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.