LTC WILLIS LEO DAMSCHRODER, MD of Tucson, AZ died peacefully in his home on December 14, 2018 after a long battle with heart disease and cancer. He was born in Gibsonburg, Ohio on April 10, 1935 to Ralph Leo and Helen Margaret (Kolkemeyer) Damschroder and baptized on 12 May 1935 at Zion Lutheran Church. He attended Gibsonburg High School, graduating valedictorian of his class in 1953. He had dreamed of a career in the sport he loved, baseball, but polio interrupted and, after graduating from Capital University, Columbus, he received his Doctorate from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He completed a 3-year residency in Family Practice Medicine in Cuyahoga Falls, OH. After residency he returned to his hometown of Gibsonburg assuming Dr Agnew’s practice where he practiced medicine for 20 years. ‘Doc’ Damschroder said the best part of his family practice was delivering babies because he enjoyed bringing life into the world. His first wife was Anne Elizabeth (Althoff) with whom he raised three of their children in Gibsonburg. ‘Doc’ Damschroder later answered the Air Force call for Flight Surgeons. Lt Col Damschroder served from Davis-Monthan AFB with tours of duty at Ramstein AB, Germany, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He married his second wife, Eva (Scholey, Clink) in 1986, raising step-grandchildren in Tucson, AZ together. He had a passion for flying from the time he flew with his brother, Earl, well past earning his private pilot’s license in the 70s. Other passions included golf, coin and stamp collecting, puzzles, travel, and watching wildlife, including hummingbirds. He was a loyal fan of the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions, and the University of Arizona sports. He was loved and will be missed by all.
Willis was preceded in death by his parents, daughter Susan, and brothers’ and sisters’-in-law Glenn (Ruth Gnepper) and Earl (Fran Heineman) Damschroder. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Eva (Scholey, Clink), children Kathryn (Inocencio) Orta of Virginia, Mark Damschroder, Patricia (Kirk) Saunders of Colorado, step-children Cyndee Clink and Larry (Letie) Clink of Arizona; grandchildren Kayla, Victoria, Chencho, and Christopher Orta, Katrina and Ellise Damschroder; Erin (Zak) Klecker and Travis Saunders, Taylor and Brennan Treen, Jonathan Jurovcik, Anthony (Yvette) and Christina Santa Cruz; 3 great-grandchildren and many other relatives.
Family and friends are invited to the Herman-Veh Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Gibsonburg, on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018 from 2-4 & 6-8 p.m. Funeral Services for Willis will be held at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church Friday, Dec. 21st at 10:30 a.m. where he will lie in state one hour prior to the start of the service. Pastor Blair Miller will officiate.
Burial with Military Honors will follow at West Union Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers the family asks donations be made to Desert Hope Lutheran church, 7474 E. Speedway Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85710; Zion Evangelical Lutheran church, 500 S. Brentwood Dr., Gibsonburg, OH 43431; University of Cincinnati Foundation, PO Box 19970, Cincinnati, OH 45219; or Capital University, E. Main St & College Ave, Bexley, OH 43209.