George Robert Wadley, DVM, 92, passed away July 26, 2023, in Searcy, Ark. He will be remembered in many ways, by many names. He was an accomplished man, whose national leadership in veterinary medicine led to his much-loved “Doc Wadley” nickname that carried with it the respect of his community, the love of his family and the gratitude of his clients.
To his family, George was a doting grandfather with a sharp wit and a never-ending stash of candy. He will be remembered as much for his loyalty to his friends and his capacity to love as for the sparkle in his eyes, always ready with a joke and a chuckle.
George was born in Rector, Ark., on July 21, 1931, to George Michael and Ophelia Jayne Wadley. He grew up the only boy in a family with six girls, all of whom he loved dearly. He received his bachelor’s of science degree in Animal Husbandry in 1952 from Arkansas State College in Jonesboro.
To fulfill his ROTC commitment after graduation, George served as a Second Lieutenant, rising to the rank of First Lieutenant, in the U.S. Army from 1952-1954. Prior to his deployment to Korea, George obtained leave from Fort Chaffee in Fort Smith, Ark., to travel to Batesville on January 25, 1953, to marry Mary Louise Reding.
After his military service, George worked for the Cotton Division of the US Department of Agriculture from 1957 to 1968 until he left to fulfill a lifelong dream and enroll at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating in 1972.
George, Louise and their four children then moved to Searcy, Ark., where he established Wadley Animal Clinic, practicing for 26 years until retiring in 1998. In 1986, George was honored as Veterinarian of the Year by the Arkansas Veterinary Medical Association.
After his brief retirement, George resumed his work in veterinary medicine in various capacities, including as State Veterinarian for the Arkansas Racing Commission, Poultry Inspector with the Department of Agriculture and, finally, as a Senior Consultant for DVM Consulting, a New Orleans-based brokerage firm.
Throughout his career, George sought to improve his profession through his service on many professional boards, including the American Association of Veterinary State Boards, serving as president for a term, the National Board Examination Committee, Arkansas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. He supported several nonprofits, including serving on the board of the Arkansas Baptist Children & Family Ministries.
Throughout his many careers and his busy life, his love for his family and a lifelong passion for farming shaped his world. Growing up in a farming community, George valued his connection to the land. He was also proud to see his legacy of veterinary medicine continue through his son, Michael, and his grandson, Robert, who are both veterinarians in Central Arkansas.
George’s greatest legacy, though, is the faith that animated his life. Each visit, each family gathering included small moments where he spoke, taught, encouraged and exhorted his loved ones to grow their faith in Jesus Christ. He was an example to his family that while we are all imperfect people, Jesus is our redemption.
Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 29, at Park Avenue Baptist Church, 211 East Park Avenue, Searcy, Ark., 72143, with visitation immediately preceding the ceremony from 2-3. A graveside service will follow at Oaklawn Memorial Gardens in Searcy.
George was preceded in death by his parents, George Michael and Jayne Wadley; his wife of 45 years, Mary Louise Reding Wadley; and his sister, Sue Wadley Gennings.
George is survived by his children, of whom he was unendingly proud, sons George Robert “Robin” Wadley, Jr., of Searcy; David Lee Wadley and wife, Cheryl, of Batesville; Michael Gary Wadley and wife, Paula, of Searcy; and daughter, Kathryn Wadley Ingram and husband, Jim, of Mart, Texas. He also leaves behind 17 grandchildren and spouses, who all received his love equally and with the delight in which he gave it, Robert Ryan Wadley and wife, Sandra, of Maumelle; Erin Elizabeth Wadley of Fayetteville; Sara McBrearty and husband, Ryan, of Austin, Texas; Emily Kaye and husband, David, of Waco, Texas; Laura Culley and wife, Jen, of Las Vegas, Nev.; Benjamin Wadley and wife, Alex, of Little Rock, Mason Wadley of Buena Vista, Colo.; Davis Wadley and fiancée, Morgun Henson, of Little Rock; Katie Long, of Manhattan, Kan.; Chloe Long of Fayetteville; and Ian Wadley of Searcy; and great-grandchildren Liam, Rowan and Moira McBrearty and Reagan and Sutton Wadley. He is also survived by his sisters, Pat Thomas of Paragould; Anita Evans and husband, Harry, of Santa Ana, Calif.; Kay Martinez of Fayetteville; Angela Hyde and husband, Hugh, of Fayetteville; and Marilyn Misenhimer of Fayetteville, as well as numerous beloved nieces and nephews.
The family would like to recognize and give special heartfelt thanks to Robin for his many years of devoted care, which gave us more time with George. The family would also like to give special thanks to Franklin Hathaway for his companionship in George’s last year.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks those wanting to honor George to consider a gift to the Arkansas Baptist Children & Family Ministries and the Searcy High School FFA program.
Visitation will be held Saturday, July 29, 2023 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. at the Park Avenue Baptist Church in Searcy with services to follow at 3:00 p.m. Interment will be in the Oaklawn Memorial Gardens with Military Honors.
All Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Searcy McEuen Funeral Home.
Share A Memory: www.SearcyMcEuenFuneralHome.com