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Dr. Joseph William Wahl

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2700 Union Ave Extended
Memphis, TN 38112
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Memories & Candles

“Gladys, Sam, Amy, and Andy, Pat and I are sad to hear of Joe's death, and our prayers are with you and others in his family and among his friends...Read More »
1 of 3 | Posted by: Robert and Patricia Burns - WI

“Wahl family/ Andy My sincere condolences to you and your family at this time. I was sorry to hear of your Dad's passing this morning. It has been...Read More »
2 of 3 | Posted by: Chris Burns - La Crosse, WI

“Sam, Sorry to hear about the loss of your father. My thoughts are with you and your family. Shellie ”
3 of 3 | Posted by: Shellie Backlund Freisinger


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Joseph William Wahl, MD, died on Wednesday July 11, 2012. Joe, as he was known to everyone, was born in Memphis, TN to Sam and Merrill Wahl of Jackson, TN on November 21, 1930. Joe was a graduate of Jackson High School. He earned a bachelors degree from the University of Colorado in 1954. He then attended the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis where he earned his MD in 1957 and was inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. Following an internship at the Naval Hospital in San Diego, CA, Joe spent four years as a flight surgeon in the United States Navy. He then completed a residency in Ophthalmology at the University of Colorado in Denver. Joe spent 3 years in private practice in Nashville, TN before relocating to La Crosse, WI where he served in the Department of Ophthalmology at the Gundersen Clinic for 11 years. During this time, Joe decided to accept a fellowship position at the University of Wisconsin Medical School in Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery. He then volunteered his time in Israel to do facial and eye reconstructive surgery on Israeli soldiers wounded in the previous 1973 war. Joe and his family lived in Israel in 1977 where he worked as an Ophthalmologist in Tel Aviv. Joe returned to the United States and retired from private practice in 1988 after working in Cookeville, TN for more than 10 years. Joe was a perpetual student. He loved learning and could always be found with a book in his hands. He was a bird lover from an early age and eventually earned a Master's degree in Ornithology from Tennessee Tech University. Among his many interests, Joe was an avid stamp collector for more than 60 years. He was always fascinated with aviation. As a flight surgeon in the Navy he accumulated many hours in the back seat of many types of aircraft including the F9F Panther. Later in life, Joe became a private pilot working his way through every certification including an instructor's rating. Joe was a very loving husband and father with a great sense of humor. He had a great love for his family and a great love of nature. He was loved and adored by family, friends and patients alike. Joe is survived by his wife of 58 years Gladys Kustoff Wahl, daughter Amy Young and husband John, Sons Sam Wahl and wife Michele of Cary, NC, Andrew Wahl of Silver Spring, MD, his sister Sara Schade of Brevard, NC, his grandchildren Aaron and Avi Wahl, Talia and Maya Wahl, Shoshona and Michah Wahl and Ava Wahl.


Services will be 1:30 p.m. Friday, July 13, 2012 in the Sam Abraham Chapel at Baron Hirsch Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Job's Way of Kirby Pines Retirement Community or to the Chabad of Memphis.

Canale Funeral Directors
901-452-6400
www.canalefuneraldirectors.com