David C. Utz, M.D. - Rochester

Dr. David C. Utz

David C. Utz, M.D., of Rochester, died in Scottsdale, Ariz., Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011.

He was born Dec. 2, 1923, in Rochester, to Gilbert C. and Marion Hoy Utz of Rochester.

Dr. David C. Utz was an internationally recognized urologic surgeon who pioneered numerous surgical techniques and uro-oncological concepts. He performed the first open radical retropubic prostatectomy at the Mayo Clinic, hence creating the world’s largest surgical prostate cancer data base, and he championed the novel concept of multimodal therapy for advanced stage prostate cancer. At Mayo-Rochester he held a number of academic and leadership positions, including President of Staff and Chair of the Department of Urology. He was named the Anson L. Clark Professor of Urology at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, and he was elected Professor of the Year by the Mayo Medical School. Being of Irish heritage, he was greatly honored to be appointed a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland.

Dr. Utz was the author of 143 publications and 28 abstracts and editorials. He was invited to be a visiting professor at medical centers throughout the United States and around the world. Amid all his national and international professional endeavors, he remained strongly committed to his Rochester and Mayo legacy. His father, Gilbert C. Utz, and mother, Marion Hoy Utz, raised three boys in Rochester; John P., David C. and Philip H., who each went to Rochester Public Schools, and became medical doctors. His brother, John P. was Dean of Georgetown University Medical School in Washington, D.C., and brother, Philip H. was Medical Director of the St. Francis Hospital in La Crosse, Wis. Dr. Utz’s father, Gilbert C. Utz, joined Mayo Clinic in 1916 to become its first Comptroller, and was a pioneer of Rochester community service, among others, the Boy Scouts, United Way, Knights of Columbus, Rochester Rotary, and the Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Utz received his M.D. degree from St. Louis University School of Medicine and M.S. in Urology from the University of Minnesota upon completion of his fellowship at the Mayo Clinic. He was a Regent and Vice President of the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota. He served as executive secretary of the American Board of Urology, and as an officer of both the American College of Surgeons and GU Surgeons, as well as numerous other professional organizations.


Upon completing service in the U.S. Navy during World War II and in the U.S. Air Force in the Korean Conflict, Dr. Utz married Virginia "Ginny" Nehring on June 26, 1954.

Dr. Utz will be remembered as a loving and devoted husband with a strong faith and commitment to family. He will also be remembered for his passionate devotion to the legion of patients and friends who played such an important part in his life.

Dr. Utz enjoyed hunting, fishing, skiing, canoeing, and golf with his family members. One of his greatest joys in life was being with his family and friends at the lake home he and his wife built in 1964 on Spider Lake in Hayward, Wis.

After his retirement in 1988, after 31 years at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Dr. and Mrs. Utz moved their winter residence to Scottsdale, Ariz., where Dr. Utz brought his expertise to Mayo patients in the Southwest, and enjoyed the western lifestyle. For over 20 years, Dr. and Mrs. Utz were proud to be part of the origin of Mayo Scottsdale and to enrich the mission of the Mayo Clinic by opening the Virginia Nehring Utz Clinical Skills Laboratory at the Mayo Scottsdale Hospital. He divided his time between Scottsdale, Rochester, and Spider Lake in Hayward, Wis.

The love of his life, Ginny Utz, wife of 55 years, preceded him in death in 2009. He is survived by his sons and daughter, David C. Utz, Jr. of Vail, Colo.; Dr. Mary U. Keating (Dr. Jerome) of St. Cloud; Dr. William J. Utz, (Dr. Maureen P.) of Shorewood; Mark E. Utz (Julia) of Rochester; and Jeffrey P. Utz (Anne) of Chatham, N.J.; 15 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and brother, Dr. Philip Utz of Naples, Fla. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Dr. John P. Utz.

A celebration of his life will be at the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Rochester, Saturday, Nov. 5, at 12 p.m., with the Rev. Msgr. Gerald Mahon officiating.

Visitation will be in the church foyer from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, and also one half hour prior to the service at the church Saturday. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery with military honors.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to the Mayo Clinic, Dr. David C. Utz Fund, or the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Rochester, are preferred.


Macken Funeral Home, Rochester. 507-282-1075.

Online condolences are welcome at .

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