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Dr. Robert Ayres, 71 - May 27, 2014

Dr. Robert “Bob” Warren Ayres, MD, FACEP, 71, of Lawrence, KS, formerly of Gothenburg, died suddenly on Tuesday, May 27, 2014.
A service of memorial and celebration will be conducted on Saturday, June 7, at 10 a.m. at Shawnee Heights United Methodist Church, 6020 SE 44th St., at Tecumseh, KS.
Ayres was born at Old General Hospital in Kansas City, MO, on Sept. 15, 1942, the son of Dr. Maurice J. Ayres and Pearl (Baker) Ayres.
He grew up in Gothenburg, graduating from Gothenburg High School in 1961. He loved to fly, according to family members, and began pursuing his solo pilot’s license while still in high school.
Ayres entered the University of Nebraska as a pre-med student, completing his undergraduate and medical degrees in 1968. He then began post-graduate training in general surgery at Omaha.
His medical training was interrupted by his service with the U.S. Army and he was stationed in Korea during the Vietnam War. Upon his return to the States, he continued post-graduate training in Omaha, ultimately becoming board certified in both family medicine and emergency medicine.
Ayres practiced family medicine with his father in Gothenburg for four and one-half years before moving to Kansas City to specialize in emergency medicine. He was one of the founding physicians of Hospital Emergency Physicians, Inc. (HEP) which became Metro Emergency Physicians, LLP (MEP) at St. Luke’s Health System of Kansas City. He practiced emergency medicine at St. Luke’s from 1978 to 1999.
He met his wife, Dr. W. Jean (Arnold) Ayres, in 1985, while she was an internal medicine resident at St. Luke’s Hospital. The couple were married on May 21, 1988, and resided in the Kansas City area before moving to Lawrence, KS, in 2009.
Ayres and his wife shared life in every way, accompanying each other in the routine of each day, supporting each other’s interests, continuing to study and learn together, and extending the gifts of their marriage generously with their friends and “adopted” families, said family members.
?He was a brilliant physician and truly loved by everyone he worked with at St. Luke’s, within HEP/MEP, and everyone he met, the family said. He was a life-long learner, constantly challenging his intellect with vigorous reading and study. He had the capacity to retain volumes of information, from the trivial to the critical knowledge necessary as a medical professional.
Ayres also practiced the martial art of Aikido and self-disciplined exercise. He played the ancient board game GO, gathering weekly with a GO group in Overland Park, KS.
He was an ongoing member of Tuesday Evening at Marty’s (TEAM), a small group dedicated to contemporary religious study, and was a committed volunteer physician at the Kansas City Care Clinic and the Lawrence Public Library. He was a member of Shawnee Heights United Methodist Church in Tecumseh.
Ayres was preceded in death by: his parents, Dr. Maurice and Pearl Ayres; step-mother, Irene.
Survivors include: his wife of 26 years, Jean; his sister, Nancy (Dennis) Stara of Lincoln; a step-brother, Ray Staples of Cheyenne, WY; step-sister, Erin Bader of Abiquiu, NM.
Memorial donations are suggested to the Kansas City Care Clinic and the Gothenburg High School Foundation, and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th St., Lawrence, KS 66044.

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