William Werner Orrison Jr., M.D., M.B.A.
William Werner Orrison died at age 68 on Oct. 19, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nev., of a non-specified neuro-degenerative disorder.
Born on April 2, 1949, in Louisville, Ky., Bill was the eldest child of Agnes Rutherford Miller “Ruth” Orrison, R.N., and William Werner Orrison Sr., M.D., known as Werner. Bill grew up in Minneola, Plains, and Meade, Kans., where his father was among the last generation of country doctors, often making house calls to remote farms, equipped only with the contents of a black bag, sometimes accepting livestock as payment. From his earliest years, Bill witnessed his father’s devotion to humble patients and dreamed of joining him in practice as a medical doctor.
Bill graduated in 1967 from Meade High School, an Eagle Scout and an accomplished trick horseback rider. As a teen, while on a fishing trip with Werner, Bill suffered a freak accident that put him in the first of three near-death states during his life. Bill later described being drawn into a “tunnel of fog” while his father performed an emergency tracheotomy to save his son’s life. Attending the University of Kansas in Lawrence on an ROTC scholarship, Bill rose to commander of his Air Force squadron, but at the Phi Gamma Delta house he was known as “Doc,” for his unlicensed diagnostic skills. After Bill earned the lowest score in the class on his first chemistry test, the professor encouraged him to try another major. By semester’s end, Bill had the highest grade among his peers. He graduated from KU in 1971 and remained a lifelong fan of Jayhawk basketball.
While at KU, Bill attended a talk by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, discovering that the hypnosis his father had used on patients in the absence of anesthesia …