Royal Tribute Memorials

David H. Loughran

David H. Loughran


Dr. David H. Loughran Sr., 66, infectious disease specialist on front line of HIV/AIDS crisis

by Bonnie L. Cook, Posted: October 19, 2018


Dr. David H. Loughran Sr., 66, of Richboro, an infectious disease specialist who worked to combat the HIV/AIDS virus and its complications when little was known about virus, died of bladder cancer on Tuesday, Oct. 17, at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne.

In the 1980s, when HIV/AIDS was just emerging as a health-care crisis, Dr. Loughran was already at work, studying the disease, and how to treat and prevent secondary infections in patients with compromised immune systems.

"Dave was an outstanding internist, and he covered a lot of bases and did them all well," said Dr. Ed Johnson, his colleague. "He was a very consummate, accomplished infectious disease [expert] who had a passion for HIV/AIDS disease."

In July 1983, Dr. Loughran joined Johnson at St. Michael's Medical Center in Newark, site of the state's first HIV/AIDS clinic, Johnson said. At the time, it was one of a half dozen such clinics operating nationwide.

Johnson was director of the infectious disease fellowship program; Dr. Loughran was a fellow who did research and treated patients. "We both ended up there on ground zero because Newark was one of the first areas for HIV/AIDS because of the substance-abuse problem," Johnson said.

They put in long days. After hours, if work remained undone in the clinic, Dr. Loughran would offer to help, Johnson said: "He was that type of person – he would not walk away from a problem. Every patient was treated equally."

The two doctors developed grants from New Jersey and the federal government to get a handle on the HIV/AIDS virus. After the federal government approved a drug to control the virus in 1986, they looked for drugs to keep secondary infections at bay.

Over time, they devised some combinations that worked. "His contributions were huge," Johnson said.

Born in South Philadelphia, Dr. Loughran was the son of John Loughran Sr. and Alma Hatfield Loughran. The first in his family to attend college, he graduated from St. Joseph's University in 1979 and earned a medical degree from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) in 1983.

From 1986 to 1988, Dr. Loughran studied at the Centers for Disease Control, where he sought ways to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and studied the strains of secondary infections to which HIV/AIDS patients are prone.

His findings were published in professional journals including Medical Aspects of Human Sexualityand New Jersey Medicine.

Dr. Loughran was a longtime professor and chair of infectious disease in the Department of Internal Medicine at PCOM.  He also served as the director of continuing education at Neumann Medical Center.

He ran an infectious disease practice in Doylestown and consulted for hospitals in Philadelphia and the suburbs. Some of his patients became lifelong friends.

"He treated HIV/AIDS patients and kept them alive for three decades," said his son David H. Loughran Jr. "They really loved him."

Dr. Loughran was an avid sportsman who enjoyed riding his Harley Davidson throughout Bucks County and surrounding areas.

He enjoyed coaching his sons, daughter, and their friends on ice hockey teams; spending time with family and friends at the Jersey Shore; learning to snowboard and play ice hockey at age 50; and taking snowboarding trips with his children. He also spent time with his fiancée, Sharon Ethier.

He drove his son John "Tommy" to drag races and helped daughter Megan Rose rescue injured wildlife.

He was married to Christine Loughran. They divorced in 2001. She survives.

In addition to his sons, David and John, and daughter Megan, he is survived by a son, Michael; and a brother.

A visitation from 5 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, will be followed by a 6 p.m. funeral service in the Joseph A. Fluehr III Funeral Home, 800 Newtown-Richboro Rd. (at Holland Rd.), Richboro, Pa. 18954. Interment is private.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society via

Posted: October 19, 2018 - 4:37 PM

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10/22/18 08:47 AM #1    

Dawn Calzada

I am so very sad to hear this news.  David was a true buddy for me.  In school and on sometimes different planes, we could always talk.  He was always someone I could confide in.  He was a cherished friend.  We looked forward to reunions to catch up and see each other.  I was looking forward to this next one.  I am so very sad I will not see him again.   But I guess I can still talk to him...   I miss his laugh already.

10/22/18 08:51 AM #2    

Diane Myers (Evans)

I'm so sad to read about David's passing. He certainly did our class proud as an  accomplished doctor and a great humanitarian. 
I remember him as a sweet, funny boy, very cute and friendly. My sincere condolences go out to his family. Rest in peace David.

Diane Myers Evans 


10/22/18 05:28 PM #3    

Deb L. Clifford

I'm shocked and extremely sad to read this. Buds from kindergarten, Dave and I walked the same short route home from elementary school. We weren't close in high school, but we reconnected years after around the HIV/AIDS epidemic. He was working on research and patient care on the East Coast. I was in San Francisco caring for friends, voluteering in hospice and as an activist advocating faster access to promising drug combination therapies. It was an absolutely hideous, soul-numbing time for those of us who were burying friends, clients, and patients on literally a weekly basis. 

Yet, it was also an amazing time when people like Dave stepped up, advocated and cared for people with what was a death sentence at the time, a time when few had the courage do stand and do the right thing. Through the simple act of just listening, of 'getting' what the other was going through, we supported each other long-distance during those early years and gradually drifted apart again.  

I cherish Dave, not just because he was one of the first school mates I would call 'friend', but because of the man, the doctor, the hero he became - to me and to so many others.

Yours was a life well lived. Gospeed, buddy.

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
May the rains fall softly upon your fields.
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

10/23/18 01:33 PM #4    

Ilene Kramer (Miller)

UGH.  So sorry to hear of David's passing.  It was great to see him at the 45th yr. Reunion and we spoke for awhile.  He was always intelligent although remained humble regarding his accomplishments and humanitarism efforts.. We were in elementary school on up together.  At the Reunion I teased him about not being a fair trade -  my pretty rock for his shark teeth in grade school.  He promised he'd bring my rock back to our next (50th) reunion. His obituary sure was wonderfully writen and included so many great things about him (the Dad he was, Pioneer in his field etc.).  Deb Clifford, I especially appreciated your comments and learning more about him as adult.  Dear David may your memory be a continued blessing.

10/23/18 01:47 PM #5    

Tina Martin

I was really sad to hear this. I lost touch with him after graduation, but it doesn't surprise me in the least that he was a pioneer in Aids research and treatment at a time when it was socially unaceptable. I remember him as a free and generous spirit. I don't doubt for a minute that his patients were friends for life. Bravo Dave for a life well lived! 

On a lighter note, he was probably the coolest dude in our class. I still remember that fringed suede jacket!

10/23/18 04:33 PM #6    

Evelyn Gross (Virgin)

Always sad to hear of a classmate gone in this life -- so young.  Remembering Dave as a great guy, friendly and with a sense of humor and easy to talk to. After reading the article I see he led an amazing life with awesome accomplishments.

10/24/18 11:42 AM #7    

Mark S. Juliano

 At a time when we all saw such 'FIRSTS' like Earth Day and a Walk-on- the-Moon, and experienced such 'LOSSES' like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin and the break-up of the Beatles...The posture and thoughts of one's Heart become so abundantly obvious by our duty, our favor and our indulgence to our family, friends and even complete strangers..till our value and relevance stand ever so tall and speak resounding proof of  who we are...Thus was David, ever since the very first day I met him...

Rest in Peace my Brother, fellow Musician, kindred Hippy, Colleague  and a true Patriot to the cause ~


10/24/18 12:13 PM #8    

Susan Replogle (Mahle)

I was so sorry to hear about David.  He was a wonderful man - he did so much good in his profession but was a great family man as well.  I have a picture of him standing with our 6th grade teacher Mrs. Harner & our principal Mr Haefner at Cardington-Stonehurst.  He will be greatly missed - I am sorry we will not see him at our 50th reunion.

10/25/18 10:35 AM #9    

Stephanie Abramides (Hittinger)

So many lovely posts between our website and Facebook page ... his passing left me speechless! I met Dave in kindergarten at Cardington Stonehurst and he was always special to me. A true humanitarian, giving to a cause when so many, unfortunately, turned their backs.  Dave would want us to remember him with smiles and laughter and no tears.  We never lose people we care about, they continue to live on in our hearts and memories.  For me, Dave will do just that!  RIP ... your memory will be eternal in me!

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