Louis LeGarde Battey (AUGUSTA, Ga.)

AUGUSTA, Ga. - Dr. Louis LeGarde Battey, a lifelong Augusta resident who distinguished himself as an innovative cardiologist, a visionary civic leader, a loving husband, father and grandfather died at home after an extended illness. He was 84 years old. Dr. Battey was born the youngest of three children on July 3rd, 1923 to Alfred Mann Battey and Therese Dugas. He attended Richmond Academy, Augusta College and then Holy Cross College in Worchester, MA. Upon graduation from college, he chose to follow a longstanding family tradition and become a physician. Dr. Battey's great, great uncle, Dr. Alexander Dugas, was one of the founders of the Medical College of Georgia and his grandfather, uncle and brother, the late Dr. Alfred M. Battey, Jr. were also physicians in Augusta. After graduating from the Medical College of Georgia in 1946, Dr. Battey served with honor in the United States Navy during World War II, stationed on Guam. Upon returning from the Navy, Dr. Battey completed a medical residency at Emory University and then returned home to Augusta to open a private practice, founding Cardiovascular Associates of Augusta. In a practice of over 50 years, Dr. Battey witnessed tremendous growth in the fields of internal medicine and cardiology. He made numerous contributions, especially in the areas of patient diagnosis and treatment. Early in his career, he published research on cerebral blood flow and opened Augusta's first high blood pressure clinic in cooperation with the Medical College. Always dedicated to a love of learning and teaching, Dr. Battey served for many years as a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia. With his specialty in cardiovascular disease, Dr. Battey helped to establish the region's first coronary care unit at St. Joseph's Hospital, served as the President of the Georgia Heart Association and also participated in the treatment of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who suffered a heart attack while in Augusta in 1965. In 1977, Dr. Battey established the first office based echocardiography lab in the state of Georgia and extended that program to include mobile echocardiogram units that served the surrounding communities. He continued to embrace new medical technologies for the benefit of his patients, such as nuclear cardiology, coronary arteriography, open heart surgery and coronary angioplasty. Dr. Battey's significant contributions to the fields of medicine and cardiology have earned him some of the profession's highest honors. In 1993, he received the "Heart of Gold" award from the American Heart Association, given to cardiologists who have made significant contributions to research and education. In 1996, the Georgia Chapter of the American College of Physicians awarded him the Laureate Award, it's highest professional honor. Dr. Battey's dedication to medicine was matched by a deeply felt commitment to Augusta. He was a founding member of Augusta Tomorrow, a group of private and public officials dedicated to revitalizing the city's historic riverfront district. The remarkable results of these pioneering efforts in the early 1990s can be seen in Augusta today. In addition, he served on the boards of the Morris Museum of Art, the National Science Center, the Georgia Railroad Bank & Trust, Aquinas High School, Augusta Federal Savings and Loan Association. He was a member of the Augusta Assembly and the Kiwanis Club. He had a keen interest in science and history, always eager to search for fossils in the Augusta countryside with his children and grandchildren. He was a member of the Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy, the Augusta-Richmond County Historical Society, the Georgia and South Carolina Historical Societies, Historic Augusta, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, the Georgia Conservancy, CSRA Land Trust and the Augusta Museum of History. To those who knew him best, "Doc" will be remembered for his contagious energy, boundless curiosity and constant love of family, spending many happy family vacations at Hilton Head Island, SC and Cashiers, NC. He had a broad range of passions, such as hunting, fishing, and collecting old maps, but nothing trumped his love of golf. He was a member of Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta Country Club, Wade Hampton Golf Club and the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame Board of Directors. He helped others to play the game by being a supporter of First Tee Augusta. Dr. Battey loved to travel, but not without his golf clubs, forever chasing that elusive low handicap. Dr. Battey is survived by his wife, Mary Mell Battey of Augusta, his children: Dr. Louis L. Battey, Jr. and his wife, Pam of Atlanta, Dr. Patrick M. Battey and his wife, Cindy of Atlanta, Alex. D. Battey and his wife Robbi of Mendham, NJ, Mell Battey of Durham, NC, Mary B. Moses and her husband Tim of Augusta and his grandchildren: Louis III and Samantha Battey of Atlanta, Mary Alex and Patrick, Jr of Atlanta, Caroline, Alex, Jr and Catherine Battey of Mendham, NJ and Matthew, Mollie and Drew Moses of Augusta. He is also survived by his sister, Mrs. Robert G. Davis and his sister-in-law, Bertha Toole and her husband, William, both of Augusta, as well as twelve nieces and nephews. The family is truly thankful for the tremendous outpouring of love and support from so many that has sustained them during this time of their loss. And, most especially, they want to express their love and profound gratitude to Robert Willliams, Dr. Battey's devoted companion and caregiver in his final years. They also greatly appreciate the dedicated efforts of T. Coping and Belinda Leverett. Graveside services will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, April 24, 2008 in Summerville Cemetery. If desired, memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice, University Healthcare Foundation for the benefit of the new Cardiovascular Center, 1350 Walton Way, Augusta, GA 30901, Aquinas High School, 1920 Highland Ave., Augusta, GA 30904, or Episcopal Day School Endowment- Athletic Department, 2248 Walton Way, Augusta, GA 30904. The family will receive friends at the residence on Wednesday from 4:00 PM until 6:00 PM. Platt's Funeral Home, 721 Crawford Ave., Augusta, GA. 30904 706-733-3636. Sign the guestbook at AugustaChronicle.com

The Augusta Chronicle-April 22, 2008