Richard Lee “Dick” Dreher, M.D., of Leawood, KS, passed away peacefully on September 7, 2021.
If you’re feeling sad about Dick’s passing, we are confident he would tell you with that glint in his eye to “cut it” because he lived a good, long life, and he’d reassure you that everything is going to be “fine, just fine.”
Dick took great pride in his rural Kansas roots, his military service, his career as a pediatrician and his family.
He was born November 23, 1923 in Luray Kansas to Eva Beeson Dreher and Henry S. Dreher, M.D. Dick was the youngest of three Dreher boys; Henry, Dell, and Dick.
Dick attended the University of Kansas and was a member of Pi Beta Phi Fraternity. He earned his medical degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 1950.
He served in WWII in the Navy on a ship spotting and identifying aircraft. He always found it amusing that he served in the Navy but didn’t really know how to swim. Dick would also tell you he was compelled to enlist because both of his older brothers were serving in the military.
After fifteen years in Salina, KS as a pediatrician in private practice (affectionately known as “Dr. Dick” to his patients,) he joined Children’s Mercy Hospital in 1968 and served as director of the hospital from 1970 to 1986.
Among his career accomplishments, he was most proud of his work raising awareness of child abuse and advocating for legislation in support of Medicaid expansion for children.
He was an avid reader and loved to share books and news articles with his family. He especially loved historical and biographical books about Abraham Lincoln.
Dick was a die-hard KU Jayhawks fan. A little-known fact: Dick lettered in football at KU in 1943. He liked to say he played football to get out of going to gym class.
An athlete for life, he enjoyed tennis and played golf well into his 80’s.
Dick was a lover of musicals (especially Camelot), Nat King Cole, Harry Belafonte, and all marching music.
Dick was lucky enough to marry Anne Gray Dreher when they were both in in their 50’s and they enjoyed many happy years together.
Dick was a very proud grandfather to his slew of grandchildren and great grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his wife Anne and survived by his daughters; Jann Kloor and her family, John, Marie and Jackson Kloor; Elise Dreher and her family; Rachel and Simon Dolginow; Eve Dreher; Marthe Tamblyn and her family Rick, Mac, Hank and Mitch Tamblyn and also his stepchildren; Debbie Jones and her family, Tom Gray and his family and Steve Gray and his family.No service is planned at this time.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be given in Dick’s name to The Children’s Place or Children’s Mercy Hospital, two organizations Dick was passionate about.