Robert “Bob” Warren Ayres

Robert “Bob” Warren Ayres, MD, FACEP, died suddenly on Tuesday night, May 27, 2014. Bob was born at Old General Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri on September 15, 1942, the son of Dr. Maurice J. Ayres and Pearl (Baker) Ayres. Bob grew up in Gothenburg, Nebraska, graduating from Gothenburg High School in 1961. Bob loved to fly and began pursuing his solo pilot’s license while still in high school. Bob entered the University of Nebraska as a pre-med student, completing his undergraduate and medical degrees in 1968. Bob began post-graduate training in general surgery in Omaha. His training was interrupted by his service in the U.S. Army, stationed in Korea during the Vietnam War. Upon his return to the States, Bob continued post-graduate training in Omaha, ultimately becoming board certified in both Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine. Bob practiced Family Medicine with his father in Gothenburg for 4 ½ years before moving to Kansas City to specialize in Emergency Medicine. Bob was one of the founding physicians of Hospital Emergency Physicians, Inc. (HEP) which became Metro Emergency Physicians, LLP (MEP) at St. Luke’s Health System, Kansas City, Missouri. Bob practiced Emergency Medicine at St. Luke’s from 1978-1999.


Bob met his wife, Dr. W. Jean (Arnold) Ayres, in 1985, while Jean was an Internal Medicine Resident at St. Luke’s Hospital. Bob and Jean were married on May 21, 1988. Bob and Jean lived in the Kansas City area before moving to Lawrence, Kansas in 2009. Bob and Jean shared life in every way, accompanying each other in the routine of each day, supporting each other’s interests, continuing to study and learn together, and extending the gifts of their marriage generously with their friends and “adopted” families.


Bob was a brilliant physician and truly loved by everyone he worked with at St. Luke’s, within HEP/MEP, and everyone he met. Bob was a life-long learner, constantly challenging his intellect with vigorous reading and study. He had the capacity to retain volumes of information, from the trivial to the critical knowledge necessary as a medical professional. Bob practiced the martial art of Aikido and self-disciplined exercise. Bob played the ancient board game GO, gathering weekly with a GO group in Overland Park, Kansas. Bob was an ongoing member of Tuesday Evening at Marty’s (TEAM), a small group dedicated to contemporary religious study. Bob was a committed volunteer physician at the Kansas City Care Clinic and the Lawrence Public Library. Bob was a member of Shawnee Heights United Methodist Church, in Tecumseh, Kansas.


Bob is survived by Jean, his wife of 26 years, his sister, Nancy Stara and her husband, Dennis, of Lincoln, Nebraska; step-brother, Ray Staples of Cheyenne, Wyoming and step-sister, Erin Bader of Abiquiu, New Mexico. Bob was preceded in death by his parents and his step-mother, Irene. Bob is also survived by a wide circle of former medical students, colleagues, and friends who recognize the impact of his brilliant mind and his deep love for his wife, Jean.


A service of memorial and celebration will be held Saturday, June 7, 10:00 a.m. at Shawnee Heights United Methodist Church, 6020 SE 44th St., Tecumseh, Kansas.


Memorial donations may be made to the Kansas City Care Clinic or the Gothenburg High School Foundation, Gothenburg, Nebraska and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, Kansas 66044.

9 Condolences

  1. Judy Berry on May 30, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Was so sorry to hear of your loss. Thinking of you today and praying the tender ministry of the Lord will comfort you.
    Judy Berry

  2. Annette Brownlee on May 30, 2014 at 11:00 am

    I was so deeply saddened when I heard of Bob’s death. He was one of the kindest and most caring persons I have ever met. I could always tell of his deep devotion to you from his actions and looks. I know God will put him to good use in Heaven…he’s probably up there now doing kind things for others. Please accept my profound sympathy at your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers.


  3. Vicky Moore on May 30, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Jean, You are in my prayers. Bob was such a great guy…loved and respected by all who knew him. We are going to miss him so much. I know his love for you was more than words can express. Please know I am here if you need anything. May God be with you in your time of loss and sorrow. Vicky

  4. Pam DeCarlis on May 31, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Jean, this is a lovely tribute to Bob. He was remarkable and I am so happy that you found each other and had 26 years together. I am thankful he was a good husband and that he loved you so much. I know this loss is huge and I will keep you in my prayers….I pray your heart will be filled with all the happy memories you had together and God will comfort you. Your cousin, Pam

  5. Charlotte Gurwell on May 31, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Jean, so sad to read of Bob’s death. I had the chance to tell Meredith and Damien the sweet story of you meeting Bob and eventually marrying. Nothing prepares you for a sudden passing. I will pray for you. Much love and concern — Charlotte Gurwell

  6. Carolyn Ghys on May 31, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    From the short time I knew you I knew you had a special relationship with Bob. Not many have this opportunity. I know that The Lord is going to be with you. Carolyn

  7. Lois Roszak on June 1, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Dear Jean, Like your many other friends, I was dismayed when I learned of Bob’s passing. He was a truly wonderful man, and I feel privileged to have had him as a neighbor and a friend. You have my deepest condolences. Yours was the kind of marriage of which many people can only dream. The love and friendship you two shared was obvious to everyone who knew you. I pray that God will grant you peace at this very difficult time. With love and prayers, Lois

  8. Jan Cook on June 2, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Dear Jean,
    I’m so glad that God brought us to Shawnee Heights UMC so that we had the chance to meet and know Bob. He was such a caring man who gave so much for others. You have our deepest sympathy during this very difficult time. I hope that your good memories will comfort you and that God will give you peace and understanding.
    Jan & Ward Cook

  9. Debbie (Heinen) Sheat on June 5, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    I am so very sorry to read about the passing of your husband in our Lamar Democrat today. You must still be in shock and I am sad for you. Your husband sounds like a wonderful man and doctor. I am sure his death will leave many gaps that will never be filled the same way.
    Not sure if you really remember me, but my parents lived behind the Lamar Clinic and your father used to be our Dr. You gave me a gift a very long time ago of a little necklace with a chick on it and it meant so very much to me. You probably don’t even remember that.
    Please know that I am thinking and praying for you as you go through this difficult and challenging season of life. God bless you with comfort and peace.

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