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Gladbrook Icon passes Dr. L. G. “Doc” Schaeferle dies at age 100

August 10, 2012
Northern-Sun Print

Dr. Lawrence Schaeferle, 100, of Gladbrook passed away Tuesday, August 7, 2012, at his residence. Visitation will be held Friday, August 10, 2012, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Peace United Church of Christ at Gladbrook. Funeral services will be held Saturday, August 11, 2012, 10:00 a.m., at Peace United Church of Christ in Gladbrook. Online condolences may be sent to

From an article by Margaret Thomsen, "Dr. Schaeferle, June Bessman, and Rev. Doner honored at Peace Church".

Dr. L.G. Schaeferle was born in the tiny town of Havolock, IA on January 25, 1912. (We are celebrating a bit early as he is a snow bird and will leave for Florida in about two weeks.) At six months of age his father, a depot agent, was transferred to Garwin, IA. He graduated from Garwin High School in 1929.

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Dr. Schaeferle earned a BA from Cornell College at Mount Vernon, Iowa and entered the University of Iowa for Medical School. He graduated from Iowa in 1936 and did an internship in Madison, Wisconsin and in Galveston, Texas.

When asked about a funny incident in his career Dr. Schaeferle related this story. It was his freshman year in med school and just before the Thanksgiving holiday his anatomy professor called him in and said he might just as well quit med school and stay home after Thanksgiving, as he was never going to make it. Doc says he went home for Thanksgiving and did not have the heart to tell his Dad.

Doc decided to go back to school and try it anyway. He had to take a final oral exam for the semester. The students got to choose which professor gave them the exam. Doc chose the professor who told him to quit. On the day of the test the professor handed Doc a bone and asked what it was. Doc said, "I had no idea and finally told the professor, "I don't know." So the professor reached down and held out another bone and on the bone was clearly written "promotory". That was the name of the bone. I think it was a set up job. I got a B for the course. And as they say, the rest is history."

As seniors the med students were asked who they admired. And Dr. Schaeferle said, "I named my anatomy professor."

Dr. Schaeferle began his medical practice in Gladbrook in 1938. He and his wife, Tommy, were parents to Mark and Karen. In 1941 he received notice that he was to report to active duty to fight in World War II. He spent time overseas on the battle front caring for injured soldiers. In 1945 he returned to Gladbrook to resume his medical career.

In 1978 Dr. Schaeferle sold his practice to Dr. Lund and he continued to work full time for one year and then part time for two years. Full retirement began in 1981.

In 1965 Doc married Mary Jane Blaine and she and her three children, Jodi, Larry and Chuck, came to Gladbrook. Between the two of them they are parents of five, grandparents to twelve and great-grandparents to fifteen.

Doc said when he came to Gladbrook he was a Methodist, but, "I liked Rev. Barton's attitude, I enjoyed his sermons and I could follow them." And Dr. Schaeferle remains an active member of Peace Church and is also our oldest member.



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