Dr. Richard Roland Grayson, M.D., 85, of Batavia, died Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010, at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, Ill.
He was born in Chicago on Oct. 21, 1925, the son of Roland Howard Grayson and Sylvia Jeanette Mandelbaum. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserve as a student at Wabash College and at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, and in the U.S. Air Force Reserve as a medical officer at the rank of captain for the U.S. Air Force Training Command.
He practiced medicine, specializing in internal medicine, with certification in electrocardiography, from 1948 until two weeks before his death. Although he had a private medical practice, he was also active in research, publishing 15 articles in medical journals during the 1950s, including an often-cited study on the thyroid gland that was buried in a time capsule at the New York World’s Fair, and an article describing a new disease that he discovered, “Silo Filler’s Disease”; he continued to publish thereafter.
He moved his family to St. Charles in 1963, joined the staff at Delnor Hospital, and set up his private practice on Main Street, just steps from the Fox River, with a laboratory and multiple examination rooms. He was a brilliant diagnostician who often solved medical cases in an instant that had stumped other doctors, and he invented a way to save the life of his own premature baby daughter.
Inspired by his interest in the relationship between stress and stomach ulcers, in 1971 he founded the American Academy of Stress Disorders. In 1975, People Magazine ran a feature story on him for allowing patients to reduce his charges to them at will, as described in an article of his in “Medical Economics.”
From 1960 to 2010, he was a Senior Federal Aviation Medical Examiner for the FAA, and he has certified thousands of pilots as fit to fly. He was Chair of the Department of Medicine at Delnor 1987-1989 and chair of the Bioethics Committee 1991-1995.
He was an amateur radio operator and a genealogist with three ancestors on the Mayflower, and a member of the societies for the Mayflower Descendants, the Sons of the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War.
He was a forceful person with a lot of drive and an avid reader who enjoyed wide-ranging discussions about religion, philosophy, science, current events and politics with his relatives, friends, pilots and patients.
He was preceded in death in 1991 by his first wife, June Lind Grayson. Survivors include his wife, Bobbie Gerbrecht Grayson; his children with June, Daniel Richard Grayson (Carol Livingstone), Kristin Emilie Grayson, Rebecca Grayson (Gregory) Jaxon, and Janelle Grayson (Randy) Ream; his step-children with Bobbie, Julie Gerbrecht (Elliott) Baumgartner and Arno Robert Gerbrecht (Jenn Vogel); his sisters, Patricia Jebavy and Priscilla Rutter; 13 grandchildren and four step-grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
His website is http://doctorgrayson.com.
Visitation will be from 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28, at Malone Funeral Home, 324 E. State St., Geneva. He will lie in state at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in St. Charles from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 29; the service begins at 10:30 a.m., followed by burial at Garfield Cemetery. Memorial donations to a charity of the donor’s choice are welcome.