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1929 - 2019

Ernest Lorenc, M.D. (DERM ’60)

ERNEST LORENC Springfield, Mo. Ernest died on Nov. 20, 2019, in Springfield, Mo., from bladder cancer. He was born March 10, 1929, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the first of three children born to Josephine (Ptacek-Masha) Lorenc and Frank Lorenc. Ernest grew up and attended Buchanan and McKinley public schools in Cedar Rapids. During grade school summer vacations, he attended Czech School, where he learned the native language of his parents and grandparents. In high school, he lettered in track and music and was inducted into the National Honor Society for his academic achievements. He was known for his clarinet playing, holding first chair clarinet in the concert band for three years. He was awarded first-place honors in local, state and national honor music contests. After graduating from high school, he attended the University of Iowa, where he graduated from the College of Liberal Arts with a BA degree in 1951, and then graduated from the College of Medicine with an MD degree in 1954. He then enlisted in the United States Navy Medical Corps, serving at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Va., for one year and the U.S. Naval Ammunition Depot in Hastings, Neb., for two years, followed by five years serving in the U.S. Naval Reserve Medical Corps, receiving an honorable discharge at the rank of lieutenant commander. He was accepted as a fellow at the Mayo Clinic graduate school in the Department of Dermatology in 1957, graduating in 1960 with a doctorate in dermatology from the University of Minnesota, and became a board-certified dermatologist in 1961. While at the Mayo Clinic he was honored as the first recipient of the research award given by the “O’Leary Society.” In 1960 he moved with his family to Springfield, Mo., and became the partner of W.E. Wooldridge, MD. During the next 35 years he dedicated his life to his family, to his patients and to the medical profession. Ernest served on the Greene County Medical Society (president, 1988), Missouri State Medical Association (vice president, 1989), the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Dermatology and the Missouri Dermatological Association Inc. He was the last surviving member of a group of six dermatologists, of which he was the leader, that founded the Missouri Dermatological Association Inc., and was its first president from 1970 through 1971. He was a 35-year member of the medical staff at St. John’s Hospital (Mercy), Cox Medical Center and dermatology consultant to the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, which awarded him the honor of the longest continuous period of service (35 years) to their medical staff. He was the author of five medical papers and co-authored another eight medical papers, which were all published in peer-reviewed medical journals from 1965 through 1985. However, his greatest pride was his family. His lovely and faithful wife, Marjorie, of 66 years preceded him in death in April of this year. He is survived by his daughter, Jennifer L. Mitchell (husband, Neil); his son, Steven C. Lorenc (wife, Virginia); and his two grandsons, David and Thomas. Their achievements gave him great joy. He was preceded in death by his sister, Josephine Ann Wilson, earlier this year, and is survived by his sister, Camilla Werner, of Loveland, Colo. Other interests during his life included obtaining a private pilot’s license, beekeeping for many years and fishing virtually every one of Ozark’s rivers and streams. Ernest’s love of working with his hands led him to start a second career in woodturning after his retirement. Through the years he won multiple awards and he sold his artistic wood turnings at Waverly House in Springfield. His unique pieces can be found in more than seven countries around the globe. There will be a private funeral for family and special friends only.
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