Gerald Stephen Buerk, M.D. - Born in Columbus OH September 10, 1936 to William and Anne M. Buerk died November 3, 2012 in Oxford, OH. His stepmother was Juanita McVey Buerk. He was graduated from Miami University in 1958 and The Ohio State University College of Medicine with a Doctorate of Medicine (1966).
He lived two lives. The anchoring thread from his first life was the foundation that connected and guided his belief system and allowed him to live a full and rich life after a stroke on his 50th birthday. The foundation included a strong belief in honesty, hard work and being true to oneself. He got many leadership skills from Boys Scouts, becoming an Eagle Scout, and from being President of the Miami Inter-fraternity council. Upon graduation as an ROTC member, he spent three years in the United States Marine Corp with Matthew J. Crehan of Hamilton when both men became lifelong friends and challenged one another to become leaders in the field of law and medicine.
In 1967 he married Ellen Plummer of Eaton who he met in Oxford prior to medical school. They returned to Oxford in 1971 fulfilling his lifelong ambition of living in the northeast corner of Oxford in the Mile Square and reading his Oxford Press (new every Thursday) on his front stoop. He took great pride in delivering high quality ophthalmologic care to the citizens of Hamilton and Oxford and was proud to be a part of the Medical Staff of McCullough Hyde and Fort Hamilton Hospitals. He was a runner up as Oxford Citizen of the Year in 1979, and part of the leadership team of the Butler County Medical Society in 1985. He received the Saurers Award for Outstanding accomplishments from the NROTC of Miami and was an honorary member of Phi Beta Kappa. (Elected with Donna Shalala, HHS Secretary 1993) With others, he was instrumental in fluoridating Oxford water.
After his stroke with limited speech and mobility, he was determined to be part of the Oxford Medical Community. For 25 years he went to his desk at Oxford Pediatrics and Adolescents where he could catch up with daily activities in the office. He participated fully in family life, enjoyed his lifelong friends Jackie and Terry Hunt, Jim and Pam Robinson, Jerry and Jane Flueckiger, and his brother Kenneth Buerk. He was resilient and grabbed opportunities when they arose including running for political office in a Precinct that had 6 permanent residents assuring his victory and giving him the opportunity to meet national political figures that would come to Oxford and Butler County. Most of his entire goal was to give his wife, whom he cherished, the opportunity to have leadership roles in her own right.
"Never give up…if I do these things I can accomplish my goals, get meaning out of life with the hand I am dealt". Happy, and anchored, his Mantra was A+++….A sign of a good job my friend.
He is survived by his wife, Ellen, brother Ken, children: Bruce (Rahda Reddy), Stephen (Tonya Zeppelin), Betsy (Jeff Chabot) and Phillip (Erin) and sister-in-law Ann Swiger. Grandchildren; Asha Ellen Buerk, Mira I Buerk, Nikhil Buerk, Ansel Buerk, Tova Buerk, Charlie Chabot, Hank Chabot, Ellen Chabot, Milo Buerk and Delia Buerk, cousin Molly Swiger (Rolandes Tumas) and nephew Lukas Tumas. Special thanks to Scott Arnold, a special, caring family friend.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to Reach Out and Read (Kiwanis), Pediatric Fund of McCullough Hyde Hospital, Buerk Fund for Children at the Oxford Community Foundation or the Paul and Alice Plummer Scholarship at Miami University.