Dr. Ernest Vernon Stabler Sr.

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 3, 2001

Dr. Senior was no ordinary, run-of-the-mill individual.

Far from it.

He was cast in a mold that could be categorized as near celestial, in sharp contrast to the temporal garb that fits most of us humans.

We speak of Dr. Ernest Vernon Stabler, Sr., a renowned physician who practiced his chosen profession for some six decades with dignity and dedication, tending the health care needs of uncounted thousands.

On Monday, April 25th, 1994 he departed this life at age eighty-nine to take up residence in a heavenly atmosphere that transcends by light years thc state of sin and misery in which we mortals wallow.

Dr. Vernon, affectionately dubbed Dr. Senior by his supporting cast at L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital, was a gifted man, a well-rounded person with exceptional intellectual, physical and spiritual attributes that have set a pattern we'd all do well to emulate.

He was recognized as an authority on rules governing the Medical Association of the State of Alabama, which he served as president in 1975.

In other areas he chaired the Butler County Board of Education from 1961 through 1972, served several terms as administrative board chairmanof Greenville's First United Methodist Church and took an active role in the formation and construction of the Greenville-Butler County Public Library.

His oldest son, Dr. Paul Acker Stabler, noted once that his father was such an apt student and athlete that he was awarded a full four-year basketball scholarship to the University of Alabama after completing his junior year in high school.

He excelled in that sport during his college years, earning accolades as the Southern Conference's leading scorer during that span.

Upon earning his undergraduate degree, Dr. Vernon entered the University's two-year medical school, and during that period he coached the women's basketball team.

Since the university offered only two years toward a medical degree in the late 1920s, he transferred to Harvard Medical College where he completed his medical training and was awarded his M.D. degree in 1932.

It was then that he returned to Greenville to set up practice with his late father, Dr. L.V. Stabler, and his brother, Dr. Aubrey A. Stabler, the lone surviving sibling of that generation. Together the three physicians operated Stabler Hospital & Clinic.

His awards and plaudits during a lifetime dedicated to healing and civic betterment were so numerous that space limitations will allow but passing note of those accolades.

It would be remiss to omit mention of his Greenville Man-of-the-Year designation in 1962, his UA Student Government presidency in 1926-27 and the honor bestowed on him by his family when they dedicated the Carillon Bell at Denny Chimes in his name in the mid-1980s.

He is survived by his wife, the former Annie Acker of Mobile, and four children, Dr. Paul Acker Stabler and Dr. Ernest Vernon Stabler, Jr., both of Greenville; Mrs. Shannon Stabler Linden of Atlanta; and Mrs. Annie Hunter Stabler Galloway of Mobile.

As said earlier, Dr. Senior was no ordinary, run-of-the-mill individual.

He led an exemplary life, one that indeed would be difficult to duplicate.

Editor's note: This has been provided by the author, who first penned this in his "Chamber Music" column in the Greenville Advocate, in 1994, during his tenure as the executive director of the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce. It was later published in his book, entitled: Chamber Music and Camellia Bouquets, by C.H. Buster' MacGuire, copyright 1995 by C.H. Macguire.