Dear colleagues,

It is with sadness that I wish to inform you of the passing of our former Chair of Anesthesiology, Dr. John Butterworth, IV. He was 73-years-old.

Dr. Butterworth was a Richmond native and MCV graduate (’79) whose father, John Butterworth, III, an orthopedic surgeon, also studied and trained on the MCV Campus. Dr. Butterworth was recruited back to Richmond from the Indiana University in 2011, and served as Professor and Chair of Anesthesiology at the School of Medicine until his retirement in 2020.

Dr. Butterworth’s career was distinguished by his service to the profession at all levels. He was a former chair of the International Anesthesia Research Society, and was also on the board of the Medical Society of Virginia and a trustee of the Richmond Academy of Medicine. In 2018, the MSV honored Dr. Butterworth with the Clarence A. Holland, M.D. award, recognizing MSV member physicians who demonstrate high personal integrity and outstanding leadership in their field.

Medical professionals are no strangers to death and loss. Still, the void created by a departed colleague makes us realize just how much one person impacts all those around them, both professionally and personally. The people for whom Dr. Butterworth cared—and those who cared for him—are unmistakable markers of a generous spirit and a life well-lived.

Services will be held at St. John's Episcopal Church, 2401 E. Broad Street, Richmond, on Saturday, June 24, at 2:30 p.m. A celebration of his life will be held on Wednesday, June 28, with details forthcoming.

Please take a moment to reflect on Dr. Butterworth’s legacy of service to this institution, to his colleagues and to the many patients who came under his care. I ask you to keep his family and loved ones in your thoughts during this difficult time.


Arturo P. Saavedra, M.D., Ph.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System