of Ellen Bundick Wessells of Modest Town, VA and the late Howard Chandler Wessells.
Craig was a graduate of Parksley High School, Class of 1971 where he was the Valedictorian, a graduate of the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA with a Bachelors of Science degree, Class of 1975 and a graduate of Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, Virginia with a Medical Doctorate degree, Class of 1978.
On May 29, 1986 he married the former Deborah Robbins.
His post graduate work was through residencies from 1978 to 1981 in general surgery at Eastern Virginia Medical School; 1981-1984 in general psychiatry at Sheppard & Enoch Pratt Hospital; a Fellow from 1983-1984 in child & adolescent psychiatry from University of MD Sheppard & Enoch Pratt Hospital; Chief Fellow from 1984-1985 in child & adolescent psychiatry from University of MD Sheppard & Enoch Pratt Hospital.
Dr. Wessells began his private practice as a psychiatrist in 1985. He had also been employed as a staff psychiatrist for the Caroline County Mental Health Clinic; medical director for Wicomico County Mental Health Clinic; The Holly Center as a consultant; and the Lower Shore Clinic of Salisbury, MD.
Dr. Wessells received his certification in Psychiatry & Neurology in 1985; Child Psychiatry in 1986; Psychiatry with Added Qualification in Geriatric Psychiatry in 1994; and American Board of Forensic Examiners in 1996.
His academic and professional memberships included the American College of Forensic Examiners; American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry; American Psychiatric Association of which he received his Fellow and Distinguished Fellow; Dorchester County Medical Society where he had previously served as Vice President and President; Medical & Chirurgical Faculty of MD; and MD Psychiatric Society.
Dr. Wessells had served as a consultant for the Eastern Shore Hospital Center; Dorchester County Social Services; Supervisor of Trainees, Virginia Board of Professional Counselors; Motor Vehicle Administration Medical Advisory Board; Wicomico County Health Dept.; Chesapeake Youth Center Utilization Review Consultant; Deaf Mental Health Services, Lower Shore; White Oak Drug & Alcohol Unit, Adult Division; Therapeutic Group Home Project; Talbot County Mental Health Clinic; The Holly Center; Eastern Shore Rural Health, Inc.; and served on the Advisory Council for the Intensive Behavioral Unit, Hebron, MD; served on the Board of Directors for the Adult Public Guardianship Review Board and Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems, Inc.
Dr. Wessells had received numerous awards during his professional career including the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from NAMI and life member; National Registry of Who’s Who in 1997; Community Mental Health Award, MD Chapter; American Academy of Pediatrics; Suicide Youth Intervention Project; and Dorchester County Health Dept.
Craig was a member of Grace United Methodist Church, Cambridge.
Craig was a great sports enthusiast having coached youth baseball, football and soccer in Dorchester County. He had also played intramural basketball until just a couple of years ago. Craig had also been an avid gardener.
Surviving besides his spouse Debbie R. Wessells of 24 years and mother Ellen Wessells is a son William Hunter Wessells of East New Market, MD; a brother Howard Chandler Wessells, II; sister-in-law Deborah Mason Wessells, both of Parksley, VA; parents-in-law Warren and Jean McWilliams of Rhodesdale, MD; sister-in-law Donna Era; brother-in-law Joseph Era, both of Cambridge, MD; nephew Chandler Wessells III; three nieces Courtney Yates, Amy Wright and Leah Proffitt.
Family will receive friends from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23rd at Grace United Methodist Church, Cambridge, where the service will be held at 1 p.m. Officiating at the service will be The Rev. Jay Hurley, Pastor.
A luncheon will follow at the church, then private entombment will be held at Dorchester Memorial Park.
Pallbearers will be Howard Chandler Wessells III, Robert Hanson, Robert W. Wessells, Jr., Ray Annis, Mike Campbell and Chandler Wessells.
Born: August 6, 1953
Place of Birth: Nassawadox,, VA USA
Death: September 20, 2010
Place of Death: East New Market, MD USA
Thursday September 23, 2010 , 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM at Grace United Methodist Church
Thursday September 23, 2010 , 1:00 PM at Grace United Methodist Church
Thursday September 23, 2010 , 10:00 AM at Grace United Methodist Church
Posted by: Dave Buller I was shocked to learn of Craig's passing a year and a half later. I had not seen him since he was a resident psychiatrist at Sheppard Pratt Hospital in Baltimore where we worked together. He was such a delightful wonderful guy. He gave up surgery to work in psychiatry and he loved his new vocation. His enthusiasm for working with even the most difficult patients was inspiring. I cried as I read the other comments and realized that he was even more than I knew. I was especially touched by the comments on his integrity and his devotion to people with so-called mental illness. It is so sad and so hard to realize that he is gone from us. However I believe his contributions and the example of his life will live on in me and many others. Good bye Craig; I loved you and I miss you. 04/19/2012 Posted by: Frank F. Tellian, MD, FACFE Craig was a true friend. He helped me make it through some rough times during our residency together. He honored me by serving as an usher at my wedding. I will always miss his smile. 12/20/2010 Posted by: Debra Grollman I am so sorry to hear about Dr. Wessells's passing. I worked with him at the Denton clinic in 2006 and he was such a fine psychiatrist and cared deeply about his patients and the families that he saw. May his family find peace and strength. I know he will be missed. Sincerely, Debra 12/15/2010 Posted by: Beverly Era A great man and a great physician. He will be sorely missed by all. It was an honor to have known him. 10/16/2010 Posted by: A sympathy card has been sent to a friend or relative of William Craig Wessells, M.D.. 09/30/2010 Posted by: Libby Kanipe Willis I am so sorry to hear of Craig's passing. I had not seen him in years, but have such fond memories of him from high school. He was a great person and I know he will be missed. My sympathy to family & friends. With love, Libby 09/26/2010 Posted by: Barbara & Marc Bramble Debbie, Hunter and Family We have thought of you often during the past months. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. 09/24/2010 Posted by: A sympathy card has been sent to the family of William Craig Wessells, M.D.. 09/24/2010 Posted by: Gayle Faulkner, RN, MS My sympathy and condolences to each of you in the loss of your loved one. Dr. Wessells touched the lives of so many. I can picture his warm smile and bouncing step whenever I saw him at the ESHC. Dr. Wessells was a wonderful physician whose enthusiasm, expertise, and dedication to helping others will always be remembered. 09/24/2010 Posted by: A sympathy card has been sent to the family of William Craig Wessells, M.D.. 09/23/2010 Posted by: Peter J. Lamb, Ph.D. Just found out about craig's passing today. He was a great guy and a great psychiatrist. He was one of the first people I met at Eastern Shore Hospital in 1985; in fact, he lived behind me on grounds. Although I hadn't seen him in about 10 years, I consulted with him several times in the 80's and 90's on cases I was dealing with, both at ESHC and in my private practice - he was always extremely helpful. I thank god for the opportunity I had to know him. Dr. Pete Lamb, former Chief Psychologist, Eastern Shore Hospital 09/23/2010 Posted by: Angela Ewell Benton My very deepest condolences go out to the entire family. What a terrific guy Craig was, beginning in his youth as a "Shore boy". Our families were very well acquainted and we all rode the school bus together. Fondly, "Angie" 09/23/2010 Posted by: David Waltos, M.D. Although I have not seen Craig since our days at Sheppard Pratt, I will never forget his humor, dedication, and integrity. I know he will be missed greatly. Please accept my heartfelt condolences for your loss. 09/23/2010 Posted by: Edward and Tonya Cornish We were saddened to hear of the passing of your Loved One. Tonya and I both had the pleasure of working with Dr. Wessells in many capacities in the health care field. We found him to be a very warm and caring person. If he saw me he would ask about Tonya. If he saw Tonya, he would ask about me. Dr. W was so full on energy, cheerful and that was contagious to those around him. Our Prayers and thoughts are with you the family at this time. May GOD give you the Strength to make it through these sad times. GOD BLESS YOU, ED and TONYA CORNISH 09/23/2010 Posted by: Michael Sause Dear Debbie and Hunter: I am truly saddened by Craig's death. The world has lost a great man and a wonderful doctor. He helped so many people. His obituary is amazing. Craig is the most accomplished man that I have known. With Love and Respect, Michael Sause 09/23/2010 Posted by: Sharon Powell I had the honor of working with Dr. Wessells at Eastern Shore Hospital Center and Wicomico County Health Dept. He was a wonderful psychiatrist and a patient, knowledgeable teacher. He also was an honorable gentleman who loved his family dearly. Rest in Peace Dr. Wessells. The world was a much better place because you were here. We will hold your loving family in our thoughts and prayers. 09/23/2010 Posted by: Keith B. Hall, M.D. Learning tonight of Craig's death leaves me feeling incredibly stunned and saddened. He was a remarkable man who close friendship during med school means more than I could possibly express here. I regret having lost contact as the years passed. He will always live in my heart and for that I will be eternally grateful. 09/23/2010 Posted by: Khalid Ahmed, M.D We have lost one of our highly respected colleague and very fine human being. My sympathies for his wife, son and family members. All of us has to deal with this loss in our own way and I hope that we as his colleagues will care for his patient's the way he cared for them and he was very compassionate and caring man. God bless his soul. 09/22/2010 Posted by: Carol Rantz Dear Debbie,Hunter and the Wessells Family, I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you all at this difficult time. I am a nurse and worked with Ellen and Carol at the Accomack Co. Health Dept 1977-2006. 09/22/2010 Posted by: edward and carole melson howie and family, sorry! remember the good times! carole and edward 09/22/2010 Posted by: Ruth Ann Drummond Nickerson I was saddened & shocked to hear of Craig`s death. It has been a long time since Bloxom School & then later Parksley High School from which we graduated in 1971. Craig was a nice guy with a great sense sense of humor & a quick smile,well liked by everyone. I have fond memories of him from school days. My sympathy to his family 09/22/2010 Posted by: Bruce Blackman This is just too sad. Though it's been such a long time since I've seen Craig he's remained larger than life in my life memories. When he and I spoke a few months ago it was like the years apart since our time at Sheppard Pratt, and U of MD didn't exist. He gave me a lot of support through a real transitional time in my life.I will miss him sorely. He truly was a very special person. 09/22/2010 Posted by: FAYE & SONNY WROTEN DEAR DEBBIE AND HUNTER, WE WERE SO SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT CRAIG. WE HAVE THOUGHT OF YOU OFTEN THESE LAST FEW MONTHS. WE WILL KEEP YOU IN OUR PRAYERS. FONDLY, FAYE & SONNY 09/22/2010 Posted by: Cathy Somerville MSN,BSN,RN Dear Wessells Family, I had the honor to work with Dr. Wessell at the Upper Shore Community Mental Health Center in Chestertown. I was the Director of Nursing and as such; we worked closley together. He was simply one of the most thoughtful, intelligent and caring person, that I have ever known. He was good to people without making a show of it. He simply did the right thing. He lived by his values. He was suppportive and had a wonderful humor and kindness and a great smile. I was blessed to know him and I have kept him and his family in my prayers since first learning that he was ill. God Bless you all. I shall continue to pray for your comfort from the Lord. Sincerly, Cathy Somerville MSN,BSN,RN and Pastor of Sanctuary Ministry 09/22/2010 Posted by: A sympathy card has been sent to the family of William Craig Wessells, M.D.. 09/22/2010 Posted by: harry smith I once attended a meeting with a number of professionals regarding a child's need for residential placement. Everyone had a reason why their agency was not responsible for funding. Dr. Wessells ended the meeting saying if everyone could sleep well that night the decision we would have made the correct decision. If any thing could be said about Dr. Wessells it is that he stood for integrity. 09/22/2010 Posted by: Judy Willey Unfortunately, I didn't have the pleasure of getting to know Dr. Wessels very well - however, even during the brief encounters with him at the health department I could tell he was a very special person. He was held in high regard and with the utmost respect. A one of a kind individual! He will be greatly missed. 09/22/2010 Posted by: Judy Willey Unfortunately, I didn't have the pleasure of getting to know Dr. Wessels very well - however, even during the brief encounters with him at the health department I could tell he was a very special person. He was held in high regard and with the utmost respect. A one of a kind individual! He will be greatly missed. 09/22/2010 Posted by: Melanie, Nick & Michael Celenza We were so saddened to hear about Craig. He was such a kind and wonderful man. Nick will so miss talking baseball with him. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers. 09/22/2010 Posted by: Alan H Peck MD In the few years I had the pleasure of knowing Craig, I was always so impressed with his intelligence, sensitivity kindness and love for the field of Psychiatry. There was a special light to him and he will be sorely missed. 09/22/2010 Posted by: A sympathy card has been sent to the family of William Craig Wessells, M.D. c/o Newcomb & Collins Funeral Home, P.A. funeral home. 09/22/2010 Posted by: Brenda C Scribner, MD Craig, I can't believe you're not coming back. It was such a pleasure working with you. My heart is with your son, wife and mother. We miss you at the Denton clinic. 09/22/2010 Posted by: Marlene Windsor Debbie, Hunter, and family, My sincerest sympathy and condolences to your family. I had the pleasure of working with Craig. He will be greatly missed. Many peoples lives were changed thanks to Craig. Hold your memories close to your hearts where they will remain forever. 09/21/2010 Posted by: Brian Hepburn We are saddened at the loss of Dr Wessells. Craig was a devoted physician. He provided psychiatric services to persons with severe mental illness for many years on the Eastern Shore. He was a leader in the Public Mental Health System. We are grateful for his many contributions to the citizens of Maryland. He will be missed. Brian Hepburn, Director, Mental Hygiene Administration 09/21/2010 Posted by: Cheri K. Barnes With my sincerest sympathy to the family of Dr. Wessells. I worked for him at Dorchester Clinic and did his private typing at Maple Shade, Cambridge Clinic and loved every minute of it. What a special person he was and will be sorely missed by all. My prayers and sympathy to you all. 09/21/2010 Posted by: Connie Walker Our heartfelt sympathies go to Mrs. Wessell and her son, Hunter. As a lifetime member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and a receipient of NAMI National's Exemplary Psychiatrist Award, Dr. Wessell's legacy is one of courage, recovery, and hope. His passing is a profound loss, not only to his family and the community, but to the men, women, and children who benefited so much from his care throughout Maryland's very rural Eastern Shore. He will be deeply missed. Connie Walker, President, NAMI Maryland; and NAMI Maryland Board of Directors 09/21/2010 Posted by: A sympathy card has been sent to the family of William Craig Wessells, M.D.. 09/21/2010 Posted by: Pate Matthews I have so many memories of Craig from the time we were teenagers through the years he was in med school in Norfolk & I was at ODU. I could literally write a book. He was a FINE man, GREAT athelete and, I'm sure, EXCELLENT husband and father. Living as close as I do, I regret not visiting over the years. My prayers are with each of you. 09/21/2010 Posted by: CR Landrum Deb and Hunter, I'm very sorry for your loss. Mr Craig was a good man and he will by deeply missed. my prayers go out to your family. 09/21/2010 Posted by: Sheri Gardner To the Family with deepest regrets for your loss. It was a great pleasure to work with you at the Wicomico Count Health Department and to type your dictations/evaluations. It was privlege to cross your path God Bless 09/21/2010 Posted by: Becky and Mark Dennis Debbie and Hunter We are so sorry for your loss. We have many fond memories of Craig and his interaction with our children, especially at Little League. We are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. 09/21/2010 Posted by: Dr. Keith Coleman Craig was not only one of the finest psychiatrists that I ever worked with in 25 years (including all the one's at Harvard Medical), he was one of the finest people I've ever met in my life. He touched thousands with his commitment and skill. I will miss a wonderful colleague and a great friend, as will many, many people. I send my love and prayers to Debbie, Hunter and the family. 09/21/2010
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