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In Memoriam

It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Dr. Russell Dohner. Our beloved community doctor died peacefully in his sleep on Friday, August 7th at 2:45 a.m. Dr. Dohner spent his entire adult life as a healer, psychologist, and friend to families of Rushville. Each one of us not only grieves at the passing of a tremendous individual, but also for the loss his family suffers.

Dr. Dohner was born on a farm in Fulton County in 1925. He was a veteran of World War II. After serving in the military, he attended Western Illinois State College as one of the first pre-medical students and completed his education, using the GI Bill, at Northwestern Medical School. Dr. Dohner began serving the residents of Rushville and the surrounding communities in 1955.

He practiced medicine in Rushville for almost 60 years, where he routinely made house calls for $2.00 per visit, and was upset when he had to increase his fee to $5 per visit. His selflessness gained him national attention as he was featured in People Magazine, NBC Nightly News, the Today Show, and other publications and media.

“If Dr. Dohner was ever tired, he never showed it. His jacket remained on, his tie was never loose, and his fingers never shook, even if he had been up for 24 hours” said Lynn Stambaugh, CEO of Sarah D. Culbertson Memorial Hospital. “Each time he entered an exam room he greeted his patients with a voice that is as warm as a comforting flannel.”

Most everyone in Rushville and the surrounding communities knew or knew of Dr. Dohner. He would routinely stop to chat with patients who weren’t even under his care at the time. And in a way, Dr. Dohner played a part in small town Americana that now only exists in people’s imaginations and in Norman Rockwell paintings.

Dr. Dohner will forever live on in a statute that was erected in his honor and sits on the square of his hometown of Rushville, Illinois, across from the office he practiced in for 59 years.

Worthington Funeral Home will be in charge of the arrangements. In lieu of flowers the family requests a memorial to be sent to one of the following charities: CMH Foundation, Rushville First United Methodist Church, Rushville Parks, Do Something, Inc., Vermont, IL, Vermont Parks and Cemetery, Astoria Parks and Cemetery, WIU Foundation or donor’s choice.

For more information, please contact Molly Sorrell, Director of Marketing and Community Relations at 217-322-5269.

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