Community Says Goodbye To Longtime Physician ‘Dr. Van’

March 18, 2018

People from across the Flomaton area said goodbye Saturday to their beloved “Dr. Van”.

Dr. John Alwin Vanlandingham, age 79, of Flomaton, passed away Wednesday. His funeral was held Saturday with honors from area fire departments. The primary care physician had practiced medicine in Flomaton from 1974 until his recent retirement.

The funeral service was held at the First Baptist Church of Flomaton — on what was formerly Houston Street but is now renamed as “Dr. Van Avenue” to honor the physician.

Vanlandingham, a native of Marianna, attended medical school at the University of Michigan and received his medical degree in 1970. Upon his graduation from the School of Medicine at the University of Michigan, Dr. Vanlandingham completed his internship at St. Joseph Hospital in Michigan.

After completing his training at St. Joseph Hospital, Vanlandingham came to Flomaton to start what has turned out to be a very long and successful medical practice. He originally came to Flomaton to help treat patients on a temporary basis while a local physician was unavailable. That short visit transitioned into a long term commitment of medical care to the Flomaton community.

During his career, he has served on the medical staff for the former Abernathy Hospital in Flomaton and D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital in Brewton. He has also served in many community appointments on various boards and committees. In 2005, D. W. McMillan Memorial Hospital and Dr. Vanlandingham partnered to establish a Rural Health Clinic at the Flomaton Medical Center. Without the foundation of Vanlandingham’s 30 plus year private practice, the Flomaton Medical Center would not be what it is today for the Flomaton community.

He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Wanda Hart Vanlandingham of Flomaton, AL; sons, Joshua (Ivy) Vanlandingham of Molino, FL and Jared (Partner, Andres) Vanlandingham of Brooklyn, NY; brothers, Charles (Marcheta) Vanlandingham of Milton, FL and Frank (Genia) Vanlandingham of Geneva, AL.

The funeral procession passed under a giant American flag help by ladder trucks from the Century Station of Escambia Fire Rescue and the Atmore Fire Department. The Flomaton, Pineview, McCall, Friendship, and Lambeth fire departments also took part in honoring Vanlandingham, along with the Flomaton Police Department, and the Escambia County (AL) Sheriff’s Office. A  MedStar medical helicopter from Baldwin County performed a flyover at Flomaton Cemetery.

For more photos, click here.

Pictured above and below: The funeral procession Saturday in Flomaton for longtime physician Dr. John Vanlandingham. Pictured bottom: Houston Street was renamed “Dr Van Avenue” in honor of Vanlandingham. photos, click to enlarge.


8 Responses to “Community Says Goodbye To Longtime Physician ‘Dr. Van’”

  1. jerry on March 21st, 2018 3:24 am

    he was my childhood doctor growing up, such a wonderful man that was always nice and amazing to me. he will be missed =(

  2. FrictionAgainstTheMachine on March 18th, 2018 8:56 pm

    He always provided excellent care to my family. A true gentleman and
    exceptional doctor.

  3. patti on March 18th, 2018 4:28 pm

    So sorry to hear of the loss, praying for his wife & sons. May GOD be with you all.

  4. Steve Saunders on March 18th, 2018 3:50 pm

    Goodbye Dr. Van…..Although I didn’t know him I do know his son Josh. Sympathy and respect for the family.

  5. Jim schulte on March 18th, 2018 1:24 pm


  6. Jim schulte on March 18th, 2018 1:17 pm

    Van was an inspiration. In his humble & quiet way, he dedicated his life to helping people and spreading unconditional caring. He is pored me. He will be missed by so many. Jim s chulte

  7. Gene Ragland on March 18th, 2018 11:26 am

    John Vanlandingham was a medical school classmate and friend. He had a generous and open heart. He epitomized the true mission of serving others. It may not be just coincidence that his father was a minister and that John was born on Christmas Day. He was a very special person and will be missed by all. Spread love!

  8. Leta woolard on March 18th, 2018 4:21 am

    Thank you, Dr. Van for saving my husbands life in 1994 – I will always be grateful to you – RIP <3

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