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Museum of Osteopathic Medicine

iConnect News

In memoriam

September 12, 2012
Posted In: Headlines, In memoriam, Profiles

Leroy “Scott” Allison, DO, ’82, Bartlesville, Okla., died Jan. 23, 2012, at age 62. Dr. Allison was born Oct. 16, 1949, in Atkinson, Neb., to Joseph L. and Phyllis E. (Brown) Allison. He grew up in many places as his father was in the U.S. Navy, stationed at several locations over the years. After receiving his high school education he served in the U.S. Air Force and later in the Army Reserves.

On Sept. 5, 1970, he married Kathleen Morgan in Coffeyville, Kan. The couple made their home in Wichita, Kan., while Dr. Allison continued to serve his country and further his education. He received his DO from KCOM. There were several different locations that he had a private practice before settling in the Southeast Kansas, Northeast Oklahoma area in 1997. His most recent office was in Dewey, Okla.

He cared deeply about his practice, his patients, and his family. He enjoyed music, horses, working on cars, and building houses. He was known as a “Jack of all trades” and for giving folks a hard time. He was always helping others. Most of all he enjoyed his time with friends and family.

Surviving to honor his memory are his wife, Kathleen; son, Joseph Allison (Malarie); daughters, Melissa Totherow (John) and Melanie Stevens (Justin); brother, Andrew Allison; sisters, Jennifer Keim (Frank) and Catherine Wiebe (Mike); and six grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and an infant sister, JoNell Allison.

Esther G. Cruz-Guerrero, DO, ’93, died June 14, 2012, in San Antonio, Texas, at age 48. Born in San Antonio on March 22, 1964, Dr. Cruz-Guerrero graduated from Incarnate Word High School and St. Mary’s University. She was a graduate of KCOM, and was a chief resident during her residency. She entered family practice (1994) with a private group of physicians and started her own practice in 2001. A compassionate and dedicated doctor, she loved her staff and patients. She was also a preceptor for the UTHSC-SA Nurse Practitioner Program.

Dr. Cruz-Guerrero was a CCD Instructor at Holy Spirit Catholic Church where she was a parishioner. She was a member of the Folkalare Catholic Lay Ministry. She also loved her pet Dalmatian, Ali.

Dr. Cruz-Guerrero was preceded in death by her sister, Magdalena Cruz, and grandparents, Roberto and Guadalupe Dovalina and Juanita Orona Cruz. Survivors include her husband, Carlos R. Guerrero; her parents, Enrique and Alicia Cruz; a brother, Enrique Cruz, Jr.; her in-laws, Frances and Oscar Guerrero; her sister-in-law and husband, Doris and Patrick Ervin; three godchildren, Hailey Beach, Matías Castillo, and Alejandro Castillo; and an extensive network of close family, friends, and colleagues.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America, 950 Isom Rd., San Antonio, TX 78216.

Wain B. Eberly, DO, ’58, Dalton, Ohio, died Jan. 12, 2012, at age 90. He served Mt. Eaton, Ohio, and the surrounding community as a family physician from 1960 until 2001. His life’s motto was to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. In addition, he was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

He is survived by his wife, Viola (Horst); children, Judy Miller (Andy), Elaine Grove (Lester), Lauretta Yoder (Geoff), and Jim Eberly (Andrea); nine grandchildren, Jennifer Miller-Boschmann, Victoria Gonyou, Jenny Ransom, Shawn Grove, Eugene Yoder, Craig Grove, Derrek Kennell, Andrea Kennell, and Linnea Eberly; nine great-grandchildren; sisters, Edna Eberly, Dorothy Steiner, and Wilma Steiner (Tillman); and brothers, Albert Eberly (Salina), Homer Eberly (Marian), John Eberly (Ruby), Clarence Eberly (Luella), Ray Eberly (Carol), and Glenn Eberly (Emma). He was preceded in death by two children, Morris Roy Eberly (1948-71) and Kathleen Fay Kennell (1951-2001). Also preceding him in death were his parents, Clayton and Carrie (Burkhart) Eberly, and four siblings, Lloyd Eberly, Ethel Amstutz (John), Mildred Eberly, and Earl Eberly.

Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice or to Hospice & Palliative Care of Greater Wayne County, 2525 Back Orrville Rd., Wooster, OH 44691.

Roy D. Guthrie, DO, ’61, Houston, Texas, died March 29, 2012, at age 80. He was born in Tipton, Okla., on April 16, 1931, to Fallis Braxton Guthrie and Audrey Guthrie.

Dr. Guthrie served in the Air Force for four years during the Korean War. He did his undergraduate study at University of Oklahoma and then earned his DO from KCOM.

After completing an internship at Tulsa Osteopathic Hospital, he practiced family medicine with partner Dr. Floyd Rosdahl in Skiatook, Okla., for 11 years. He then partnered with Dr. Arthur Wallace Sr., to found the emergency room at Tulsa Osteopathic Hospital, now Tulsa Regional Medical Center. He practiced emergency medicine there until his retirement in 1996, practicing part-time from 2003-06.

Dr. Guthrie is survived by his wife, Brenda Guthrie; son, Michael Guthrie (Kathy); daughter, Sherrie Guthrie; granddaughters, Sarah Guthrie, Rachael Guthrie, Hannah Gurzi (Ryan); five great-grandchildren; two stepsons, Jeffrey Roberts (Dianna) and Mark Daniel Roberts; and four step-grandchildren. He is also survived by sisters Shirley Bass (R.L.), Oleda Putman, and Earlene Burge (Don); and brothers Joe Guthrie (Joyce), L.B. Guthrie, and Lonnie Guthrie (Janice).

Dr. Guthrie was passionate about medicine, OU football, and barbershop singing. He was a lifetime member of the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association and a longtime member of the Founders Chorus.

Services were held April 4, 2012. Memorials may be made to KCOM, 800 W. Jefferson St., Kirksville, MO 63501, or to Memorial Drive United Methodist Church, 7903 E. 15th St., Tulsa, OK 74112.

Ralph J. Harvey, DO, ’46, Hillsboro, Ore., died March 15, 2012, at age 91. Born March 8, 1921, in Detroit, he was an alumnus of University of Detroit and Michigan State University.

Dr. Harvey married Janet Pullen of Jackson, Mich., in 1942. In 1946, Dr. Harvey finished medical school at KCOM. He served his internship at Portland Osteopathic Hospital. Dr. Harvey practiced as an osteopathic physician and surgeon in Hillsboro for 60 years, retiring in 2007. He was designated by the Federal Aviation Administration as an aviation medical examiner.

Dr. Harvey and Janet divorced in 1970. In 1997, he met Etsuko Kondo Tambara of Portland, and the two were joined in marriage eight years later.

Dr. Harvey is survived by his wife, Etsuko Harvey; his children, Barbara Harvey (Dave Jones), Dorothy Rowland (Robert Clark), and James Harvey (Maureen Mulcahy); and granddaughters Ruth Rowland and Ahna Harvey.

A memorial gathering was held March 31, 2012.

Frank H. Hollar, DO, ’59, Hudson, Wis., died Oct. 17, 2011, at age 81. Dr. Hollar was born on Oct. 24, 1929, to George and Hannah Hollar in Sioux City, Iowa. He grew up in Sioux City, graduated from Central High School, and attended Morningside College, also in Sioux City.

In 1951, he married his high school sweetheart, Jan Warnke. This marriage would be blessed with four children: Gregory, Gary, Erik, and Gayle. Also in 1951, he enlisted into the Air Force where he served two years during the Korean War. He earned the rank of staff sergeant and worked in supply. Upon completion of his military service, he returned home and attended college at the University of Iowa, graduating with a pre-med and B.A. degree (1954). He then attended KCOM. After a one-year internship in Saginaw, Mich., Dr. Hollar and Jan moved their family to Hudson, where he began a private practice with Dr. Jim Stout. Dr. Stout died two years later, but Dr. Hollar continued to serve the Hudson community for 42 years. He retired Oct. 24, 2000.

Dr. Hollar was a hard-working and dedicated husband, father, and grandfather. He enjoyed the outdoors and spent many hours in his garden where he raised vegetables for friends and family. He was an avid hunter, making frequent trips to Iowa for pheasant hunting, and also enjoyed training and competing with his bird-hunting dogs. He trained Vizslas and German Shorthairs and won several hunting and show titles. Special times in Dr. Hollar’s life were times spent with his family. With Jan and the children by his side, he traveled to many locations in the continental United States and made many memories.

Dr. Hollar is survived by his wife, Jan; children, Gregory F. Hollar, DO, ’82 (Svetlana), Gary (Sue), Gayle (Kevin), and Erik; and grandchildren, Matt, Timothy, Steven, Tanya, and Torey Junker. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Services were held Oct. 22. Memorials given will be donated to a charity of the family’s choosing in Dr. Hollar’s name.

Charles D. Huneryager, DO, ’44, Sand Springs, Okla., died Sept. 13, 2011, at age 90. Dr. Huneryager was born in Paris, Mo., on June 21, 1921, one of three children born to Ira Cooper Huneryager and Grace (Pelsue) Huneryager. After graduation from medical school he had the distinction of being in the first intern group at Oklahoma Osteopathic Hospital in Tulsa. Following his internship, he began his medical practice in Sand Springs, joining his father who was also an osteopathic physician, and continued seeing patients until he retired in 2002 at the age of 81. Dr. Huneryager married Betty Jo Hurst at the Sand Springs Church of God on Jan. 1, 1983.

Dr. Huneryager was active in the community as a long-time member of the Lions Club, the Osteopathic Association, the Masonic Organization, and the Boy Scouts, both as a Boy Scout and in later years as a sponsor on scouting activities with his sons. As a Sandite, he provided free athletic physicals to the young men in various sports. He was a member of the Sand Springs Church of God, and an avid Bible reader, frequently spending up to two hours reading early in the morning.

He is survived by his wife, Betty Jo; four sons, Gary Huneryager (Gail), Gregory Huneryager, Patrick Huneryager (Donna), and Hurst Spencer (Misti); and one daughter, Tracey Williams (Donell). He is also survived by many grandchildren, including David Huneryager, Lori Holloway, Ryan Waters, Heather Beasley, Cole Norton, Hailee Bradfield, Hanna Bradfield, Charles Williams, David Williams, Katy Jo Osborne, Lane Osborne, Jordan Rowlan, Stuart Spencer, Kaitlin Rowlan, Jackson Spencer, Aydn Spencer, Steven Spencer, and Jamie Spencer. Survivors also include many other family members, friends, and patients that he treated through the years of his medical practice. He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Mary Ann Nichols; his brother, Lloyd Huneryager, who was also an osteopathic physician; and his first wife, Susan Huneryager, the mother of his sons, Gary, Gregory, and Patrick.

Daniel J. Marazon Jr., DO, ’71, Athens, Ohio, died March 13, 2012, at age 67. Physician, educator, athlete, veteran, fisherman, loving husband, father, and grandfather, he died after a long battle with Picks Disease. He was born Jan. 6, 1945, in Toledo, Ohio, to Daniel and Lois Marazon.

Dr. Marazon graduated from Good Shepherd Grade School in 1959. He went to Morrison R. Waite High School where he was a star athlete and junior class president. He was inducted into the Waite High School Hall of Fame in 2003. Dr. Marazon attended the University of Toledo where he lettered in wrestling while getting his BA. He graduated in 1968. He earned his DO from KCOM in 1971.

A Vietnam era veteran, he completed a family medicine internship and residency at Jacksonville Naval Hospital, Jacksonville, Fla., where he met and married his wife, Margo. He then served three years in the Navy at Whidbey Island Naval Hospital, Oak Harbor, Wash., where he served as chief of family services. Wanting to return to Ohio, he became one of the pioneer faculty members of the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine and later became the medical director of the University Osteopathic Medical Center. He served in many leadership roles including interim dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine (2001), chief of staff at O’Bleness Memorial Hospital (1986-88), and director of the family medicine residency program, Doctors Hospital of Columbus (1996-2000). After retiring from academic medicine, he was selected to be an associate professor emeritus of family medicine at Ohio University.

In his life as a physician, Dr. Marazon received numerous awards. He was named Family Physician of the Year by the Ohio State Society of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (2002) and received the OU-COM Lifetime Achievement Award (2006).

Dr. Marazon was well known for his good nature and ability to be an organizer, teacher, and coach. His love of ice hockey and dedication to the Ohio University Bobcat hockey program was recognized in 2008 when he was inducted into the Ohio University Hockey Hall of Fame. His love of children and sports was manifested by his commitment and timeless hours given in support of the Athens Youth Soccer and Athens Minor League Hockey clubs.

One of Dr. Marazon’s greatest loves as a physician was the SHARE Kenya program. He worked tirelessly to organize annual medical outreach trips to serve the people of Kenya. His legacy to the Kenyan community is recognized by the Daniel Marazon Wing of the now operational Ahero clinic in a rural, isolated community of that country.

Dr. Marazon is survived by his wife of 38 years, Margo; two sons, Christopher (Stephanie) and Marcus Marazon (Jyl); three grandsons, McClellan, Cameron, and Jonathan; three brothers, David Marazon (Renee); Joe Marazon (Barb); and Tom Marazon; five sisters, Marsha Marazon, Margaret Bevan (Glen), Mary Monroe (Bruce), Julie Marazon, and Paula Garland (David); and a host of nieces and nephews. Dr. Marazon was preceded in death by his parents, Dan and Lois Marazon, daughter Jennifer, and brother Kenneth.

Services were held March 15, 2012. Memorials may be made to the Daniel J. Marazon Hockey Scholarship Fund, Ohio University Foundation; the Ohio University Respite Volunteer Program c/o Brooke Hallowell, Ohio University; or the Appalachian Community VNA Hospice Program in Athens.

Rex T. Martin, DO, ’63, Harrison, Maine, died April 27, 2012, at age 79 after a brave battle with Parkinson’s disease. A lifelong resident of Harrison, Dr. Martin served the community for 40 years as a family practitioner and for 30 years as state medical examiner.

Dr. Martin was born on Feb. 24, 1933, in Bridgton, Maine, to the late Doris Emeline Prescott Martin and Percy Warren Martin. After attending Bridgton High School, he joined the United States Marine Corps where, as a non-commissioned officer, he engaged in some of the fiercest combat incidents in the Korean War.

Returning home, he married his high school sweetheart, Martha Joan Day, on Sept. 4, 1955. After completing his undergraduate pre-medical studies at Boston University and the University of Missouri, among others, he attended KCOM, graduating in 1962. Following his internship at the Portland Osteopathic Hospital, Dr. Martin established an office on Main Street in Harrison and quickly entered into the town’s community life, serving as public health officer and school physician for the township.

A member of the VFW and the Lion’s Club, Dr. Martin also served as chair of the Harrison Water District. In addition to his civic and professional affiliations, he was an avid outdoorsman. A registered Maine Guide, he loved fishing and hunting in all seasons and all terrain. His love of sports took him through most of the American West, sometimes on horseback, sometimes on foot, but always with a keen appreciation for the beauty and majesty of nature. Dr. Martin also enjoyed traditional team sports, rooting for the Red Sox and the Patriots; for many years he coached and mentored young athletes serving as Babe Ruth District Commissioner.

An avid reader and advocate of lifelong learning, Dr. Martin is the author of two novels, as yet unpublished.

He is survived by his wife, Martha; daughter, Heather; sons, Eric and Paul; three grandchildren, Shannon, Savannah, and William; and three great-grandchildren. Dr. Martin’s sister Daisy, and five brothers, Percy Warren, Dwight, Paul, Wilfred, and Richard predeceased him.

Services were held May 2. Contributions in Dr. Martin’s memory can be made to the VFW, the National Parkinson Disease Foundation (, or to your local library.

Daniel L. Morrison, DO, ’71, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., died March 6, 2012, at age 66. Dr. Morrison was born Nov. 21, 1945, in Detroit to Mary (nee Garboban) and John Morrison. Dr. Morrison is survived by his wife of 43 years, Sandy, and his sons, Daniel Morrison (Jennifer), Kurt Morrison (Jenifer), DO, and Eric Morrison (Heather). He is also survived by granddaughters Elizabeth and Madeline, two soon-to-be-born grandchildren, and his brother, John Morrison.

Memorials may be made to Oakland Family Services, 114 Orchard Lake Rd., Pontiac, MI 48341 or to Daniel L. Morrison, DO, Pediatric Fund, c/o Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors, 1368 N. Crooks Rd., Clawson, MI 48017.

Henry G. Norrid, DO, ’73, Amarillo, Texas, died Feb. 21, 2012. Dr. Norrid was born June 4, 1940, to Henry and Johnie Norrid. He was an accomplished physician and surgeon. Practicing for more than 40 years, he was able to serve and help save lives of those in need in New York, Missouri, and Texas. Dr. Norrid enjoyed spending time with family and talking to people. He was a loving father, brother, and grandfather who will be dearly missed.

Survivors include two sons, Joshua Andrew and Noah Adam Norrid; two brothers, Olin and C.W. “Dub” Norrid; a sister, Carol Jones; and two grandchildren, Anton Emil and Buster Hudson Norrid.

John Paul Price Jr., DO, ’43, Prairie Village, Kan., died March 23, 2012, at age 92. Dr. Price graduated from William Jewell College and KCOM. He maintained his private medical practice in Dumas, Texas, for 48 years prior to his retirement in 1993. He was very active in the Lions Club of Dumas for more than 60 years and is a lifetime member of Lions International.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Beth; his daughter, Pegge Breneman (Jim); son Rick Price (Nancy); grandchildren Brooke Hudson and Laine Gen (Sheldon); and great-grandchildren Linden and Dahlia Gen. He was preceded in death by his father, John Paul Price, DO, 1919, and his grandparents, Emma Miller Price, DO, 1901, and John A. Price, DO, 1901.

A memorial service was held March 29, 2012.

Robert J. Shields, DO, ’52, Frederiksberg, Texas, died March 16, 2012, at age 88. Dr. Shields is survived by his wife, Leah Shields; children, David Davis (Dulce), Staci Davis, Dr. Robert F. Shields (Kathy), Thomas Shields (Linda), and Jim Shields (Kim); grandchildren, Sissiley Smith, Kimberly Shields, DO, Kelly Didehbani, Ross Shields, Evan Shields, Kristen Shields, Justin Shields, and Cody Shields; great grandson, Bennett Robert Barzda; and sister, Juel Anderson.

Dr. Shields was born Feb. 27, 1924, to parents Grace Edith MacKenzie and Julius Louis Knoerschild. His father was killed in an auto accident when Dr. Shields was 2 years old, so he went to live with his grandparents Friedrich and Anne Knoerschild until he was 10 years old. (Dr. Shields eventually shortened his last name to Shields). He treasured them and shared many memories of his grandparents and growing up on Windsor Avenue in Dubuque.

Dr. Shields spent the Depression years on a Northeast Missouri farm and attended school in Kirksville, Mo. He graduated from Los Angeles Polytechnic High School (1942) as his family moved to California after the start of WWII. He attended USC, joined the Naval Aviation V5 program, and after flight training school, received his wings and commission in December 1944 at Corpus Christi, Texas.

Dr. Shields graduated from the University of Iowa (1948) and studied medicine at KCOM where he was assistant professor of clinical pathology from the summer of 1950 until he graduated in 1952. Dr. Shields then established Port Acres Clinic in Port Ares, Texas, where he treated young and old, delivered hundreds of babies, some even at the clinic. He and a group of DOs built Doctors Hospital in Groves, Texas (1955). He served on the school board of Port Arthur ISD (1954-65) and is credited with getting Port Acres schools equal funding and consideration from PAISD.

Another adventure was the Brangus Ranch that he established in Woodville, Texas, in 1968, where he transformed a piney woods acreage into beautiful grass and hay fields. He moved his office to Woodville in 1991 where he gained a loyal following until he “retired” in 1998; he held an active medical license for 60 years. The final move was to Fredericksburg in 1999 where he raised heifers and enjoyed the beauty of Texas Hill Country, residing along Spring Creek.

Dr. Shields loved his medical practice, flying, service in the Navy, cars, and his animals. He was compassionate, and his patients loved him. He was board certified in family practice and was a member of Fredericksburg UMC, AOA, TOMA, ACFP, AOPA (59 years), and NRA.

A memorial service was held March 31, 2012. Memorial contributions may be made to American Cancer Society, Fredericksburg United Methodist Church Music Department, Ave Maria Hospice, or the charity of one’s choice.

Sarah W. “Dr. Sally” Simpson, DO, ’37, Carmel, Maine, died Feb. 21, 2012, at age 95. Dr. Simpson was born Aug. 19, 1916, in New Britain, Conn., daughter of Ralph and Eva (Jackson) Willcox.

Dr. Simpson graduated from KCOM in 1937. She married the late Dr. Charles W. Simpson on Nov. 6, 1938, and opened her first practice in Newport in the same year. In 1951, she moved to Carmel where she practiced until retiring in 1987. Dr. Simpson was modest about her professional accomplishments. She was passionate about serving anyone who needed a house call and worked tirelessly. Many will remember her for delivering generations of babies.

She was president of Maine Osteopathic Association (1985-86), received the Maine Osteopathic Association Practitioner of the Year Award (1974), received the Distinguished Service Award (1979), was appointed to the Board of Osteopathic Examination and Registration (1980), and received the Pioneer of Osteopathic Medicine (1998) and Associated Hospital Service Award.

Dr. Simpson was the health officer for Carmel, chief of staff at J.A. Taylor Osteopathic Hospital, co-chair of the hospital’s obstetrical department, and a life member of Order of the Eastern Star, Nokomis Chapter No. 42, Newport.

Dr. Simpson is survived by her daughter, Roberta S. Perley; her son, John C. Simpson (Doreen); three grandsons, Allen Perley, Robert Perley (Sonia), and William C. Simpson; one granddaughter, Stephanie Butler; and 10 great-grandchildren. In addition to her parents and husband, she was predeceased by her sister, Constance Parent.

Services were held Feb. 25, 2012. Gifts may be sent to Carmel Union Congregational Church, P.O. Box 111, Carmel, ME 04419, for the carpet fund.

Thomas K. Swope, DO, ’58, Portsmouth, Ohio, died Aug. 30, 2011, at age 79. He was born June 3, 1932, in Portsmouth. He was preceded in death by his mother, Josephine Bethel Swope, and his father and second mother, Thomas Covert Swope and Amajean Jenkins Swope.

Dr. Swope was a pre-med graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and a graduate of KCOM. He served his internship at Grandview Hospital (Dayton, Ohio). He opened his office in West Portsmouth, Ohio, in 1959 and semi-retired in 2005. He was a part-time physician at the Scioto Cancer Center and the Adams County Cancer Center.

Dr. Swope was a member of Cornerstone United Methodist Church and its chancel choir and adult hand bell choir. He was also a member of St. Anne/St. Andrews Visitation Team; Aurora Lodge #48, Valley of Cincinnati Scottish Rite, York Rite; Scioto County Habitat for Humanity; and the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra. He was a member of the Ohio Osteopathic Association in Columbus, Columbus Academy of Osteopathic Medicine and American Osteopathic Association, and the Shawnee State Golden Bears.

Dr. Swope is survived by his wife, Esther O. Speck Swope; a sister, Alice Ellen Pakurar; a niece, Alice Ellen Pakurar; and two nephews, Eric Pakurar and Tom Pakurar Jr.

Funeral services were held Sept. 2, 2011. Memorial donations may be made to Scioto County Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 2023, Portsmouth, OH 45662, or to Cornerstone United Methodist Church, 808 Offnere St., Portsmouth, OH 45662.

Kenneth R. Watkins, DO, ’51, Houston, Texas, died May 8, 2012, at age 93. He and his wife of nearly 70 years, Norma, who survives him, had moved in 2009 to Houston from Groves, Texas, where they had lived for more than 50 years.

Dr. Watkins, board certified in family practice, established the Groves Clinic in 1954. He practiced a broad scope of medicine including surgery, obstetrics, general medicine, and orthopedics. He truly was an old-school physician. He was always ready to serve his patients, whether at the office, hospital, or in their homes. He delivered more than 900 babies, including second generation children. He loved his patients, and they dearly loved him for his skill, compassion, fairness, and gentle humor. He retired after 30 years of practice.

He was a kind, bold man, skillfully and compassionately serving those who needed him. A founding owner, he helped build and establish Doctors Hospital in Groves in 1955. He was recognized for his outstanding leadership, vision, and ability, and served as chief of staff and on various committees. He was chair of the board of trustees from 1967-94.

He was born on a farm near Venango, Neb., on Aug. 18, 1918, to Emery and Janie Broughton Watkins. He was the sixth of seven children. He graduated from Perkins County High School and enrolled in Kearney State Teachers College, taking pre-med courses.

Enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Corps when war seemed a certainty, he spent four years in the service with duty in the South Pacific Theater at Guam, Philippines, Okinawa, and Japan. He was on Ie Shima and witnessed the Japanese surrender party flying in under escort of the U.S. planes. After the war, he returned to school and graduated from KCOM in 1951. He moved his family to Texas and practiced in Wolfe City, Celina, and Celeste, before finally settling in Groves.

He married his beloved, Norma Lucille Newman, in Palisade, Neb., on July 7, 1942. She became the love of his life, and they were a devoted and steadfast team.

Dr. Watkins was an active member of the United Methodist Temple in Port Arthur, Texas, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Sons of the American Revolution, the El Mina Shrine of Galveston, and was a 32nd Degree Mason with Groves Masonic Lodge #1315. He was a member of the American Osteopathic Association, a Life Sustaining Member of the Texas Osteopathic Medical Association, and he served his profession on state and district levels. May 4, 1994, was proclaimed by Groves Mayor Sylvester Moore as Dr. Kenneth Watkins Day, in honor of his many years of service as chair of the board of trustees and his dedication to the community, as well as Doctors Hospital.

Survivors include his wife, Norma; daughter, Jo Merrily Watkins Parker King (Fred); son, Mark D. Watkins, DO, ’72 (Sherrie); daughter, Susan Watkins Rudosky (James); grandchildren, Jeffrey and Joel Parker, Rebecca Watkins and Amber Watkins Guidry, and Christina and Joanna Rudosky; and great grandchildren, Austin, Briana, Katie, Elizabeth, and Cortlin. Also surviving are two siblings, older brother Col. Howard E. Watkins and younger sister Dolores Watkins Sexson, and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Preceding him in death were his siblings, Orville Watkins (Vivian), Thema Merten (Stan), Lenore Jacobson (Floyd), Dean Watkins (Maxine), sister-in-law Marguerite Watkins, and brother-in-law Robert Sexson.

Services were held May 12, 2012. In lieu of flowers, consider a contribution in his memory to The Shriners Hospital for Children, 6977 Main St., Houston, TX, 77030, Attn: Becky Brown Williams.

Larry J. Zechman, DO, ’67, Knoxville, Tenn., died April 12, 2012, at age 72. Dr. Zechman served the Knoxville area from 1968-2012 as an osteopathic physician. He was owner of Northwest General Hospital and was on staff at St. Mary’s Hospital in Knoxville.

Dr. Zechman was a graduate of KCOM and served his internship at Cuyahoga Falls General Hospital (1967-68). He was board certified in Tennessee, Ohio, and Missouri. Dr. Zechman served as president of Tennessee Osteopathic Medical Association (1993-94) and was awarded Physician of the Year (1999). He was a board member of Child and Family Services for more than 10 years. Dr. Zechman was a bronze sponsor for Kerbela Shrine Temple since 2005. He was a member of the Elk’s Lodge for many years.

Dr. Zechman was preceded in death by his parents, A. Carl and Margaret Jane Houle Zechman. He is survived by his loving companion of many years, Susie Ford; sons, Scot C. and Greg L. Zechman; granddaughter, Hannah D. Zechman; brother, Lynn C. and Christine Zechman; niece, Erin Zink (Paul); great nieces and nephew, Meghan, Carly, and Aiden; two aunts, Roberta Zechman and Betty Houle; and many cousins and friends.

Memorials may be made to Shriner’s Burn Institute, 3229 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3095.


Mason P. Vig, Gilbert, Ariz., formerly of Yankton, S.D., died Feb. 17, 2012, at age 26. Vig was born in Yankton on June 6, 1985, to parents Joe and Patti (Pick) Vig. Although born six weeks early and weighing only five pounds, he quickly grew into a fit, strong, and healthy young man. Vig had many interests and loved sports of all kinds while maintaining an excellent academic record throughout his school years, graduating Summa Cum Laude. He was a Gold Letter Award winner at Yankton High School, earning accolades in football, basketball, and track all four years of high school. He was a member of a State Championship Teener Baseball Team, a quarterback on the 2002 State AA Championship Football Team, a National Honor Society member, the Optimist Youth of the Year, the Chris Burgess Memorial recipient, named to the Student Athlete Advisory Committee of the NCC, and the recipient of the 2009 Mark Mehlhaf Amateur Baseball Award, in addition to volunteering on many youth and community activities.

He graduated with a biology degree from Augustana College and played college baseball for the Vikings (1B and 3B) all four years, despite being diagnosed with cancer in the spring of his junior year (2007), a battle he fought and won. At the time of his death, Vig was attending A. T. Still University and was in his second year of the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

He is survived by his parents, Joe and Patti Vig; his sisters, Julie O’Brien (Kevin) and Melanie Ryken (Mark); his brother, Mark; his girlfriend, Shana Fredrickson; his niece, Bergen O’Brien; his nephews, Rex and Rugby Ryken; his godson, Abe O’Brien; and a total of 90 aunts, uncles, and cousins. Vig was preceded in death by his grandparents, Alfred and LaVerne Pick and Julian and Martha Vig, and two uncles, Gary Pick and Robert Vig.

One response to “In memoriam”

  1. Ralph C. Merwin, D.O. says:

    My condolences to the families, friends, and thousands of patients of both Robert J.Shields, D.O. and Kenneth R. Watkins, news of their demise. Both were very personal friends and great help to me as I started my practice in 1959, having graduated KCOM a few years after them. Their contributions to Doctors Hospital and the surrounding area of Jefferson Co., Texas, will be long remembered.

  2. Ralph C. Merwin, D.O. says:

    My condolences to the families, friends, and thousands of patients of both Robert J.Shields, D.O. and Kenneth R. Watkins, news of their demise. Both were very personal friends and great help to me as I started my practice in 1959, having graduated KCOM a few years after them. Their contributions to Doctors Hospital and the surrounding area of Jefferson Co., Texas, will be long remembered.

  3. Ralph C. Merwin, D.O. says:

    My condolences to the families, friends, and thousands of patients of both Robert J.Shields, D.O. and Kenneth R. Watkins, news of their demise. Both were very personal friends and great help to me as I started my practice in 1959, having graduated KCOM a few years after them. Their contributions to Doctors Hospital and the surrounding area of Jefferson Co., Texas, will be long remembered.

  4. Ralph C. Merwin, D.O. says:

    My condolences to the families, friends, and thousands of patients of both Robert J.Shields, D.O. and Kenneth R. Watkins, news of their demise. Both were very personal friends and great help to me as I started my practice in 1959, having graduated KCOM a few years after them. Their contributions to Doctors Hospital and the surrounding area of Jefferson Co., Texas, will be long remembered.

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