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Robert Staughton Vannix

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Robert Staughton Vannix Obituary
May 29, 1926 - May 14, 2015 Robert "Bob" Staughton Vannix completed his humanitarian efforts on 14 May 2015, age 88. He was "a body in motion" that finally came to rest in the home he had made in Glendale, CA, 51 years ago. He was born in Grant City, Missouri, on May 29, 1926, the second of three children (all boys) of Eloise Staughton Vannix and Cecil Hobart Vannix, Sr. His childhood was in small towns and road camps of the Midwest. He first moved to Glendale with family in 1938, and distinguished himself academically, graduating from Glendale Union Academy in 1943 as class president. His post-secondary education began at Walla Walla College, where he met his future wife and life partner, the lovely Evelyn Ruth Gerling; however, his call to service in WWII interrupted both school and romance. He was honorably discharged from the Army in July 1947. He resumed his illustrious academic achievements at La Sierra College, married his sweetheart Evelyn in 1947, and graduated as class president with a BA in Biology in 1949. He then prevailed on the long road to achieve his dream of being a surgeon, attending the College of Medical Evangelists (now Loma Linda University Medical School), earning his MD in the class of 1953-B, then completing internship, residencies, and thoracic surgery fellowship at Los Angeles County Hospital (now LAC-USC). His first surgical practice was in Riverside, CA, and it was at about that time that the couple welcomed their only child, Kelley Michelle; but within a year they moved "back home" to Glendale for Bob to join the prestigious surgical group of Joergenson & Prout. For the next 34 years, he practiced the arts of vascular, thoracic, and general surgery at Glendale Adventist Medical Center and other local institutions, as well as maintaining professorships with LAC-USC and LLUMC. His "retirement" from that group was to practice part-time at Jerry L. Pettis VA Medical Center for more than another decade. Dr. Vannix's work ethic was legendary, but he also managed to pursue many avocations with similar passion. He was an amateur photographer extraordinaire, and images he captured grace many a good friend's wall. He appreciated and collected the art of professionals as well, and supported the arts community regionally, as well as that of Southwest US Indians. He and Evelyn traveled, supported both of their extended families in innumerable ways, and gave back generously to the community of which they had become an integral part; in total, Bob lived in Glendale for well over 60 years. He lost his beloved wife "Oney" in late 2010; he was also predeceased by his parent, and his older brother, Cecil Hobart Vannix, Jr. He is survived by his younger brother, George Lea Vannix, of Somis, CA, his daughter, Kelley Shaffer, of Redlands, CA, 4 granddaughters and 2 great-granddaughters, one sister-in-law, 3 cousins, 7 nieces and 5 nephews, and a host of adoring friends and more distant relatives, as well as by a human race that he served magnanimously and with distinction, from whom nary a day passed without expressions of deep gratitude for his acts of assistance. A memorial service will be held at the Church of the Recessional at Forest Lawn, 1712 S. Glendale Avenue, Glendale, CA 91205, at 1:00 P.M. on Friday, May 29, 2015. Memorial contributions will be welcomed by his two collegiate alma maters: Walla Walla University, 204 South College Avenue, College Place, WA 00324, (800) 541-8900; and La Sierra University, 4500 Riverwalk Parkway, Riverside, CA 92515, (800) 874-5587.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on May 28, 2015
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