Doctor who helped deliver 3,000 Sandusky babies dies in sleep in at 86
Jack A. Vermeeren, M.D., spent a career bringing life into the world.
He practiced medicine in Sandusky for 30 years, delivering at least 3,000 babies in this area with his partner and friend Frank Leake.
At 86, Vermeeren, local women's clinic co-founder, died in his home while asleep Saturday after a brief illness.
Who he was as a doctor defined who he was as a person, said son Barry Vermeeren.
He could have easily delivered 10 percent of Sandusky's population, said daughter-in-law Dixie Vermeeren.
Leake and Vermeeren together opened what is now known as Bayshore Clinic together in 1965.
But Vermeeren's kind and firm beside manner developed much earlier.
He began his practice on the plains of Central Saskatchewan Canada where using ski equipped planes and horse-drawn sleds each winter he arrived to care for patients even in the most inclement of weather.
Eventually Vermeeren converted a home into a hospital to enhance medical care in the sparsely populated region.
"One thing that was very clear is the way he and Frank practiced was probably considered old school," Dixie Vermeeren said.
"But some of the comments you would hear from patients made you understand how much it was appreciated."
Vermeeren said women often comment to her that Dr. Vermeeren never left their side during childbirth, met them at the hospital and called several days later to ensure they were doing OK.
"If he was your doctor, he was delivering your child, it wasn't his partner or the doctor on call," Dixie Vermeeren said.
"He was to the point, no sugar coating an issue," Dixie Vermeeren said. "He would say this is what your problem is and this is what you need to do to solve it."
A true outdoorsman born in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, Vermeeren was an avid fisherman for salmon and trout in the maritime provinces and pike, musky and arctic char in northern Canada.
His love of nature encouraged his son Larry's career path as an adventure guide on the Colorado River and in Ecquador.
Even later in life, after his beloved first wife Kay died and he married Carol Delapp Vermeeren, he was adventurous.
Delapp learned to ski with Vermeeren and joined him on fly-in fishing trips to the arctic circle.
Despite his many talents Vermeeren chose to spend the majority of his career in Sandusky.
"He just wanted a simple life," Dixie Vermeeren said. "We're so proud of that heritage from him. He touched so many people here without drawing attention to himself."