Dr. Earl W. Wharton, "Doc" |
Dr. Earl W. Wharton, "Doc" to his friends, and "Honey" to his wife, Betty, was born in Akron, OH, July 2nd, 1925, to Dr. L. Earl and Neva Wharton.
Few men could have followed the life that Doctor Wharton laid out for himself. While still in grade school, he was awarded the American Legion Medal as one of two students most likely to succeed. After graduating high school, Docwas one of two students selected to take a physical and mental test to enter the Navy V12 college program at George Williams College in Chicago, after which he entered the Illinois Institute of Technology. He subsequently transferred to the University of Michigan, where he studied Naval Architecture and Marine Engines. Doc graduated and was commissioned as an Engineering Officer for the U.S. Navy, where he served as the ships' superintendent for six months. The war ended and Doc was subsequently honorably discharged from the Navy in September, 1946.
After the war, Doc worked for the Westinghouse Corporation for several months, but it wasn't long before he realized his calling in life would be that of a doctor. He was accepted at Ashland University (Ohio) as a pre-med student where he graduated Cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Chemistry. During his 2 ½ years attending Ashland University, Doc received only one grade below an A-, and that was only because the professor believed there were no perfect students and, thus, no perfect grades. He received a B+ in that Ethics course.
Two degrees and three colleges later, Doc was accepted as a first year medical student at the Jefferson Medical University in Philadelphia, the oldest medical college in the country. While studying there, he became a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, a national honor society for medical students. Doctor Wharton subsequently returned to Akron City Hospital, followed by two years of study in Internal Medicine.
Finally, after ten years of study, four colleges, three degrees, and serving his country in both World War Two and the Korean War, Doctor Wharton put out his shingle at 1257 North Main Street, Akron, Ohio. He tended to his patients, many of whom he would later call his friends. He would make his rounds early in the morning and late at night, while still taking appointments in the office, tending to his patients in nursing homes and, yes, even making house calls. Dr. Wharton would do this every day of the year for the next thirty five years.
Along the way, Doctor Wharton met Betty Batman and the two were married March 24th, 1967. While Doctor Wharton took care of his patients and the landscaping around their home, Betty made sure all the books were in order. As Doc used to say, "I'm too busy tending to my patients to be worrying about the bills".
Among the many accomplishments in Dr. Wharton's life were the publishing of two books: Why Weight, a book on obesity, published in 1990, and The Sword and the Scalpel, published in 2003, about life as a surgeon during the horrific battles of the Civil War. One of the biggest honors bestowed upon Dr. Wharton was his induction into the Summit County Professional Boxing Hall of Fame. He was the dedicated doctor for the Golden Gloves as well as for professional boxing in Akron and Cleveland for over thirty years. In that time, he became acquainted with some of the all-time great fighters of the 20th century: Muhammad Ali, the late Joe Frazier, Ernie Shavers, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, and Joe "The Brown Bomber" Louis. He still keeps in touch with many of the trainers and amateur fighters of his day.
Those that knew Doc knew that as hard as he worked as a doctor, he worked even harder in retirement. He built or renovated two beautiful homesteadsin Ohio and Montana, all with lush landscaping. He was an accomplished artist and painter, where his paintings are hung on walls stretching from Montana to New York, and at the tender age of 84, Doc shot his first Bull Elk with the help of his good friend, AndyLuedtke.
Dr. Wharton was preceded in death by his parents as well as his son, Joseph. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Betty, along with daughters Ruth Ann (Rani) Cargo, husband Tom and granddaughter Vanessa of Akron, Oh., Carol Harvey, husband Bill and grandson Josh of Riverview, Fl., and son Steven Wharton, wife Priya, and granddaughters Laura and Monica of Vera Beach, Fl. He is also survived by a sister, Ann McGill of Edgewater, Fl.
Our many thanks to all the wonderful friends, neighbors and professional people who were so generous with their time and talent.In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Ninepipes Museum of Early Montana in Charlo.
Obituary may be viewed online at www.fosterfhandcrematory.com
Published in Akron Beacon Journal on Mar. 20, 2014