Richard L. Shorkey
Richard L. Shorkey '38 died on June 17, 2004. He was eighty-eight and a resident of Beaumont, Texas.
Richard was a member of Sigma Pi fraternity and also a member of Kenyon's first swimming team. He majored in biology and went on to earn a medical degree from the Ohio State University School of Medicine. His residency in New Orleans was interrupted by World War II. He served as a U.S. Navy medical officer in the Southwest Pacific.
After the war, Richard settled with his wife, Lois, in Beaumont, where he devoted himself to the practice of orthopedic surgery. Lois died in 1987.
For many years he devoted his time and energy to the Cerebral Palsy Center. In 1989, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation created the Dr. Richard L. Shorkey Award for Exceptional Service to Handicapped Children and honored him as the first recipient. In 2001, Beaumont dedicated the Richard L. Shorkey Education and Rehabilitation Center in his name.
In a profile published in the Alumni Bulletin in January 2003, Richard said, "I've always thought that being a doctor was the highest profession in the world and I still do. I'm still awed that I became a physician."
In 1985, Richard retired from his surgical practice and became medical director of Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital, serving in that capacity until 1992. When questioned about his role at the hospital, his comment in his low-key but humorous fashion was, "When you deal with Irish sisters, you're never in charge."
Richard was a gifted painter and he exhibited both his own work and works that he collected, including some James
Whistler etchings. In 1997, he exhibited a selection of fifteen of his paintings at the Art Museum of Southeast Texas (AMSET). He was an honorary life trustee of AMSET and also endowed a symphony chair at Lamar University as well as a nursing scholarship. Friends and family remember him for his exceptional generosity with both his material goods and his spirit.
Richard is survived by his four daughters, Elinor Jean Shorkey, Mary Shorkey Hager, Carol Shorkey Parker, and Alice Shorkey Butrum; seven grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and a brother, Edward S. Shorkey '45.
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