A life in medicine

In Memoriam: AOA Past President Darryl A. Beehler, DO

Dr. Beehler, who led the association from 2003 to 2004, passed away at his residence in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, surrounded by family on March 29.


AOA Past President Darryl A. Beehler, DO, who led the association from 2003 to 2004, passed away at his residence in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, surrounded by family on March 29.

The following information about Dr. Beehler’s life was provided in a death notice shared on the David-Dronehower Funeral & Cremation Service website.

Darryl Anthony Beehler was born in St. Cloud, Minnesota, on his mother’s birthday, which he often said was the best birthday present she ever received. He grew up in Fairhaven, Minnesota, and graduated high school in nearby Kimball, Minnesota. He attended St. Cloud State University for seven years, where he played bass guitar at many rock and roll shows. After all his schooling, he wanted even more knowledge.

From family to emergency medicine

Dr. Beehler graduated from A.T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine as a doctor of osteopathic medicine. He went on to become an amazing family physician, delivering most of the babies in his new home town of Sauk Centre, Minnesota. He later became a dedicated and well-respected emergency medicine physician. He met Mary, his wife, while working in Sauk Centre and they spent 37 years with each other.

They enjoyed numerous activities together including stained glass, Costco shopping and Dr. Beehler even became her meticulous sous chef. He prided himself in his vegetable slicing skills.

Together they raised four kids, Jessica, Jay, Amanda and Elise and their journey brought them to Arizona and eventually back to Detroit Lakes. Three of his four kids remain in Detroit Lakes and that was always a big point of pride for Dr. Beehler. Their fourth child lives in sunny Arizona, which Dr. Beehler and his wife gladly visited several times a year.

He became president of the AOA in 2003 and was able to travel the world fulfilling his duties in places such as Ireland, Hawaii and Switzerland. He continued to work as an emergency medicine physician in Park Rapids before eventually moving over to Detroit Lakes. His profession as a physician touched many lives, not only those of his patients but also of co-workers, as he loved to teach and mentor those around him.

Family and recreation

One of his greatest joys, besides Fox News, was his cabin on Buffalo Lake and when he wasn’t working or doing any sort of home improvement project, he loved spending time at the cabin watching the sun rise over the lake. He created such a fun, loving environment that his family also loved to congregate up at the lake all summer long, despite the limited space. Everyone enjoyed Dr. Beehler’s hospitality and vitality for life, and he will be greatly missed.

He is survived by his wife Mary, daughter Jessica (Jon), son Jay (Leah), daughter Amanda (Mike) and daughter Elise as well as eight grandchildren (Adam, Zach, Macey, Griffin, Bennett, Addisyn, Asher and Lauren) and two brothers (Bryant and Louis) and three sisters (Jaynie, Cherry, Reyne).

Darryl joins his father and mother and daughter Tara.


  1. Michael E. Fitzgerald, CAE, former staff secretary to the AOA Bureau of Osteopathic History and Identity

    During his 2003-04 term as the American Osteopathic Association’s president, Darryl A. Beehler, DO, proposed and aggressively promoted the designations of “OMS-I,” “OMS-II,” “OMS-III” and “OMS-IV” for osteopathic medical students to use during their first through fourth years.

    Concerned that osteopathic medical students were using the generic medical student designation of “MS,” Dr. Beehler believed that the “OMS” designation would help osteopathic medical students distinguish themselves from allopathic medical students and that it would enhance their pride in being part of the osteopathic medical profession.

    The convention was quickly adopted by AOA publications, which added the “OMS” designation to students’ names for both bylines and quoted material.

    To hear Dr. Beehler’s take on the “OMS” designation, access the following sound bite from his Great Pioneer living history video: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1C0PPfyB3ziVe78KjfV8jbZRSJu6vrdI8/view.

  2. Stanley Brysacz, D.O

    Dr. Beehler was active in Arizona Osteopathic Medicine and a good friend my condolences to Mary and the rest of the family.

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