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William Lawler, Jr. MD Obituary

William H. Lawler, Jr. MD
William H. Lawler, Jr. MD

September 17, 1928 - November 8, 2017
Born in Oakland, California
Resided in Salinas, California
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William H. Lawler, Jr MD passed away peacefully at home, with his wife of 62 years by his side, on November 8, 2017. He was 89 years old. He was born on September 17, 1928 and spent the majority of his life in Salinas. During the Depression he lived at Walker Mine in Northern California while his father worked as the company doctor. He then lived in Yosemite Valley where his father served as a physician caring for injured soldiers recovering during World War II. After his family returned to Salinas, he attended Lincoln Elementary School, Washington Junior High school and graduated from Salinas High School, as Valedictorian. He was involved in the Boy Scouts of America and became one of the first Eagle Scouts in Salinas. He then went on to Stanford University and Stanford University Medical School. He completed his General Surgery Residency at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri where he met his wife, Janice. He served in the Navy during the Korean War as a physician at Litchfield Park in Arizona. After completing his surgical residency, he returned to Salinas to go into medical practice with his father in their office on John Street.
While living in Salinas, Dr. Lawler skillfully and kindly cared for the people of Salinas through his surgical practice. His calm and compassionate demeanor combined with amazing skills and strong work ethic changed the lives of countless people. He held office hours 6 days a week, visited his patients in the hospital daily and often returned to the hospital in the middle of the night to handle emergencies.
He was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, Elks Club, Masonic Temple, Rotary Club, Salinas Jaycees and served as the doctor “in the chutes” at the Salinas Rodeo. But Bill’s real interests were centered on his family - spending time driving the boat at Lake Tahoe, riding horses and rounding up cattle at his family’s ranch, and traveling the world. After his retirement he and Janice had incredible adventures, hiking and driving in some of the most beautiful and remote spots of the world. Bill was a dedicated father to his 5 children and took great pride in their lives, accomplishments and families. He always put his wife, family and community before himself.

Bill is survived by his wife, Janice, son Bill (Julie), daughter Kathleen (John), son Kenneth (Anne), daughter Diane, and son Bruce (Trish). He was “Papa” to 17 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be held on Friday, November 17, 2017 from 3 PM-7 PM at Struve and Laporte Chapel, 41 W. San Luis Street, Salinas, CA. 93901.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, December 10, 2017 at 3 PM at Corral de Tierra Country Club. Everyone is welcome to attend.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Foundation.




Struve and Laporte Funeral Chapel
41 West San Luis Street
Salinas, CA US 93901
Friday, November 17, 2017
3:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Celebration of Life
Corral de Tiera Country Club
81 Corral de Tierra Road
Salinas, CA US 93908
Sunday, December 10, 2017
3:00 PM


Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Foundation
450 East Romie Lane
Salinas, CA US 93901