Donald E. Parlee, M.D.

March 21, 2024

We are deeply saddened to announce that Donald E. Parlee, M.D, 89, of Doylestown, died peacefully at Doylestown Hospital, surrounded by family, on March 21, 2024.

Born in Philadelphia, Don, was the only child of the late Ewart H. and Ruth Eden Parlee. As a young boy growing up in Germantown, he would ride his bike to Calvary Episcopal Church to sing in the choir. He attended Germantown High School, spent summers as a camp counselor at Calvary Seaside House in Stone Harbor, NJ, and graduated in 1952. He earned a B.S. from Ursinus College in 1955 and graduated from Temple University School of Medicine in 1959. Don enjoyed a 43-year career as a board-certified radiologist at Doylestown Hospital. He helped to grow the Hospital’s radiology department from one physician to 20 radiologists, was its chief for 25 years, and established its School of Radiologic Technology. Don’s students recall his gentle teaching style with great fondness. “It wasn’t that I did something wrong,” one said. “He would just ask me what I might do differently the next time to get a better image.”

From 1966-1968, Don served his country in Vietnam as a radiologist for the U.S. Army, earning him a Bronze Star.

He was president of the Bucks County Medical Society, vice chair of the Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, and for ten years, a delegate to the American Medical Association.

In addition to Doylestown Hospital, Ursinus College held a special place in Don’s heart. It is where he met his beautiful wife Joan (Bradley) Parlee, whom he was married to for 68 wonderful years. Don served in various roles with the Ursinus Board of Trustees since 1983 and was also president of the Ursinus Alumni Association.

Other organizations that benefitted from Don’s stewardship include Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve, Bucks County Audubon, Cape May Bird Observatory, and Peace Valley Nature Center.

Don’s greatest love and legacy was his family. In addition to Joan, Don is survived by his four children; Kim (Richard) Eble of Green Lane, PA; Brad (Rebekkah) Parlee of Maitland, FL; Scott (Terry) Parlee of Doylestown, PA; and D. Todd Parlee of Perkasie. He is also survived by his nine grandchildren Rikki, Wil, Leah, Eden, Luke, Grace, James, Claire, Drew; a great granddaughter Ruth, and a great grandson on the way.

Getting to a grandchild’s sporting event brought Don as much pleasure as getting to an occasional Eagles game. Never without binoculars around his neck, he was always sure to have a great view, not only of his grandchildren, but whichever bird happened to fly overhead. He was an avid bird watcher and went on to hone his skill of identifying butterflies. He loved being in the garden, whistling while he worked, finding beauty even in a weed. His laugh came easily and was unique and contagious. He enjoyed life’s simple pleasures – bird walks, days on the beach in Ocean City, NJ, fishing (including baiting the hooks and untangling countless lines), crabbing, body surfing, throwing horse shoes, and ending the day with a cold beer on the back deck.

Don’s family will receive friends on Wednesday evening, from 5 to 7 p.m., on Wednesday, April 3, 2024 at Reed and Steinbach Funeral Home, 2335 Lower State Road, Doylestown. An additional visitation will take place at Doylestown Presbyterian Church, 127 East Court Street, Doylestown, on Thursday, April 4 from 10 a.m. until the time of his memorial service at 11 a.m.

A private interment will take place in Washington Crossing National Cemetery at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Don’s name may be made to: Doylestown Hospital Foundation, 595 West State St., Doylestown, PA 18901or Ursinus College, 601 East Main St., Collegeville, PA 19426.


5 to 7 p.m., April 3, 2024
Reed and Steinbach Funeral Home
2335 Lower State Road

10 to 11 a.m., April 4, 2024
Doylestown Presbyterian Church
127 East Court Street


11 a.m., Thursday, April 4
Doylestown Presbyterian Church
127 East Court Street


Private at a later date in
Washington Crossing National Cemetery