David Mearns Paisley of Forest, Virginia, 84, died October 16, 2019. He was born February 26, 1935 in Buckhannon, West Virginia, the son of Leah Mearns Paisley and Ivan Lambert Paisley. A pharmaceutical industry investment and technical specialist who had a unique career in industry, finance, and academia, he was a 1957 graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College and received M.S. (1959) and Ph.D. (1961) degrees in organic chemistry from the University of Illinois. He also studied at Fordham Law School in New York.
Dr. Paisley’s professional career included pharmaceutical marketing with E. R. Squibb and Sons and investment analysis of the healthcare industry with Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette, Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Company, all in New York. He was elected vice-president of both brokerage firms and was their senior spokesman on pharmaceutical industry investments. During his Wall Street tenure, Dr. Paisley was named to Institutional Investor’s “All America Team” of security analysts 12 consecutive years, and was regarded as one of the top five of some 100 Merrill Lynch security analysts in polls of the firm’s senior account executives. Dr. Paisley’s second career was as a medicinal chemistry professor; in 1986 he returned to his graduate alma mater, the University of Illinois, for more than a decade. There he also earned notable honors, consistently being named “Excellent Teacher,” and twice receiving the prestigious School of Chemical Sciences Teaching Award; he was also a life member of the University of Illinois President’s Council. As President of Paisley and Habermas, Inc., he was an independent consultant to major money management firms and to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and appeared as an expert witness in high-profile civil trials in Federal District Courts.
After following classical music, in particular opera, with a “Deadhead’s” passion for four decades, he became interested in the music of the Grateful Dead itself and was an avid collector and trader of live tapes of their shows and of the various related Jerry Garcia bands, amassing several thousand analog and digital recordings.
Dr. Paisley is survived by his twin daughters, Elizabeth Ivester and husband Guy, of Scottsdale, AZ, and Margaret Cosby and husband Terrell, of Lynchburg, VA; his son, Theodore Paisley, M.D. and wife Tricia Petzold, M.D., of Salt Lake City, UT; seven grandchildren, Tad Watson and wife Amy, Tom Watson and wife Diane, Jamie Massie, Noell Cosby, Hannah Ivester, Samantha Paisley, and Heidi Paisley; and four great-grandchildren, Kaylee, Allie, Zoey, and Charlie. Dr. Paisley is preceded in death by his sister, Linda Baker, of Satellite Beach, FL.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the scholarship funds of the chemistry departments of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 505 South Mathews Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801 and West Virginia Wesleyan College 59 College Avenue, Buckhannon, WV 26201, and the American Heart Association.
To send condolences online, please visit www.tharpfuneralhome.com. Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory Bedford is assisting the family.