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Chernoff, Selbert Gordon M.D.

Selbert G. Chernoff, M.D., 89, of Fulton, Missouri, passed away Monday, Dec. 26, 2016.


Sel was born Aug. 10, 1927, to parents Dr. Harry A. and Bertha (Morrison) Chernoff of Buffalo, New York. He graduated from Lafayette High School and then completed a degree in Biology at the University of Buffalo in 1948. He obtained his medical degree from the School of Medicine of the University of Buffalo in 1952. Following an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Meyer Memorial Hospital (now the Erie County Medical Center), he opened his office in the lower floor of his house in Tonawanda, New York, and was on staff at Kenmore Mercy Hospital also in Tonawanda, New York.

He relocated to Kansas City in the early ’60s, taking over the former McHale Clinic on Independence Avenue and was on staff at the former St. Joseph Hospital on Linwood. While president of the medical staff, he was integral to the decision to move the hospital to I-435 and State Line.

He later moved his office, starting the Lee’s Summit Physicians Group. He retired from that clinic, but continued as a physician by reviewing disability claims for the Social Security Administration.  

Missing direct patient care, he relocated to Fulton, Missouri, where he joined the medical staff of the Missouri State Hospital in Fulton. He continued working there until December of 2016.

Sel practiced internal medicine for 60 years. During that time, he positively impacted many patients’ lives. He was a caring physician, often making house calls and treating people in need who had no other access to care. His patients loved him. And, he was always happiest when challenged with a difficult diagnosis and seeing his patients benefit from his care. Sel never stopped learning, reading medical journals every day of his life.

Sel had many non-medical interests over the years. He learned to ski as a child in western New York and continued with that activity as a longtime member of the Kansas City Ski Club with many bus trips to Colorado. Though he never sailed while living next to Lake Erie, he became very active in the Jacomo Sailing Club competing in Windmill class boats locally and nationally. He also was an avid fisherman, who enjoyed spending lazy days on his pontoon boat. Sel had a love for plants and his specialty was growing orchids. Animals also found a soft spot with Sel. He took in many a stray cat and always had his beloved dogs by his side. 

Survivors include his wife, Wanda (Paul) Chernoff, Fulton, Missouri; children Steven (Mary Anne) Chernoff, Lenexa, Kansas, Debra (Larry Rubin) Chernoff, Buffalo, New York, and Danielle Kerr, Fulton, Missouri; grandchildren, Rebecca Chernoff, Anna (Daniel Hermanson), Daniel Chernoff, Aaron Rubin, Adam Rubin, and Jacob Kerr; sister, Barbara (Bert Sayer), Sarasota, Florida, and nieces and nephews.

A memorial service is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, in the MAC Room of The Jewish Community Campus, 5801 W 115th St, Overland Park. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Missouri, SERVE Inc. of Fulton, or the Sam and Daisy Grabb Animal Shelter of Fulton.