John O. Sharrett, 82, neurosurgeon


Dr. John O. Sharrett, a retired neurosurgeon who later worked for the Social Security Administration, died of complications from a stroke Nov. 5 at a nursing and rehabilitation center in Shrewsbury, Pa. He was 82.

Dr. Sharrett was born and raised in Cumberland and attended the University of Virginia. In 1942, he enlisted in the Army Air Forces, where he was trained as a fighter pilot. He attained the rank of lieutenant and spent the war years stateside as a P-51 Mustang fighter and gunnery instructor.

Dr. Sharrett returned to the University of Virginia, and even though he did not complete graduation requirements, he was allowed to enter the University of Maryland Medical School, where he earned his medical degree in 1952.

He completed a residency in neurological surgery and an assistant residency in general surgery at the University of Maryland Hospital.

He was an instructor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine from 1955 to 1972.

Dr. Sharrett practiced neurological surgery in a partnership in Baltimore with Drs. James G. Arnold Jr., Raymond K. Thompson and William H. Mosberg Jr. After Neurological Associates was dissolved in 1973, he continued to practice until retiring in 1985.

At the time of his retirement, Dr. Sharrett explained in an interview with The Evening Sun that soaring malpractice insurance costs and multimillion-dollar litigation awards conspired to bring his 27-year medical career to a close.

"It's gotten so now that everybody gets paid if there aren't 100 percent perfect results. And, unfortunately, that only happens on television," Dr. Sharrett said in the interview.

From 1985 until retiring in 2004, he was a contract physician with the SSA's office of medical evaluation at its Woodlawn headquarters.

The former resident of Pinehurst in Baltimore County who moved to Leonardtown in 1986, had lived in New Freedom, Pa., since 2002.

He was a former member and deacon of Roland Park Presbyterian Church and board member of the Western Maryland Society.

He enjoyed golfing, fishing and collecting antiques.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 19 at Grace United Methodist Church in Shrewsbury.

Surviving are his wife of 33 years, the former Mildred Gill; a son, George B. Sharrett of Olympia, Wash.; a daughter, Elizabeth W. Boyce of Elkton; two stepsons, James F. Dawson of New Freedom and Franklin G. Dawson of Leonardtown; and 13 grandchildren. His wife of 24 years, the former Evelyn Lashley died in 1971.

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