Originally created 07/21/02

Dr. Asa Duggan Sr. (WASHINGTON, Ga.)



WASHINGTON, Ga. - Dr. Asa Daniel Duggan Sr., 86, revered Washington physician who had practiced medicine in Wilkes County for well over half a century, died Friday afternoon, July 19, 2002, at University Hospital, Augusta. Funeral services are scheduled for 3p.m. Sunday, July 21, 2002, at First Baptist Church of Washington, with Pastor Emeritus Albert W. Huyck Jr. and Rev. Harold Rowland, a former pastor, and Dr. Randy Cooper. Hopkins Funeral Home is in charge of funeral arrangements, with burial in Resthaven Cemetery, Washington. Dr. Duggan is survived by his wife, Mary Johnson Duggan of the home; two sons, Dr. Dan Duggan Jr., Augusta, and Tom Duggan, Washington; a nephew, Roy Duggan, Sylvania; and five grandchildren. Active pallbearers are Bob Simmons, Jimmy Bowman, Dr. Stan Coe, Frank Chafin, Karl Hughey, and Bill Steed. Honorary pallbearers are members of the Challenge Class of First Baptist Church, Marion Norman, Ken Bufford, Carol Cheney, and Irvin Cheney. Memorials may be made to the "Together We Build" program at First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 603, Washington, GA, 30673. Dr. Duggan was well-known locally for his medical career in Washington, which began May 1, 1949, but he also had a wonderfully colorful and varied background of experiences, including service as medical officer on a submarine during World War II, deep sea diver, and brain surgeon. Dr. Duggan was born December 23, 1915, in Sandersville, the son of Asa Mac Bryant Duggan and the former Maud Walden Thomas. He attended Sandersville High School and graduated from Mercer University in 1936. He earned his medical degree at Medical College of Georgia in 1940 and continued as an intern at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta. He later trained in neurology and neurosurgery at Boston City Hospital. In 1942, he was commissioned as officer in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps. He served on a destoyer in the North Atlantic and then became a First Class Deep Sea Diver after training at a divers school in Washington, D.C. Part of his training was on the U.S.S. Normandy, which later burned and sank in the New York Harbor. As a submarine medical officer, Dr. Duggan served for a time in the Panama Canal Zone. After WWII, he accepted a fellowship for neurology and neurosurgery study at the famed Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. He interned at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y. An unforgettable experience happened on Dr. Duggans first day of practice in Washington. A man suffered severe head injuries when hit by a crane in a quarry at Camak. He was rushed to the Washington General Hospital where Dr. Duggan performed brain surgery to save his life. The patient declined to have a metal plate inserted in his head and recovered well to live many more years. He died of a heart attack. Soon after he came to Washington, Dr. Duggan married the former Mary Johnson, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. R.R. Johnson. They became parents of three sons. Dr. A.D. Duggan Jr., is in private practice in Augusta and Tom Duggan lives in Washington. Another son, John Duggan, died of cancer, November 23, 1972, at the age of 18. Dr. Dan Duggan Jr. is married to the former Patti Sumner of Augusta. They are parents of Dan III, 15, and John, 11. Tom Duggan is married to the former Gail Doughtery of Gainsville. They are parents of Katie, 14, Elizabeth 13, and Thomas, 9. After passing the required state boards, Dr. Duggan became a family practice physician and a member of the American Board of Family Physicians. Locally, he has served on the Hospital Authority of Wilkes County and as chief of staff at Wills Memorial Hospital. In September 1978, Dr. Duggan suspended his private medical practice to accept a position as personnel physician at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Augusta. After six years there, he became a semi-retired consultant over a multicounty area. He retired completely in 1993. Besides his impressive medical career, Dr. Duggan had also been active in various community activities, For many years, he served as deacon in First Baptist Church, which honored him as Deacon Emeritus last year. He was acclaimed as Citizen of the Year in 1978 and served several years as president of the Wilkes County Chapter of the American Cancer Society. He had worked in the life support unit, Georgia Mental Health, and was a longtime member of the Washington Kiwanis Club. All three of the Duggans sons played football for the Tigers, where Dr. Duggan was team physician for many years. Most recent honor in a long list of recognition came March 23, 2002, when Dr. Duggan was guest of honor at the Annual Charity Gale sponsored jointly by the Wills Memorial Hospital Foundation and the Wills Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. Hopkins Funeral Home.

The Augusta Chronicle July 21, 2002