Dr. Gerald Allen Dierdorff (Doc), 90, a long-time Sunnyside resident and Osteopathic physician and surgeon, passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009, in Sunnyside.
Gerald was born Dec. 27, 1918 in Loveland, Colo. to Rev. Hugh Dierdorff and Carrie Dierdorff.
Most of his childhood was spent within the Midwest states of Nebraska and Iowa.
He graduated from Omaha North High School in Omaha, Neb., honored by membership in the National Honor Society. Gerald then entered a church college of York, Neb., where he took pre-medical studies and also participated in tennis and football. He was editor of the college newspaper. Upon graduation from York, he entered the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery at Des Moines, Iowa. While in Des Moines he met Margaret Fay Brooks and later, in 1942, he married her while he was still a medical student.
Upon his graduation the couple then moved to Detroit, Mich., where Doc interned at the Detroit Osteopathic Hospital. Upon his completion of internship, the couple moved to Medford, Ore. in 1945. While in Medford the Dierdorffs were blessed with three children, Larry, Todd and Barbara.
In 1957, Doc took surgical residency at Des Moines General Hospital. Upon completion, the family moved to Sunnyside in 1959.
Dr. Dierdorff then established office in Sunnyside but drove daily to Yakima, where he served as a surgeon at New Valley Osteopathic Hospital for several years. Doctor Dierdorff worked as both a general surgeon and general practitioner in the Sunnyside area until 1981, when he retired and went with Fay, to Cameroon, West Africa, to be a medical missionary, for four and one-half months. They returned in 1983 for three more months of service.
After his return from Africa, Dr. Dierdorff was busily involved in the local food bank as a volunteer worker. He was also active in several local boards, including those of the church, Kiwanis Club, the hospital, Good Samaritan, Horizon and others.
While a member here at Sunnyside Methodist Church he was elected lay minister for a few years and he occasionally preached in the minister's absence. During that time and since, he also served for several years as treasurer of the Sunnyside Ministerial Association.
He is survived by two sons, Larry Dierdorff (Gail) and Todd Dierdorff; one daughter, Barbara Hawkins (Raymon); several grandchildren; and great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Fay in May of 2000.
Viewing and visitation will be held today, Dec. 21, 2009, from 1 to 6 p.m. at Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009, at 1 p.m. at United Methodist Church in Sunnyside, with burial to be held at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens in Sunnyside.
The family of Dr. Dierdorff would like to thank Sun Terrace and Lower Valley Hospice for all the love and care given over the years.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sunnyside United Methodist Church or Lower Valley Hospice.
Those wishing to leave a memory or sign Gerald's online memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com
Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside is in charge of arrangements.