Posted on: December 16, 2019
Dr. Bertrand “Bert” Victor Guè Jr., age 85, of Orangeburg, South Carolina died surrounded by his family on Saturday, November 30, 2019. He was the husband of Jeanne Bieren Guè.
Dr. Guè was born in Orangeburg, South Carolina on October 1, 1934, to the late Bertrand Victor Guè and Hazel Robinson Guè. He was raised in Orangeburg, graduated from Orangeburg High School and went on to attend the Citadel, where he finished college in three years. He graduated from the Medical University of South Carolina as the top graduate in his class. Dr. Guè did his residency in internal medical at the University of Virginia. He served as the Chief Resident in Internal Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina in his last year of residency. He met Jeanne Bieren, a nursing student, while he was at the University of Virginia. At the completion of his residency, they were married and returned to his hometown of Orangeburg to make their home. Dr. Guè opened his solo internal medicine practice on Holly Street in 1963 forseveral years before he was drafted in the United States Army. He served as a Captain in the internal medicine department at Fort Jackson Army Hospital. He received the Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service. Upon completion of his duty, he returned to Orangeburg and reopened his internal medicine practice where he worked for 43 years.
During his private practice, Dr. Guè served in various capacities at the Orangeburg Hospital, including service on the Executive Board and Chief of Staff. He served the Orangeburg community in various other capacities during these years. He was the medical consultant to the SC Vocational Rehabilitation Department for 33 years. In his later years, Dr. Guè worked for the Regional Medical Center reviewing patient charts for appropriate care. He was a member of Orangeburg Rotary Club, where he served as President and was named a Paul Harris Fellow in 1988. Dr. Guè has been a lifelong member of First Baptist Church, where he has served as a deacon and as Chairman of the Deacon Board for one year. Dr. Guè also volunteered his time after office hours for many years, performing sports physicals at no charge for local high school students.
When Dr. Guè retired from private practice in 2007, he developed the idea of bringing a free medical clinic to Orangeburg and Calhoun counties. That idea became a reality in August 2009 when the Orangeburg-Calhoun Free Medical Clinic opened its doors. Dr. Guè served as the Medical Director for the clinic for five years, overseeing overall patient care and treating patients in the clinic two days every week until he retired completely at the age of eighty. Under his direction, the Orangeburg-Calhoun Free Medical Clinic earned the 2012 Best of Philanthropy Award from the Central Carolina Community Foundation and the Columbia Metropolitan Magazine. The Orangeburg-Calhoun Free Medical Clinic is still operational and recently celebrated its tenth anniversary.
Dr. Guè was named “Physician of the Year” in 1981 by the Orangeburg Mayor’s Committee on Employment of the Handicapped. He was awarded the South Carolina Office of Rural Health 2013 Pioneer Award for his “significant contributions to the delivery of primary health care in arural environment.” In August 2014, Dr. Guè was awarded the Order of the Palmetto – South Carolina’s highest civilian honor – by Governor Nikki Haley for his role in founding the Orangeburg-Calhoun Free Medical Clinic. Dr. Guè was intensely committed to the Orangeburg community where he epitomized the small town doctor who loyally served his hometown for more than fifty years.
Dr. Guè is survived by his wife of 56 years, Jeanne Bieren Guè; his daughter, Anne Guè Jones of Orangeburg; his son, Bertrand Victor Guè III of North Charleston; his brother and sister-in-law, Dr. Thomas B. Guè and Mary Sims Gressette Guè of Orangeburg; his grandchildren, Savannah Guè Jones of Columbia; Turner Nathaniel Jones and David Rice Jones of Orangeburg; Bertrand Victor Guè IV and Nolie Brice Guè of North Charleston; and his nieces and nephew, Robin Guè Hatanpaa of McLean, Virginia; Mary Guè Berry of Columbia and Dr. Thomas B. Guè Jr. of Orangeburg. In addition to his parents, Dr. Guè was predeceased by his son-in-law, Carl A. Jones.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Orangeburg-Calhoun Free Medical Clinic, P.O. Box 505, Orangeburg, S.C. 29116.
Read an editorial about Dr. Gue’s legacy and work with the Orangeburg-Calhoun Free Medical Clinic here.