Armand William Gehring, M.D., (Bill AKA “Doc”) age 79, of Hazen, North Dakota, passed away on January 15, 2019 in Beulah, ND. Services will be held at 10:00 AM CDT on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at Peace Lutheran Church, Hazen with Pastor Mark Martin officiating. Burial will follow at 2:00 PM at the North Dakota Veteran’s Cemetery, Mandan, ND.
Visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 PM on Monday, January 21 at Barbot Funeral Home, Hazen.
Bill Gehring was born in Underwood, ND, to Elsie (Vetter) and Emanuel Gehring on August 18, 1939. He was the second youngest of six children- in birth order: Virgil, Darlene, Eloy, Delton, Bill and Bob. The family lived in Washburn, ND where Bill’s father built the family home. It still stands today. Bill went to elementary and high school in Washburn. While in high school, Bill decided he wanted to become a medical doctor. He proceeded to achieve his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of North Dakota (UND) and from there studied at the University of Minnesota where he received his Doctorate of Medicine.
After completing his residency, Bill enlisted in the Air Force, was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, and was assigned as a Flight Surgeon on a Lockheed SR -71. The SR-71 was nicknamed the Blackbird- a long-range, secret spy plane that flew reconnaissance over North Vietnam, the Soviet Union, and China during the Vietnam War. It is during this time that Bill realized one of his most beloved passions- golf. Bill played religiously with friends, family, and colleagues, and only stopped when his body wouldn’t let him play anymore. Bill said that golf was meditative and therapeutic for him and shared at one point during a dark time in his life “golf saved me”.
Bill met his first wife, Joan Hussey, at UND, and later married on June 30, 1961. They moved to San Jose, California so Bill could finish his Pathology residency at Valley Medical Hospital. Bill and Joan had two daughters: Jane Elizabeth Gehring (Hintz) and Susan Jennifer Gehring. Bill and Joan divorced in 1972 and Bill eventually settled in Garrison, ND where he practiced medicine for a short time. In Garrison he met Gloria Rodahl Healy. They were married on June 29, 1979 and moved to Hazen, ND, where Bill would practice medicine for 32 years at the Gehring Clinic in General Practice. Gloria and Bill had two daughters, Ashley McKenna and Stacy Giacomazzi, and divorced in 2016, after 37 years together.
The Gehring Clinic, in which Bill founded, was the primary healthcare facility in the town. “Doc” was a pivotal individual in Hazen and the surrounding communities, always providing selfless care to his patients.
Not only was Bill active with the Gehring Clinic, he was also the County Coroner and Chief of Staff at Sakakawea Medical Center. Bill said that his favorite thing about being a doctor was delivering babies in Mercer County. In fact, once his daughter Susie was waiting at the Bismarck airport and started up a conversation with a young man next to her. Susie mentioned she was on her way to see her father Bill Gehring. He said, “Oh, Doc? He delivered me!”
Bill loved his family more than anything. His daughters and grandchildren were the most important things in life to him, with golf and football (Go Vikings!) following closely behind. All of his surviving family loved him deeply and are missing him dearly.
Bill is survived by his daughters, Jane and her husband, Robert Hintz (San Jose, CA); Susie Gehring and her spouse, Jennifer Nadeau (Oakland, CA); Ashley and her husband, Aaron McKenna (Hazen, ND); and Stacy Giacomazzi (Hazen, ND); his grandchildren, Ethan and Emma Hintz, Remi and Claire Nadeau, Brooklyn, Brynn, and Brennen Stern, Asher, Addy and Alaina McKenna, Paige Giacomazzi; his ex-wife, Gloria Gehring; and his companion, Shelly Rosenau.
Bill is preceded in death by his parents, Elsie and Emanuel Gehring; siblings Virgil, Darlene, Eloy, Delton, and Bob, and his first wife, Joan Gehring.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Doc’s name to Hazen Golf Course, Sakakawea Medical Center, Hazen or Knife River Care Center, Beulah
Arrangements are conducted by Barbot Funeral Home.