Clarence Edward Graybeal, distinguished doctor

August 15, 2019

Born Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24, 1927, Dr. Clarence Edward Graybeal died peacefully Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019, surrounded by his family at BayHealth Sussex Campus in Milford. Dr. Graybeal was treated with high regard and respect by the medical staff members there, and the family is grateful. 

Dr. Graybeal was a 1952 graduate of the School of Medicine at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Many professionals were familiar with the Board-certified surgeon who dedicated his life to patients at Milford Memorial Hospital for 37 years. In addition to working 80-hour weeks, performing countless rounds and emergency duties, Dr. Graybeal served three terms as president of the medical staff, and 23 years as chief of surgery. In 1976, he was honored to be named president of the Medical Society of Delaware for which he served on the board of trustees. He was also a member of numerous other health-related boards, including Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Delaware. Dr. Graybeal’s portrait graced the hall of Milford Memorial’s Outpatient Services wing.

Education was a top priority for Dr. Graybeal. In 2018 he established a legacy scholarship fund for deserving Milford High School students whose goals and achievements are exemplary.

Dr. Graybeal was a proud U.S. veteran. He served nine years in the U.S. Navy Reserves and was inducted into the U.S. Army in 1953 during the Korean Conflict. During his tour of duty, he trained at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, and served at Valley Forge Army Hospital, after which he was assigned as Preventative Medicine Officer of the Pacific Regional Medical Command located at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. 

While Dr. Graybeal was known for his work ethic and integrity, he was also an avid private pilot, who earned instrument and multi-engine ratings. He was an outstanding bridge player and looked forward to weekly games with his close friends.

Adventurous by nature, he began motorcycling at age 53, riding his Harley-Davidson until age 88.  At age 60 he joined the sport of golf, ranking as an “A” player in just three years. 

Dr. Graybeal was most proud of his family. He was one of six children of the late Glenn H. Graybeal and Cora W. Graybeal of Rising Sun, Md., and has one remaining sibling, brother John C. Graybeal of Hanover, Pa., and sister-in-law Evelyn Graybeal, Easton, Md. He and his beautiful bride, Ruth Harshbarger Graybeal, were married 56 years. He kept his wedding day promise, lovingly caring for Ruth in Parkinson’s-related illness until her death in 2006.

All four of the couple’s children followed Dr. Graybeal’s fine example serving in the field of medicine. He is survived by sons Dr. Glenn E. Graybeal and wife Judi of Milford, and Dr. Casey J. Graybeal and wife Susan of Gainesville, Ga. He is also survived by his daughter, Linda G. Callaway, RN and husband Vaughn of Milton. Sadly, his son, Dr. Michael L. Graybeal, passed away Feb. 6, 2019. Michael’s dear wife Sheila resides in Evans, Ga.

Dr. Graybeal is also survived by 11 wonderful grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Grandchildren include: Matthew, Bryan and Stacey Callaway (Vincent Du Beau); Jennifer Costello (Rory) and Kelly Graybeal-Turner (William); Nathan (Leah McGlynn), Lesley (Zach Smith), and Daniel Graybeal (Heidi Hoelscher), Clayton and Austin Graybeal, and Marilyn Darrough (Ryan). Great-grandchildren brought joy to Dr. Graybeal, and include: Stella and Emerson Du Beau, Evelyn and Flynn Graybeal, and Milo and Violet Smith. Also left to cherish his memory is Dr. Graybeal’s friend and companion Therese Davis of Lewes. 

Dr. Graybeal stood as a pillar in society and will be greatly missed, as his was truly a life well lived. A private Family Celebration of Life is planned in September, with arrangements in the care of Berry-Short Funeral Home, Milford.

Donations to honor Dr. Graybeal may be made to his scholarship foundation at, or to the Boys & Girls Club of Delaware Inc., 101 Delaware Veterans Blvd., Milford, DE 19963.