December 2020


The SRS has had several more member deaths to report. One from 2020 and three others which are very late as they were recently discovered by our staff when they were reviewing the status of our members born prior to 1920. In the future please notify the SRS office as soon as possible when you become aware of a member's death.

Mark Bernhardt, MD
November 2, 1957 - April 30, 2020

Dr. Bernhardt, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Medical Center and the Truman Medical Center passed away on April 30, 2020. He was born on November 2, 1957 and was only 62 years of age.

He was raised in Kansas and graduated from Lawrence High School in Lawrence. He was active in football and wrestling and was the state champion at the 145-pound weight class. After high school he attended the University of Kansas, graduating in 1979 with a degree in biology. He was a 1983 graduate of the University of Kansas School of Medicine and then completed his orthopaedic residency training at the University of Kansas-Wichita in 1988. He did a spine fellowship at the Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Hospital and then joined the faculty in Boston for a few months while his mentor was on sabbatical. He returned to Kansas City in 1989 and was in practice at the Dickson-Diveley Orthopaedic Clinic. In 1998 he helped found the Kansas City Orthopaedic Institute in Leawood, KS. He was always academically active and ultimately became a clinical professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Medicine. In 2012 he became the Rex L. Diveley, MD Professor and Chairman of the Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery at UMKC and the Truman Medical Center where he remained until his death.

Dr. Bernhardt became an active member of the SRS in 1993. He was also a member of the AAOS, CSRS, AOA and other orthopaedic and spine organizations. During his academic career he published 22 peer reviewed studies, predominantly spine related. Dr Bernhardt and his wife, Renee, were married for 36 years and have two daughters – Grace and Hillary to which he was a devoted husband and father. He was also devoted to the medical students, residents and fellows he trained during his career. He will be remembered for his dedication to medicine, teaching and patient care. He will also be missed by the SRS.

Edmond J. McDonnell, MD
September 28, 1916 - January 4, 2011

Dr. McDonnell was born on September 28, 1916 and died in Timonium, MD on January 4, 2011. He was 94 years of age. He became an Active Member of the SRS in 1967. At the time of his death he was an Emeritus member.

Robert W. Florence, MD
July 12, 1917 - February 20, 2014

Dr Florence was born on July 12, 1917 in Cushing, OK and died on February 20, 2014 in Tacoma, WA. He was 96 years of age. He had a very interesting life. He received his BS and MD degrees from the University of Oklahoma. After an internship at Providence Hospital in Seattle, WA he entered the US Army in 1942. His military orthopaedic training was at the Mayo Clinic. He landed at Utah Beach on D-Day+35 and provided surgical care under very difficult conditions. After the war he returned to Tacoma, WA. He later did orthopaedic specialty training at the University of Washington Medical School in Seattle. He became board certified in 1954. During his career he developed an interest in scoliosis and later studied with Paul Harrington. He became an Active Member of the SRS in 1973. He was an Emeritus Member at the time of his death.

Dr. Florence was married for almost 67 years to his childhood sweetheart – Helen Mae Hoyt. She died in 2007. They had three daughters which resulted in numerous grandchildren and now great-grandchildren.

Worth Miller Gross, MD
September 9, 1916 - March 22, 2018

Dr. Gross was born on September 9, 1916 and died in Tulsa, OK on March 22, 2018. He was 101 years of age. He became an Active Member of the SRS in 1970. At the time of his death he was an Emeritus Member.