Wanir daCosta

Obituary of Wanir Correa daCosta

Dr. Wanir C. daCosta passed away at the age of 93 on March 23, 2023.  He died at the LifePath Sun City Center Hospice House due to complications from a fall.  He is now reunited with his beloved wife, Barbara.  Wanir, from Sun City Center, and previously LaCrosse, Wisconsin, and Brazil, was an accomplished physician, loving husband and wonderful father.  Known to his friends as Van, and in his later years, Doc, he enjoyed an amazing and varied life in many different locations.

Born on May 28, 1929, in the town of Patos in Minas Gerais, Brazil, Wanir was the third youngest of eleven children born to Huascar and Emilia Correa daCosta.  When he was young, his parents moved the family to Niteroi, a city across the Guanabara Bay from Rio de Janeiro, where growing up, he enjoyed sports and beach life.  He used to tell his small children about jumping onto the backs of stingrays in the bay and “surfing” on them.  He loved soccer on the beach and basketball.  Van played competitive basketball as a guard and has a number of medals from competitions in the early 1950’s, including a medal from the 1954 FIBA World Basketball Championship.  He was also a member of the famed Fluminense Football Club in the late 1940s.

After college and medical school in Brazil, Wanir was the only member of his family to emigrate to the United States.  He completed his internship and residency in the US, and met his future wife, Barbara Margaret Moore, when he was working at Wilmington General Hospital in Wilmington, Delaware, where Barbara was a secretary in the admitting office.  They were married in Wilmington on August 31, 1959.  They lived for a short time in New Jersey, before moving to LaCrosse, Wisconsin in 1963.

Wanir had a one-year trial contract with Grandview Hospital, when it was still located on Main Street, as an obstetrician/gynecologist.  Back then, there were only two OB/GYN’s, so they took turns being on call every other night, while conducting office hours during the day.   Before the year was out, Barbara was pregnant with their first child, Lisa Maria.  The couple welcomed their son, Eric John, in 1966. 

Wanir became a United States citizen in the early 1970’s. He practiced medicine with Grandview, Skemp-Grandview and St Francis Hospitals, and delivered thousands of LaCrosse-area babies over his career.  In his later years, Van specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of OB/GYN-related cancers and taught seminars at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.  He traveled extensively for conferences and doctor exchanges, including early visits to the U.S.S.R. and the Peoples Republic of China, shortly after international relations with both countries had warmed with the United States.

Wanir and Barbara stayed in LaCrosse for 25 years, where Van enjoyed duck and pheasant hunting with his neighbors on Milson Court and playing golf at the LaCrosse Country Club during the 1970’s, and watching golf on television in the 1980’s.  Van and Barbara traveled often, to Hong Kong and Tokyo, Brazil, the Bahamas, and Europe.

Rheumatoid arthritis started to get the better of Wanir, and he retired in 1988.  He and Barbara moved to Sun City Center, Florida, where they built a house on New Bedford Drive, and enjoyed golfing together on all the Sun City Center golf courses during the early days of the retirement community.  Barbara died in 2000 after a year-long battle with lung cancer.  Wanir sold his home in 2011 and moved into Aston Gardens at the Courtyards, an independent living community.  He enjoyed the computer club, working out in the exercise room, and continued to golf until he was 90 years old.  Fluent in five languages, Wanir would read newspapers from Brazil, Germany, Spain, France and of course, across the United States, every day on his computer. 

Wanir was preceded in death by his parents, Huascar and Emilia, all of his siblings, and his wife, Barbara.  He is survived by his daughter, Lisa Price (Stephen) and son, Eric daCosta.  A celebration of life is planned for May in Sun City Center.  Wanir supported the Florida Sheriffs Association annually, and if you feel moved to, in lieu of flowers, please donate to this worthy organization in his name.

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A Memorial Tree was planted for Wanir
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Sun City Funeral Home
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