Friday, May 10, 2024

Taking Care of Business: My Dad

     Amy Johnson Crow has a 52 Ancestors Week blog challenge which I have decided to join.  I am hoping it may help me to pinpoint someone or something that I have researched and not blogged about on Flipside.  AND push me to blog about family each week in 2024.  Sometimes I get lazy. 😁  Let's see how well I keep up.

     Week # 20 (May 13-19) is Taking Care of Business. My Dad, George VanGilder Hughes is my focus in this week's blog. 

George VanGilder Hughes

     Dad had some pressure from the beginning to excel.  A son and first born to a father who had immigrated from England with his parents, there was an expectation that Dad would succeed.  He began to take care of business from an early age.    

       The Hughes family lived in the Brough of Avalon outside the city of Pittsburgh and Dad attended church and school there from an early age.  I do not  have much elementary school information; however, from his high school yearbooks, imagine he was a scholar even at an early age.  He also excelled at sports, in particular, football.

     Back in the late 1930's the classes at Avalon High School were small.  Dad, and my Mom's, graduating class was eighty-nine.  Dad was the quarterback on the high school football team and won the Jack Brice Memorial medal for excellence in football, he was the president of the class and the salutatory speaker for commencement among his many activities.

     He enrolled at Washington and Jefferson College on a full scholarship with a major in pre med.  Dad continued with his love of football playing at W&J as the center.  He was a member of a fraternity, president of his freshman class, several honorary societies and graduated in three years taking courses in summers.

     On November 23, 1943, my Mom and Dad married.  They had known each other and attended the same school since first grade, dated at the end of their senior year and throughout college. 

     Dad was already enrolled in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.  He was a member of ROTC, the Army paid for his education and he graduated with his medical degree in June 1945.

     Dad served at Deshon General Hospital, Butler, Pennsylvania for the Army when I was born in 1947.  His Internship was at a hospital in McKeesport, Pennsylvania and Residency at the Veteran's Hospital in Aspinwall, Pennsylvania.  


      Following his residency we moved to a new house near Perrysville, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and Dad was beginning to set up his medical practice in Internal Medicine.  

     To make some additional income in 1949 he enlisted with the Pennsylvania National Guard.  Just as his practice was beginning to take off he was sent to active duty at Camp Carson, Colorado and then to the front lines in Korea serving as a Captain at an aid station with the 2nd Infantry Division, 2nd Medical Battalion. 

816 Perry Highway
Dad's office was in the middle apartment building

     Dad returned from Korea in the summer of 1953 and was able to begin his private practice in Internal Medicine.  I can remember stopping by to visit the office at 816 Perry Highway across from our church, Hiland Presbyterian, on my way home from elementary school.


558 Perry Highway, West View

     Around 1961 Dad bought this house and relocated his practice to West View.  

     Dad was on the staff at three local hospitals during his medical days:  Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, Suburban General Hospital in Bellevue and Chief of Staff at North Hills Passavant Hospital.

     He never forgot his roots growing up during the Great Depression.  When I was married, patients stepped forward to  donate the wedding cake, flowers, etc. to give back to Dad for his kindness.  When he retired, over 200 patients organized a heartfelt retirement party.

     Dad was the doctor we would like to have today.  He made house calls, even getting out of bed to drive to attend to a patient.  During his thank you remarks at the retirement party he said, "If a patient has taken the time to come to the office for a visit because he is not feeling well, it is the responsibility of the doctor to actively listen.  The best clue to a diagnosis is what the patient has to say."


I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. All comments are welcome; however, if they are inappropriate, they will not be published.    PLEASE post your e-mail in the comment section if you would like to network about a particular surname or topic. I will capture it for my use only and not include it when I publish your comment.
© 2024, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser

No comments:

Post a Comment