Charles Iams Cerney was born on April 21, 1924 in St. Paul Nebraska to Ernest and Gladys (Iams) Cerney. He graduated from Doane College in Crete, Nebraska in 1942. He joined the Navy after the outbreak of World War II and was in the inactive reserve program. He graduated magna cum laude in 1945 and from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in 1948. During his rotating internship at Ancker Hospital in St. Paul Minnesota, he and Phyllis Wright, RN, of Thurman, Iowa were married. They moved to Omaha for a residency training in internal medicine at University of Nebraska. During the Korean War, he was loaned to the Army at Fort Hood, Texas. When he was returned to the Navy in 1951, he served first at the Naval Air Station Hospital at Corpus Christi, Texas and was then assigned to sea duty as a squadron medical officer aboard an LSMR in the amphibious force off the frozen shores of North Korea, where he earned combat ribbons and service stars and a great deal of boredom. After returning, he completed an internal medicine and cardiology residency at Henry Ford Hospital, in Detroit, Michigan.
He, and his family, moved to Zanesville in 1955 to practice medicine until his retirement in 2000. During this time Dr. Cerney was certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, became first a member and then a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, and each spring spent Friday mornings at Ohio State University teaching in the clinics of the medical school. He was president of the medical staff of Good Samaritan Hospital in 1966 and at Bethesda Hospital in 1976 and president of the Muskingum Academy of Medicine in 1977. In his retirement he volunteered at the Muskingum County Health Department, running a Diabetes Clinic for the uninsured until 2008 and then at the Senior Center.
In addition to practicing medicine he had been active in the Junior Chamber of Commerce, the choir of the Grace Methodist Church, and taught a Sunday school class. Dr. Cerney was also a photographer. His photographs won prizes in amateur contests and hung in Art Institute shows. He had belonged to the Ohio Academy of the History of Medicine and was twice the president of that organization. He published "The Medical Chronicles of Muskingum County Ohio 1800 – 2000,” two autobiographic travel-logs, four volumes of poems and commentary, a photo essay, and an interactive children’s book (“Grandpa’s Alphabetic Safari”). He was elected to the St. Paul High School Wall of Fame. In 2002, he and Phyllis received the Kiwanis Unsung Hero’s award and in 2003 the Zanvilelle Community Service Award.
Dr. Cerney was predeceaced by his son, Todd Cerney, a popular and respected musician and songwriter of Nashville, TN and is survived by his wife Phyllis, daughter Cynthia Anderson of Atlanta, GA; sons Jac Cerney and wife Mary Doi, of Evanston, IL and Brian Cerney of Keuka, NY; seven grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and favorite cousin Virginia Charles of Arveda, CO.
Having reached an advanced age, he was asked if he had achieved any insight. Yes - Nothing is sacred, We are a Beta copy, The process, not the product.
Memorial contributions may be made to Genesis Hospice-Morrison House, 713 Forest Avenue, Zanesville, Ohio 43701 or to Grace United Methodist Church, 516 Shinnick Street, Zanesville, Ohio 43701.
Per his request, a Cremation-With-Care has taken place and no service will be held. BOLIN-DIERKES FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORY is entrusted to arrangements.
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