Dr. Jay Paul Ginther M.D.

Feb 4, 2021
Ginther, Jay cropped


There will be no official Celebration of Life till later in the year when family and friends can gather.




In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to one of the following:

  • Westminster Presbyterian Church Music Ministry
  • Cedar Valley Arboretum
  • National Osteoporosis Foundation
  • Or any charity that you feel passionate about


Dr. Jay Paul Ginther M.D., 74, of Waterloo, passed peacefully at 2:30am on February 4, 2021 at UnityPoint Health-Allen Hospital after a long history of battling heart problems. Music that he had performed with the Metropolitan Chorale played in the background. His wife, Ann, and their three adult children, Katrina, Greg, and Alex were with him. He believed in God the Creator that holds all of nature in balance, and he believed that death was an opening to the fullness of God’s presence. In the end, Jay was sorry to leave us, but too tired to stay any longer.

Jay was born July 10, 1946 in Jersey City, NJ to Dorothea (Halloran) Guinther M.D. and John Paul Guinther M.D. Jay attended Wesleyan College in Connecticut where he was active in the Glee Club and Church Choir. Jay earned his M.D. from Columbia University in New York City. He was completing his surgical internship at the University of Minnesota Hospital where he met his wife Ann (Willenbring) Ginther. His Orthopedic Residency was at Northwestern University in Chicago. In 1977, Lieutenant Commander Jay P. Ginther served as an Orthopedic Surgeon at the Naval Regional Medical Center in Charleston, S.C. In 1979, the family moved to Clinton, IA. In 1992, the family moved to Waterloo, IA and later was a founding member of Cedar Valley Medical Specialists. As an orthopedic surgeon, Jay served Covenant Medical Center, Allen Memorial Hospital, Cedar Falls Sartori Hospital, Waverly Health Center, and Grundy County Memorial Hospital over the years. In 2010, he founded the Cedar Valley Bone Health Institute to promote strong bones and to prevent fractures. He has spoken on this subject in 19 states and written a research article in “Endocrine Practice” a professional journal. He presented research at the National Osteoporosis Foundation and at the American Society for Bone Mineral Research meetings. Jay was the Founder and President of the Iowa Bone Club. He was recognized as a national leader in bone health.

In his youth, Jay was very active in the Boy Scouts of America.  In his 30’s he ran the Boston Marathon. As an adult, he was involved in the Rotary Club. He was passionate about traveling around the world to experience new cultures, foods, and study history. Jay was a wine enthusiast and active member in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls wine club. Jay and Ann loved music and sponsored many symphony fundraisers.  Jay enjoyed nature throughout his life; whether it was gardening, exploring national parks, or walks with his wife through local trails in Waterloo. He was also a proud member of Mensa.

Jay is survived by Ann Willenbring Ginther, his loving wife of 45 years; a daughter, Katrina and her husband Steve Thompson; two sons, Greg and his wife Erika and Alex and his wife Tiffany. His greatest joy was being with Katrina’s children, Richard Jay (10) and Gwen (7) and Greg’s children, Trevor (5) and Isabel (3).

Jay is also survived by his sister Dot, her husband Paul Bauer and their daughters, Megan and Juliet, her husband Dave Steinbrunner and their children, Isabella (12) and Noah (9); a brother, Bill Guinther and his wife Sheila; and his Aunt Henrietta Siodlowski (96) who was his inspiration and is on the poster in his waiting room.

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Leave a comment
  1. Diane and Gary Lahr | Feb 16, 2021
    My deepest symapthy to you Ann and your family. 
  2. Julie Bergan | Feb 16, 2021
    Wishing the Ginther Family much healing during this time. We are so sorry for your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers. We hope the Cedar Valley Arboretum will always have flowers to help remember Dr Ginther by! Much love! Kelly and Julie Bergan
  3. Tim L. Clark | Feb 11, 2021
    I was so saddened to hear of Dr. Ginther's passing.  Dr. Ginther saved my leg back in 1980.  He was great.  I'm sorry for your loss.
  4. Steve Ramirez | Feb 09, 2021
    I was a patient of his for a number of years when he was in Clinton. We had a great rapport and I always enjoyed talking to him. I am very, very sorry to hear of his passing. Rest in Peace, doc. And thank you for all you did for me...
  5. Cindy Smith | Feb 08, 2021
    I was sadden to hear of Doctors passing. I worked with him in surgery at Covenent for eleven years. He treated everyone with respect, compassion and kindness. His was very proud of his children. May God be with you all during your trying time.  Cindy Smith RN
  6. Kathy Diemer, MD | Feb 07, 2021
    i am so sorry to hear of his passing. I learned so much from him and appreciated his passion for patient care, medical education and osteoporosis. Kathy Diemer, MD Clinical Director at the Bone Health Program, Washington University School of Medicine
  7. Aaron and Anna Dizack | Feb 07, 2021

    Ginther family,

    We are so sorry to hear of Jay's passing. We're lucky to have met and gotten to know Papa Jay as he spent time with his children and grandchildren. He leaves a beautiful legacy through his family, work, and passions. Our thoughts are with you during this difficult time. 

    Aaron and Anna Dizack

  8. Gail Froyen | Feb 07, 2021

    I am grateful daily for the care Dr.Ginther provided when I fell on ice and broke my humerus in 1999. He put in a Neer prothesis. The damage caused by the fall repaired and was pleased to be able to save many blood vessels in an area that had many bone chips. That was more than 20 years ago and my arm is functioning very well. Dr Ginther cared for my shoulder but was concerned for me as a person. May he rest in peace.


  9. Audrey Owen | Feb 06, 2021

    Dear Ann and family,

    i was so sorry to hear about was such a good time when you lived in Clinton!  Choir was always fun when Jay was there!. We had some pretty good choir parties too.  Peace and healing to you, Katie, Greg, Alex andtge rest of your family.   Love, Audrey 

  10. Abbey Abbott | Feb 06, 2021

    Love and condolences to the Ginther family. We are holding you all in our hearts during this sad time.

    Abbey (Martens), Pete, Duncan, and Quinn Abbott

  11. ama neel | Feb 05, 2021
    I am a friend of son in law Steve Thompson. I feel like i know Dr Jay from my conversations with Steve about what a wonderful man he was. The world lost an amazing person. He was deeply loved.
  12. Mary Aschenbrenner | Feb 05, 2021
    I have been a patient of Dr. Ginther's for several years.  He was very kind and caring.  I am so sorry to learn of his passing.  My sincere sympathy to all of his family.  Mary Aschenbrenner

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