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Dr. Howard Passes Away, SWMC Issues Statement

KSCB News - March 24, 2016 8:05 am

Rory James Howard, M.D., general surgeon at Southwest Medical Center, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, March 21. He was 56.

Dr. Howard was a highly respected member of the medical community and was serving as Chief of Staff for Southwest Medical Center’s medical staff at the time of his passing.

An accomplished surgeon, Dr. Howard earned many achievements during his career in medicine. He was a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and the University of Kansas School of Medicine.

In addition, Dr. Howard served our country for many years in the military. He enlisted in the U.S. Army as a preventative medicine specialist for two years preceding his studies at West Point. Prior to medical school, Dr. Howard served more than eight years active duty with one of his last tours as an officer in the medical troop for the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Fulda, Germany.

Dr. Howard moved to Liberal from Alaska in April 2012 along with his wife, Rhonda, and his children, Deanna and Rory II. During his career at Southwest Medical Center, Dr. Howard performed thousands of procedures and was instrumental in the launch of our Wound Care Center.

“Dr. Howard’s legacy as a skilled surgeon will be remembered by many in our community,” Southwest Medical Center President and CEO, Bill Ermann, said. “Dr. Howard provided excellent care to his patients, and was an influential member of our medical team. He took the time to connect with his patients on a personal level and helped set many lives on the path to recovery. We are all thinking of his family during this difficult time.”

Memorial service will be at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, March 28 at All Nations Church with Pastor Jimmy Holman presiding. Additional services will take place in Buffalo, NY with burial at Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Viewing of the body will take place on Monday from 9 to 11:00 a.m. at Brenneman Funeral Home.

Memorial contributions may be given to the Seward County Community College Foundation for Surgical Technology Scholarships or to All Nations Church.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

See complete obituary in the Obituary Section at


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