Harley Edward Sterling

Harley Edward Sterling (September 13, 2012)

Sterling, Harley Edward, "Ed", MD, 82, passed away at home from cancer, on Saturday, August 18, two days before his 83rd birthday, surrounded by his family.  He was born in 1929 in Granite City, Illinois, and was the only child of Gladys and Harley Edward Sterling, Sr.  He grew up in parts of Illinois, and when he was 12, the family settled in Parsons, Kansas.  He received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Kansas in l952, and then served in the Army Medical Corps from 1952 to 1954, where he conducted surgical research.  During this time he met and married Betty Mercer, and the marriage produced his two daughters, Janice Marie and Deborah Lynn.  In 1958 he received his M.D. degree from the University of Kansas, followed by a rotating internship at St Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, where he also served his Surgical Residency from 1959 to l962.  The remainder of his Plastic Surgery residency was served at the University of California (UCLA) from 1962 through 1965.  In July of 1965, after 13 years of medical training and surgical experience, Dr. Sterling established his private practice of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in Fullerton, CA.  He was 36 years old, and he was only the seventh plastic surgeon in Orange County at that time.  In addition to his medical practice, Dr. Sterling was an Associate Clinical Professor in Plastic Surgery at University College in Irvine, CA from 1969 to 1985.  Before his retirement in 2005, he served as Chief of Staff at Fullerton Community Hospital from 1985 to l986. He was a member of the CA and American Medical Associations, the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the American Society of Clinical Plastic Surgeons, the CA, Orange County, and American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.  He was President of the CA Flying Physicians Association in 1978, and was a life member of the Kenya Flying Physicians Association, the "Bush Pilots."  He was a founder of the Segerstom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa.
He was a man of many interests who loved music, films, reading, crossword puzzles, playing his guitar, travel, the computer, his patients, friends and family, and his dogs.  At age 10, he started taking guitar lessons, and although he never learned to read music, he had a natural "ear" for any chord or melody, and played the guitar for most of his life.  He became a licensed pilot, instrument rated with over 1500 hours flying time, and he also took aerobatic lessons.  He built a twin-engined ultralight in his garage, and after a near accident, decided it was too dangerous, so he took piano lessons instead, and learned to read music. 
He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Diana, daughters Jan Sterling Foradory (Eddy) Deb Sterling Tomes (Jeff) and step-children Randall Martin, (Danielle), Tracy Martin Kirwan, (Roger) and grandchildren Kristyn, Kim, Scott, Byron, Paul, Torrie, Shelby, Hayley, Kyra, Maia, Keegan, and great-grandchild, Michael.
A Celebration Of Life will be held on Saturday, September 22, at 2 o'clock at the Trinity United Presbyterian Church, 13922 Prospect Avenue, in Santa Ana.  A reception will be held afterward in the church facilities.  The family suggests that in lieu of flowers, you make a donation to the charity of your choice.