William Alva Deardorff, age 94, from South Charleston, passed away peacefully on July 18, 2022, from Parkinson’s Disease. He was a graduate of South Charleston High School in 1946. Shortly after graduation he joined the US Army where he served 2 years in Italy. He was also the drum major for the US Army band and played the clarinet in the army dance band.
After the war he attended West Virginia University earning his pre-Med degree before moving on to medical school in Richmond. This was also where he met his wife Page who was in nursing school. After their marriage in 1957, they moved to Detroit, Michigan where Al worked on his Radiology residency at Henry Ford Hospital. During his residency, he had the privilege of treating several celebrities, two of which were Mickey Mantle and Jimmy Hoffa.
Al Deardorff accomplished some great things in the field of Radiology. The first mammogram done in Charleston was performed by Al. He brought the first image intensifier to Charleston that was used on top of a Fluoroscope. The first CT Scanner was brought to Charleston by Al as was the first Nuclear Scanner. The innovation that Al was most proud of was his knowledge in the field of Percutaneous Needle Biopsy for diagnosing lung cancer. He was asked to speak at the Greenbrier on the topic and impressed doctors. Word spread and he spoke on the same topic at the Homestead in Virginia which was attended by doctors from the US and Europe. He then was extended the opportunity to speak in Berlin, Germany in 1974 which was attended by radiologists from all over the world.
Al was President of the Kanawha Valley Medical Society and later became president of Kanawha Valley Senior Services. He was instrumental in building the new Kanawha Valley Hospital which later became Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
In his spare time, Al coached a Little League Baseball Team and played tennis. He played tennis well enough to become a Public Courts tennis champion when he was 80 years old. After retirement, Al enjoyed playing racquetball. His biggest and most enjoyable hobby was his farm in Griffithsville, WV. Mowing grass while riding around on his Cub Cadet or Kubota tractor was his happy place.
Al was a lifelong member of First United Methodist Church in South Charleston and sang in the choir for many years. He was also a Sunday School teacher.
Al was a patron of the Arts helping found the Clay Center. He was a long-time supporter of the Charleston Symphony and the Charleston Light Opera Guild.
Al Deardorff was born on March 27, 1928, at his home on Central Avenue in South Charleston, WV. His parents were Henry Rosebrough Deardorff and Rose Eldora McCallister. He had one younger brother, Donald Lee Deardorff, now living in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
Al Deardorff is survived by his wife Anita Page Gentry Deardorff of Charleston, son Michael Barry Deardorff of Charleston (wife Kim), daughter Dr. Jennifer Page Deardorff McClung of Williamstown, WV (husband Derek), son Dr. David Alva Deardorff of Portland OR. Grandchildren are Michael “Connor” Deardorff of Nashville, TN (Kate), Brooke Deardorff Francke of Charleston (husband Thomas), Alex Deardorff of Titusville, FL (Grace), Joshua McClung of Nelsonville, Ohio (Eva) and Corey McClung of Williamstown, WV.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to First United Methodist Church of South Charleston or Kanawha Valley Hospice Care. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 23, 2022, at First United Methodist Church in South Charleston. Visitation will be from 12:00-2:00 followed by the service. The Deardorff’s invite everyone to stay for a reception following in the church social hall.
Online condolences and memories may be shared by visiting www.snodgrassfuneral.com and selecting the obituary. Arrangements are in care of Snodgrass Funeral Home, South Charleston.