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Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home, Inc. - Springfield
1947 East Seminole Street
Springfield, MO 65804
417-886-9994
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Charles Rex Witherspoon Dds


1923 - 2019
Charles Rex Witherspoon Dds Obituary
Charles Rex Witherspoon, DDS

Springfield - Charles Rex Witherspoon, DDS, passed away peacefully January 7, 2019 at home with his family by his side. He was 95.

Rex will be remembered for his integrity, work ethic, and for the love of his fellow man. He was beloved by his family, friends, church community, and professional community with whom he worked for more than 60 years. Rex was described by his dear family and friends as a man whose joy and kindness was contagious. His nurses often said, "When Dr. Witherspoon walks into a room, it's like turning on the sun." That's just it, his presence brightened the lives of all he encountered. From his patients and colleagues to the people he passed on the street, Rex's infectious happiness knew no bounds.

Rex joined the world on October 29, 1923 to parents Harry and Lucy Witherspoon of Springfield, MO. He grew up in a modest home on the north side of Springfield as the oldest of three children. He graduated from Springfield Senior High School in 1941 and went on to study at Drury University. In 1942, Rex put his studies on hold to do what his generation did, serve his country. He joined the Navy. His Naval service included overseas duty aboard the U.S.S. Providence, CL-82 and the U.S.S. Albany, CA-123. In the midst of his naval service, Rex attended Washington University School of Dental Medicine where he received his doctorate degree. He went on to complete his post graduate work in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Chicago and his Oral Surgery Fellowship in Kansas City.

In 1952, Rex returned to Springfield and founded the firm that became Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Group, Ltd (OMS). Dr. Witherspoon continued work at OMS until his retirement in 2013 after more than 60 years of work as an oral surgeon. OMS continues to be a pivotal surgery center in Springfield with five surgeons and a large staff to carry on Dr. Witherspoon's legacy.

As if his work in Springfield weren't enough, he spread his positive impact on the profession of dentistry around the world. Rex traveled to Nicaragua for 15 years as a Dental Team Leader for Project Hope where he worked with a team of other doctors to meet the medical needs of men, women, and children living in poverty. His last trip to Nicaragua was taken at age 87.

Rex's dedication to his career and the advancement of oral surgery did not end at 5:00 pm. He was very involved with professional affairs on the local, state, national, and international levels serving in multiple leadership roles. In 2012, Rex was awarded the Missouri Dental Association's Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his many years of service and dedication to organized dentistry and the dental profession.

Not only was he active in the dentistry world, Rex spent much of his free time involved with philanthropic organizations in the Springfield community serving as an officer on the boards of multiple community organizations. His altruism, philanthropy, and generosity were a beautiful part of his character garnering him admiration and respect from everyone he came in contact with.

Rex married his wife Jan late in life. They wed in California in 1998 and went on to thrive in a wonderful harmonious life together. They made family the center of their lives and greatly enjoyed visiting their combined seven children who live throughout the United States and overseas. They loved hiking, golfing, and traveling together. Rex often gushed that Jan was his best friend and the love of his life. Together they enjoyed 20 blissful years.

Rex was valued by his numerous colleagues and friends as a deeply thoughtful mentor and advisor and will be missed by many. He was a member of Second Baptist Church where he made lifelong friends through worship and fellowship. He also was a long-term member of Hickory Hills Country Club where he enjoyed golfing.

Rex's greatest passion was to live a life of integrity and to make a difference in the lives of others. He was certainly successful in this endeavor as he leaves behind a bounty of family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and patients that deeply valued his effect on their lives.

Rex is survived by his wife Jan; son Dr. Douglas Witherspoon and his wife Pat of Birmingham, AL; daughter Dr. Valerie Witherspoon of Los Angeles, CA; daughter Megan Witherspoon of Jacksonville, FL; daughter Allyson Witherspoon of Tokyo, Japan; son Dr. Robert Witherspoon and his wife Asha of Dallas, TX; stepson Andrew Dellbringge of Shawnee Mission, KS; stepson Robby Roberts of Clemson, SC; sister Pat and her husband Dr. George Poulos and their children and grandchildren; brother Dr. Jim Witherspoon and his wife Becky and their children and grandchildren; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren of his own.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 am, Friday, January 11, 2019 at Second Baptist Church, under the care of Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home. Visitation will be Thursday, January 10, 2019 from 5pm to 7pm at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to , Project Hope, or Itus Virtus Foundation of Springfield, Missouri in Rex's name, or to the . Online condolences may be made at gormanscharpf.com.
Published in the News-Leader from Jan. 9 to Jan. 10, 2019
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