'Papa Doc' touched thousands of lives

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The CSRA recently lost one of its most recognized and respected citizens in Dr. Walter Gamewell “Curly” Watson.” It is not the fact that he lived 102 years but how he lived those 102 years.

His professional achievement (including an unprecedented 15,000 deliveries) was, in his own words, a privilege. He appreciated the opportunity to care for his patients. But it was not just his service to patients; he voluntarily taught obstetrics and gynecology to Medical College of Georgia students, residents, nurses and hospital personnel for more than 60 years, and he never missed a “teachable moment.”

He always was an ideal role model, a doctor’s doctor, and he became an icon. Yet he remained modest and humble. And he never stopped learning – you could find him reviewing medical journals while on-call in the hospital when he was in his 80s.

But it was not just medicine that he taught.

People in the medical community all knew about “Papa Doc’s Creed”: Always do your best. Never give up. Room is at the top. Be a lady or a gentleman.” He always treated everyone with dignity and respect, from the housekeeping service to the operating room technicians. He gladly covered for other physicians (not just his partners), and he always was available to help in emergencies.

He was the volunteer physician at ball games in North Augusta for 65 years (Friday nights and Saturdays); he attended the 8 a.m. OB/GYN Saturday Conference at University Hospital for more than 40 years; and he was an usher and member of Grace United Methodist Church. He rarely missed “life events” for friends and family alike. And all the while, he was a proud, devoted husband, father, grandfather and admired family man of unquestioned integrity and honor.

Perhaps it was because of all of these good deeds and accolades that Dr. Watson was granted such unusual longevity on Earth. He continued to give generously throughout his entire life, and may he now be granted the just rewards he deserves in heaven. We will miss him and his many contributions to the CSRA – but he will not be forgotten.

(The writer is an Augusta obstetrician and gynecologist.)

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JRC2024
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JRC2024 11/11/12 - 09:14 am
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63 years ago I was in hs

63 years ago I was in hs hands and so was my brother. He used to make house calls and my mother tells me when he came to see her I got into his "black bag" and he said let him play. What a nice man and what a legacy to leave. I only hope people talk well of me when I am gone from this earth.

soapy_725
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soapy_725 11/11/12 - 11:55 am
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He was man. A gentleman.

Unpublished

True professional. True patriot. True healer. He cared and he did "no harm". Dr. Watson, and the men of his generation we from a mold that has been placed in the basement of the Smithsonian.

But God knows where the jewels belong. God knows those that do right.

"Honor thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God has giveth thee." Never have words better identified this giant among men who brought honor to his parents by the life he lived on earth. Who will fill his shoes?

soapy_725
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soapy_725 11/11/12 - 11:55 am
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Good hands, big hands (-:

Unpublished

Compassionate hands (-:

jrbfromga
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jrbfromga 11/11/12 - 02:58 pm
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Thank you to both

Unpublished

Dr. Freedman, you were the attending at the birth of my two, and Dr. Watson was my mother's OB-GYN. Small world, never knew that there was a relationship between you and Dr. Watson, but it is not surprising that you were both cut from the same cloth. You both are truly exemplary.

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 11/12/12 - 12:25 am
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Dr. Watson was truly special.

And there is no doubt, that he was one of a kind. Dr. Murray Freedman was greatly influenced by Dr. Watson. I've known him for thirty years and he too, is a wonderful and compassionate physician.

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