Buchner, William F.

U.S. Army Veteran Was Longtime General Surgeon In Chattanooga

Thursday, September 28, 2017
William Buchner
William Buchner

Dr. William F. Buchner, 83, died on September 26, 2017. 

He was born in Chattanooga on June 29, 1934 to Dr. Edward F. Buchner, Jr. and Frances Nailos Buchner. 

After attending Missionary Ridge Elementary School and Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, he graduated from The Baylor School, where he was a member of Literati, sang in the Glee Club, was an officer in the school military, and a member of the German Club.

He graduated from The University of Chattanooga (now UTC) in three years.  While at the university, he was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity, directed the Glee Club, was elected into Alpha, and graduated Summa Cum Laude.  During his years at the university, he also worked at Hardie & Caudle Clothiers.

Bill earned his M.D. degree from The University of Tennessee Medical School in Memphis in 1958.  While in medical school, he ran the emergency room at St. Joseph Hospital in Memphis.  He served his internship at The John Gaston Hospital.  While waiting for a residency position, he did general practice in Olive Branch, Ms. His general surgery residency was served at The Veterans Administration Hospital under Dr. Ralph Firestone Bowers (known as Mike), who was one of the foremost surgery professors in the United States at the time.

After he finished his training, Bill went into practice with Dr. Jack Gilluly, and later started his own surgery practice.  After practicing for three years, he was drafted and sent to the United States Army Hospital in Ft. Stewart, Ga., where he was promoted to Lt. Col. He was then sent to South Vietnam, where he served at the Twenty-Fourth Evacuation Army Hospital in Da Nang, and then was sent north to the Eighth Field Hospital in Nha Trang.

After his discharge from the Army, Dr. Buchner decided to return to his home town, and worked third shift in the emergency room at Erlanger Hospital.  He has practiced general surgery since coming to Chattanooga in 1971, having offices in the Whitehall Building, Memorial Hospital, and the Memorial Atrium.  He initiated several new surgical procedures to Chattanooga.

Dr. Buchner served as president of the Tennessee Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, and he was a member of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society, the Tennessee Medical Association, the American Medical Association, the Bowers Surgical Society, and the Southeastern Surgical Society.  He served on many committees with the local Medical Society, was president of the Tennessee Valley Medical Assembly, and served on the board of the Tennessee Medical Association for three years.

Dr. Buchner was a member of St. Stephen Catholic Church.  For many years he was the president of the Parish Health Ministries Committee.

Dr. Buchner loved boating, and was a long-standing member of the Chattanooga Yacht Club.  He was Commodore during 1995, and had many friends at the Club.

Dr. Buchner is survived by his wife of 61 years, Dorothy Hartley Buchner, and two sons, Dr. William F. Buchner, Jr. and wife, Paula L, and James Christopher Buchner and wife, Jeanette N.  One son, Stephen F. Buchner, preceded him in death.  Dr. Buchner is survived by six grandchildren William F. Buchner, III, Mary Elizabeth Buchner, Kristin Dorothy Buchner, Karl Frederick Buchner, Carolyn Frances Buchner, Jessica Alexandra Buchner, daughter-in-law Katherine N. Buchner, and two great-grandchildren, Dorothy Ann Medlin and Cameron Satherlie.

Funeral services with be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 2, at St. Stephen Catholic Church, with the Reverend Manuel Perez and Reverend Mike Creason officiating.  Interment will follow at the Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery.

Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society and members of the Chattanooga Yacht Club.

Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital or St. Stephen Catholic Church.

The family would like to express a special thank you to Cathy Hagood for all her love and support.

Please visit www.heritagechattanooga.com to share words of comfort to the family.

The family will receive friends on Sunday, Oct. 1, from 6-8 p.m. and Rosary will be said at 8 p.m. at Heritage Funeral Home, 7454 E. Brainerd Road. 

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