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Richard Walter Prior M.D.

1927 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Richard Walter Prior M.D. Obituary
Richard Walter Prior, M.D.

Naples, FL - PRIOR, Richard Walter M.D. - age 91, of Naples, FL, formerly of Fenton, died Wednesday, May 9, 2018.

"Doc" Prior was born on April 28, 1927 in Saginaw, MI to Ruth Elvira Stewart and Walter Francis Prior. The first of two children, he grew up in the small farm town of Reese, MI, and graduated early from Reese High School. He initially attended the University of Notre Dame and then Michigan State College (now MSU), graduating with a degree in Zoology. He received his medical degree in 1951 from the University of Michigan and completed a medical internship at St. Mary's Hospital in Saginaw. Subsequently, he earned a Master's degree in Public Health from Wayne State University.

After two years in general practice, Dr. Prior entered the US Army in 1954, where he served as a general physician, anesthesiologist, and paratrooper for two years in the 11th and 82nd Airborne Divisions at Fort Campbell and Fort Bragg Army Bases. Following his military service, Dr. Prior and his wife (the former Carol Ruth Fogt of Highland Park, MI), settled in Fenton, MI, where they raised four children. The couple remained in Fenton during his 32 year career at General Motors Corporation; he began as a factory physician in Flint, MI and eventually became GM's Corporate Medical Director before his retirement. He was a member of several professional organizations, including the Industrial Medical Association, and was for a number of years Chairman of the Intern Committee at Hurley Medical Center in Flint. Dr. Prior was an active member of the Fenton Jaycees, Double X club and Rotary. He also served briefly as an appointed member of the Fenton Town Council during the 1960's. His principal hobby was as an amateur radio operator, with the call sign WA8FRX.

Following his retirement, Dr. Prior and his wife Carol spent increasingly longer portions of each year at seasonal homes in Florida: first in Punta Gorda, then Marco Island, and finally at Bentley Village Retirement Community in Naples. They have been year round residents of Naples for the past two years.

Dr. Prior is survived by his wife of 67 years, Carol Prior , their four children Reed Prior (Clinton, MA), Dr. Ross Prior and wife Mary (Coleman, WI), Dr. Beth Diehl ( Baltimore, MD) Judy Peck and husband Larry (Huntington Woods, MI). He is also survived by nine grandchildren; Adam , Colleen , Leigh , Andrew , Lewis , Elana , Jill , Benjamin and Grady.

Interment will be private and held at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly Michigan. Please omit flowers. The family requests that donations be made to the University of Michigan Medical School ( or Rotary International ( in his memory.

Arrangements provided by Sharp Funeral Homes, Fenton Chapel, 1000 Silver Lake Rd., Fenton. Tributes may be shared at



Published in The Detroit News & Detroit Free Press on May 13, 2018
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