Dr. Alan Ashare: 1938-2023

by Lisa Daglian

Dr. Alan and Susan Ashare saying so long to “Bedside Manor” at his 2017 retirement party in Davis Park.

Dr. Alan Ashare and his family were beloved members of the Davis Park community for 50 years when he retired from beach service in 2017. On July 5, 2023, he passed away.

In June 1968, Dr. Alan Ashare and his wife, Susan, spent their first summer at the Davis Park Medical Association’s house “Bedside Manor,” where he was among the first group of physicians to provide medical services to patients at Davis Park.

He grew up in Patchogue and was a lifeguard at Smith Point when the bridge went up in 1959. He served as a physician at the beach for the next five decades and served as head of the Association for 15 years, during which time his family grew to include four children and four grandchildren, and his job took him Boston to Ohio and then back to Boston once again.

On Labor Day weekend in 2017, Dr. Ashare and Susan, joined by friends and family, said farewell to “Bedside Manor” with a community send-off to commemorate his years of service. He was a beloved and respected friend to many, with dinner and cocktail party invitations awaiting his arrival. He gave freely of his time to support the Davis Park Fire Department, stopping in to let the Department know he was available whenever he was in town. Dr. Ashare also was known to see beach kids in Boston when they were in college, far from home, sick and scared, to provide kind care and a friendly face.

His daughter, Jenn, who met husband Russ Shinsky at Davis Park, wrote, “My father lived every minute to the fullest and encouraged those around him to do the same. A doctor, a magician, a physicist, a fencing champion, a hockey coach and mentor, a soccer player, a skier and just so much more. We were lucky to have him for so long.”

Dr. Ashare was a long-time member of the Board of Directors and volunteer with Massachusetts Hockey. He was known throughout the hockey world for his passionate advocacy to make youth hockey safe. A specialist in nuclear medicine, he used his knowledge to encourage youth hockey leaders, coaches and players to enjoy the game safely, creating the Head Up, Don’t Duck program, used nationally to educate players about neck and spine safety. He was a long-time member and co-chair of the Safety and Protective Equipment Committee with USA Hockey, and earned Director Emeritus status with the group.

Dr. Alan Ashare received his bachelor’s degree in physics from Columbia University and his M.D. from Albany Medical College. He completed his medical training at Highland General Hospital in Oakland, California, at Massachusetts General Hospital, and at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. He was a veteran of the United States Air Force Medical Corps, serving from 1970-1972 performing aerospace medical research. He is survived by his wife; son, Matt Ashare; daughter Jenn, son-in-law, Russ and grandchildren, Ian and Ella Shinsky; daughter, Laurie Cutler and grandson Daniel; son, Andrew and granddaughter, Luci Ashare. We’ll miss him.