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Published: Tuesday, 7/29/2014 - Updated: 1 year ago

Dr. Melvern A. Ayers [1930-2014]; Physician was 1st OB/GYN director at medical college

Dr. Melvern A. Ayers. Dr. Melvern A. Ayers.

Dr. Melvern A. Ayers, a retired physician from Perrysburg who was an early leader at what was then the Medical College of Ohio, died Sunday.

He was 83.

He was born Nov. 1, 1930 in Millbury to Bert and Hazel Ayers, and graduated from Lake High School in 1948.

After attending Bowling Green State University, he completed medical school at the Ohio State University in 1957. He was a member of Phi Chi medical fraternity.

Afterward, he headed to Detroit for a post-graduate internship and residency at Henry Ford Hospital.

He returned to the area in 1968, becoming the first director of obstetrics and gynecology at what was then the new Medical College of Ohio, now the University of Toledo Medical Center.

At the college, Dr. Ayers emphasized communication between doctors and disadvantaged patients. He urged medical students to integrate themselves into underserved communities, according to a 1969 Blade article about his efforts.

In 1973, Dr. Ayers opened a private practice that was affiliated with Toledo Hospital.

In the mid 1980s, he returned to Detroit. After several positions there, he retired from Wayne State University’‍s college of medicine in 2003.

He volunteered as team physician for Anthony Wayne and St. John’s Jesuit high school athletics.

Dr. Ayers was married to Barbara Jean Heller, whom he met at BGSU and wed in 1954. They raised their children on a Whitehouse area farm where they kept quarter houses, thoroughbreds, and a miniature donkey.

Surviving are his wife, Barbara; daughters, Melanie Calevro, Melissa Weis, and Melinda Ayers; sons, Melvern, Jr., and James II, brother, James; and six grandchildren

Visitation is 3-7 p.m. Thursday and Friday in Witzler Shank Funeral Home, Perrysburg, and 10 a.m. to noon Saturday in Zoar Lutheran Church, Perrysburg, followed by a noon service.

The family suggests tributes to Zoar Lutheran Church or St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Millbury.

Contact Marissa Medansky at: mmedansky@theblade.com or 419-724-6368.

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