CANANDAIGUA — James Lloyd Sterling, M.D., age 89, a loving husband and father, passed away Sunday, April 18, 2021. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Ila Mae (Young) Sterling; four sons, Doug Sterling (Lynne Weber), Dan (Ellen) Sterling, Mark (Sidney) Sterling and Mike (Susan) Sterling; 10 grandchildren; and two sisters, Elinor Skinner and Emily (Bill) Cuppernell.
Jim earned his bachelor’s degree from St. Lawrence University and Medical Doctorate degree from Syracuse University College of Medicine in 1956. He and Ila were married on June 20, 1953 in Lincoln Park, N.J. Jim was a U.S. Air Force veteran and served at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla. for two years, reaching the rank of captain. He was a family doctor in Medina, N.Y. for 27 years.
Jim was known for his quick wit and colorful sense of humor. He was a doctor in what he referred to as “The Golden age of Medicine”, an age where patients called him “Doc”, not their primary care physician, an age where the doctor would determine the right course of treatment, not an insurance company. In his early years of practice, he would make house calls and if the patient couldn’t afford the $5 fee, he might accept a basket of tomatoes. As a doctor, he wore many hats, delivering over 2,000 babies, often from multiple generations, serving as county coroner and giving anesthesia in innumerable operations, referring to himself as the “bag man”.
After his retirement, Jim and Ila spent many wonderful years at their “Doc” side condominium in Canandaigua, enjoying the lake, family and friends. Jim has now succumbed to what he often diagnosed in his patients as “birthday poisoning”. He will be missed by his family, friends and a whole community of patients. If you would like to memorialize Doc Sterling, please toast him with your favorite beverage and pass on some good will to your neighbor.
Services are private. Inurnment will be in Woodlawn Cemetery, Canandaigua. Memorial contributions may be made to Orleans County Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 288, Medina, NY 14103. Arrangements are by Johnson-Kennedy Funeral Home, Inc., Canandaigua. Condolences may be offered at www.johnsonkennedy.com.