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Raymond Wetrich

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Raymond M. Wetrich, 89, long time resident of Claremont, California passed away on June 19, 2007 at the Keller Oaks Nursing Home in Keller, Texas. Ray died after a very brief illness. Ray was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1918 and was raised in Hempstead, New York. Ray attended Amherst College and was graduated in 1938. He attended medical school at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and was graduated in 1943. Ray completed his internship in 1943 at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.Y. In 1944, Ray began 26 months of service with the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant and battalion surgeon with the medical detachment of the 66th armored regiment of the 2nd armored division. During his service in the Army, Ray was promoted to captain and served for 14 months in European Theater oper ations which included battles and campaigns in the Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe. Ray liked to remind people that the 2nd armored division was the first ground troops in Berlin. For his service in WW II, Ray received the American Campaign Medal, Meritorious Service Unit Award, and the WW II Victory Medal, among others. Following his military service, Ray returned to Rochester to complete his residency in surgery at Strong. During his residency, Ray married Mary Wallace, a native of Rochester, on September 20, 1947. Mary was a graduate of University of Rochester and was working as the executive assistant to Basil C. MacLean, M.D., Director of Strong Memorial Hospital. Ray completed his surgical residency in 1949 and was named resident surgeon at Branford Hospital in Bradford, PA. He was named one year later as the chief of surgical services at the VA hospital in Batavia, NY. Ray answered a call from his close friend, Chet Haug, to assist him with surgery at the Kaiser Hospital in Fontana, CA and he agreed. Mary and Ray moved to southern California in 1952 and Ray began his 31 year career with Southern California Permanente Medical Group as a general surgeon at Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Fontana. Ray loved the Kaiser model of health care. In 1956, Mary and Ray moved to Claremont, California where they lived until 2004 when they moved to Keller, Texas. Ray was an avid rose grower, golfer and sportsman. He took an annual trek with close friends and went fly fishing for steelhead in the Paci fic Northwest. Mary and Ray supported Foothill Country Day School and The Webb School of California, where they sent their sons. He and Mary loved entertaining and their annual Christmas Eve party was a tradition for many Claremonters. Mary and Ray loved playing bridge with a number of close friends. In retirement, Ray and Mary traveled extensively, jointly pursuing their love of bird watching. Ray is survived by daughter and son-in-law Jane B. and Kyle Sorrells of Clovis, CA, son and daughter-in-law, Wi lliam W. and Donna P. Wetrich of Pasadena, CA; son and daughter-in-law James G. and Nancy Wetrich of Colleyville, TX; his brother Tom Wetrich of Falls Church, VA; and four grandchildren, Marc, Matt, Steven, and Colin. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to the charity of personal choice or the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Habitat for Humanity, the Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Gardens, or the Salvation Army would be appreciated.
Published in Inland Valley Daily Bulletin on June 26, 2007
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