Archive for Wednesday, July 17, 1996


July 17, 1996


Dr. Raymond Schwegler helped convince students of the need for a new on-campus hospital.

Dr. Raymond A. Schwegler Jr., a longtime Lawrence physician who died Tuesday, will be remembered for his efforts to provide health care to Kansas University students, a colleague said.

"He is essentially the father of the modern-day health center at KU," said James Strobl, director of KU's Student Health Services.

Services for Schwegler, 88, will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Trinity Episcopal Church with the Rev. Tom Momberg officiating. Burial will be at Oak Hill Cemetery.

Dr. Schwegler, who practiced medicine at KU's Student Health Services for 27 years, died Tuesday, July 16, 1996, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital following a long illness.

"He came up to work at the health center part time in 1958 and he was director of the health center from 1965 to 1973," Strobl said.

Strobl said the Watkins Health Center building now undergoing renovation on KU's campus was Schwegler's idea. Schwegler convinced KU students to build a 32-bed hospital on campus and students voted in 1970 to pay for the bonds through increased fees. The center opened in 1974. Schwegler stayed on the staff until 1986.

In 1991, KU named the road from Naismith Drive to the health center Schwegler Drive in his honor.

"As a person, he was a very true friend," Strobl said. "He was a mentor for me. He was always very polished and always kept a cool hand of what was going on."

Dr. Schwegler was born July 26, 1907, in Ottawa, the son of Dr. Raymond and Eula Leigh Schwegler.

He received a bachelor's degree from KU and a medical degree and a doctoral degree in anatomy from the University of Minnesota. He completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Minnesota. He served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps as a major during World War II.

He married Alice Josephine Wilson in Duluth, Minn., in 1935. They moved to Lawrence where he practiced medicine until 1956, when he became part of the staff, then served as medical director of KU's Student Health Services.

He was a member of AOA Honorary Society and was on the financial advisory board of Bert Nash Mental Health Center. He belonged to the Douglas County Medical Society, the American College of Surgery, the Central Association of Obstetrics/Gynecology and the American College of Obstetrics.

Dr. Schwegler served on the board of the Douglas County Health Department. He was a clinical professor of obstetrics at the KU Medical Center. He was also a 32nd Degree Mason and a member of the Old and New Club and Trinity Episcopal Church.

Survivors include his wife, of the home; two sons, Dr. Raymond A., Shawnee, and David W., Leesville, S.C.; 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a son, Charles, on Nov. 6, 1995.

The family will meet with friends from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Warren-McElwain Mortuary, which is in charge of arrangements.

The family suggests memorials to Trinity Episcopal Church or the Salvation Army. They may be sent in care of the mortuary.

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