Cover photo for Dr. William J. Vanderyt's Obituary
Dr. William J. Vanderyt Profile Photo
1949 Dr. William J. 2009

Dr. William J. Vanderyt

September 29, 1949 — November 9, 2009

Beloved local physician passes peacefully


William John Vanderyt, MD, a local orthopedic surgeon, passed away Monday, Nov. 9, succumbing to brain cancer at age 60 after a three-month bout with the disease. He died peacefully, surrounded by his closest family and friends. A true family man, loyal friend and gifted physician, his loss has devastated his family, friends, patients and colleagues, and he will be deeply missed. Dr. Vanderyt, or Dr. V as he was affectionately called by many, was born in Eindhoven, Holland, on Sept 29, 1949. Upon immigrating to Canada at age four, then to the United States at age 12, he grew up in Long Island, NY, and became an American citizen on Feb. 8, 1972. At age 16, he attended Cornell University, where he focused on his goal of becoming a physician, discovered his passion for rowing on the crew team and met his future bride, "Cornell Cutie" Kirby Van Brocklin. Upon graduating from Cornell, he attended Emory Medical School in Decatur, where he fell in love with orthopedics. As a Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon, he was fond of saying he was a "general orthopedist," although his specialty became sports medicine and total joint replacement. Known both for his honest, direct nature and his skill as a surgeon, Dr. Vanderyt was loved by patients and respected by colleagues. Throughout his thriving career, Dr. Vanderyt's focus in life remained his family, his medical practice and his friends. His passion was home improvement, particularly if it required the use of his beloved Massey Ferguson tractor. He loved landscaping, repairing and building stone walls, and planting trees and shrubs, and he and wife Kirby have spent the last 30 years creating their dream home out of the neglected 13-acre estate they bought in suburban Tucker in 1981. An active person and avid traveler, he also loved to play tennis and golf, and to travel with his family and friends. His favorite pastime was walking nine holes of golf at East Lake at sunset, carrying his own bag, hoping to beat Kirby at "skins," then enjoying a glass of wine together on the terrace. The family is grateful for their memories: trips to Grand Cayman, horseback riding in the Tetons, rafting the Colorado River, fishing in Canada, skiing in Utah and Colorado, playing golf in Ireland and Scotland, and hiking in Oregon. One adventure left unfulfilled is building and enjoying the family home he had planned for years in Bend, OR, a place he came to enjoy and love. He is survived by his brother, Gerald Vanderyt, Akron, OH; his children Kurt Vanderyt, Tulsa, OK, Peter Vanderyt, Decatur, GA, Janna Vanderyt Tebbs, Clarksville, TN; his granddaughters Olivia and Charlotte Vanderyt, Tulsa, OK; and his beloved wife Kirby, Doraville, GA. A memorial celebration of life will be held on Dec. 6, at the Emory Conference Center Lullwater Ballroom at 4pm.  In lieu of flowers, donations to the Atlanta Rowing Club, the First Tee of East Lake Foundation or the National Brain Tumor Society are suggested.  

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