Skip to navigation Skip to Content
Join a world-class health system. Find jobs

The legacy of Dr. Walter G. Sexton

​​​​​​​​​In 1916, six local physicians joined together to form Marshfield Clinic.  Among them was Dr. Walter G. Sexton, a Marshfield native who trained at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Three Three Three Three generations (from upper left), Walter Sexton, M.D., his late daughter Sally and her husband, Eugene; and Sally and Eugene’s eight children (from left) Elisabeth, William, Sarah, Thomas, Andrew, Timothy, Nicholas and Marie.
Dr. Sexton was the first Clinic urologist and served as the Clinic's fourth president during his last two years before passing in 1942.

Their fledgling Clinic, nearly a century later, employs more than 755 physicians practicing 86 specialties. They are supported by nearly 6,800 non-physician staff in more than 50 locations in Wisconsin.

Marshfield Clinic recently celebrated the legacy of Dr. Sexton, and by extension, the legacy of his daughter, Sally Sexton Snarski, when members of the Sexton Snarski family visited the Clinic. Sally, one of five children of Dr. Walter and Ethel Sexton, passed away in July, prompting the visit by her eight children and many of their spouses and children.

The legacies of Dr. Sexton and the other founders are honored with photos, busts and portraits in various places in the Clinic. A video – shown to all new employees – highlights the founders and the Clinic's early history. Memorabilia of Dr. Sexton, from the Clinic archives, was also on display for the family.

"I was awestruck," said Sarah Snarski Berrett, daughter of Sally Snarski and granddaughter of Dr. Sexton. "I always knew there was a family connection to Marshfield Clinic but I didn't appreciate it until I came here."

"Mother had this enormous pride in the Clinic," said Elizabeth Bissell, another daughter of Sally and granddaughter of Dr. Sexton. "She was so proud that her father was instrumental in creating this crown jewel of health care."

Sally Snarski and her late husband, Gene, financially supported the capital campaign for the Laird Center for Medical Research on the Marshfield Center campus. Their gift was in honor of Dr. Sexton and his tremendous legacy.  

 Grateful to Family

​​​We are grateful to the Sexton Snarski family for visiting and allowing us to celebrate their grandfather's legacy. Today, Marshfield Clinic is a national health care leader because of the legacy of Dr. Sexton and many other dedicated individuals over the last 98 years.

You can also be part of the legacy of Marshfield Clinic. Please consider including a legacy gift in your estate to honor or remember someone who has made a difference in the lives of others.

To discuss your legacy or to learn more about the Doege Legacy Society, contact Karen Piel, gift planning officer, at (800) 858-5220, by email at, or by visiting​​