Long time Turlock physician, Kenneth Mitchem, passed away July 25, 2016, in Vancouver, WA, where he had moved recently to be closer to his family.
Dr. Mitchem was born in Missouri in 1930 and graduated from medical school in 1955 fulfilling his dream of becoming a physician. . He practiced at Lake of the Ozarks for 10 years, sometimes being the only doctor in the county. He came to California for surgery training, then moved to Turlock in 1969 when he joined the practice of Dr. Todd and Dr. Washburn. He did general surgery at the old Emanuel hospital then did General Practice until he retired in 2008 at age 78. He was the Medical Director for Elness Convalescent Hospital and served on the Board of the Stanislaus Medical Society for many years where he was voted Physician of the Year in 2003. He was a Board member for Creative Alternatives for 20 years, a charity which provides care and educational services for foster children.
He loved music, had an 11 member dance band when he was in college, and enjoyed square dancing and clogging. Ken loved sports, especially basketball, and routed for the Golden State Warriors. He was very interested in politics and was a staunch Republican. He once shook hands with Vice President Dick Cheney at a fund raising dinner. Ken enjoyed time with his family, playing bridge, attending the annual family reunion in Missouri, and boating on Lake Shasta and the Descutes River with his children and grandchildren.
Although in declining health of late, he maintained his sense of humor and optimism. He loved his family and was very proud of his three sons, Steven, Gregory and Randy, seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren. A foyer at his alma mater, the University of Kansas City, will be named in his honor. He will be remembered fondly by his family, friends, colleagues and a multitude of patients.