A Wayne Schmalhausen, 98, passed away peacefully in his home on December 24, 2023, attended by his longtime partner Kathy Stephens, surrounded by people who loved him. Throughout his lifetime, Wayne
Born on July 8, 1925, to Ansel and Nora Schmalhausen, Wayne grew up with one brother, King, and his sister, Norma Lee. Growing up in Robinson, Illinois, Wayne learned to work hard for his accomplishments and to enjoy the journey in his endeavors. In 1939, as a 14 year old, he became youngest Eagle Scout in Crawford County. Taking his ambitions further, Wayne decided to hitchhike to the Indy 500 to sell papers during his high school years. In addition to getting a free ticket, his seat on the bleachers landed him right next to Bob Hope. That experience must have been formative for him, because he returned to the track time and again, not only as a spectator, but as a doctor for the 500.
After graduating from Robinson High School, he joined the U.S. Army Airforce, serving as a pilot in WWII. Wayne proudly carried the training and values he learned there throughout the rest of his life.
He then attended Rose Polytechnic Institute, majoring in Chemical Engineering and Indiana State University with a B.S. in Special Education and Physics and M.S. in Clinical Psychology. He went on to work for the Atomic Energy Commission, before going to Indiana University School of Medicine from 1953-1957.
Medical degree in hand, he quickly found his calling as a general and thoracic surgeon. He was honored to act as Chief of Surgery at both Methodist and St. Francis Hospitals. He sat as a member and chairman on several medical boards, facilitating progress in surgery, construction and long-range planning.
During this time, Dr. Schmalhausen, not only pioneered advances in thoracic surgery, but also achieved success as an independent entrepreneur in several fields, including land development and building significant real estate around Indianapolis. Collaborating with his daughters, Sheryll Meyer and Sharon Siebert, Dr. Schmalhausen launched one of the first Epcon Communities franchises.
His additional business affiliations included: Schmalhausen Seibert Oldsmobile/Chevrolet/Nissan Inc. with his son-in-law, Kevin Siebert; Saturn Realty, Senior Partner; Property Group One Ltd., Vice President and Chairman of the Board; Schmalhausen Farms, Owner and Operator; Fairland Grain Elevator, President and Chairman of the Board, as well as others.
Dr. Schmalhausen actively engaged in many parts of the community, including the American Red Cross, American Society of Chemical Engineers, American Legion, where he served as Commander of Post 26, the J.O. Richey Society, the Masons, the Scottish Rite and the Shrine for over 50 years and the American Kennel Society since 1975.
Wayne was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Norma Schmalhausen in 2004, his daughter, Sheryll Meyer and his brother, King Schmalhausen.
Dr Schmalhausen is survived by his daughter, Sharon Siebert (Kevin); his sister, Norma Lehman; grandchildren: Nicole Gomez (Gerardo); Nate Newkirk (Emily); Allison Winkler (Brendan); Amanda Marks (Chris); Austin Siebert; great-grandchildren: Lilly and Alex Winkler, Luca Gomez, Amelia and Levi Marks.
A private celebration of life will be held at a later date.