Charles H. Boggs, MD

Class Year



Posted on: December 12, 2017

Dr. Charles Harmon (Charlie) Boggs, Jr., 94, of Roanoke, VA, passed away on October 8, 2017, at the Brandon Oaks Nursing Center.

Dr. Boggs was born on July 4, 1923 in Washington, D.C., to Beulah and Charles H. Boggs, Sr. He grew up in Franklin, WV but spent his high school years in Morgantown, WV.

Dr. Boggs was a graduate of West Virginia University, taking a gap in his education to serve his country during WW II. He spent two semesters at Duke’s U.S. Naval Reserve V-12 College, followed by Princeton University’s Pre-Midshipmen School, Northwestern University’s Midshipmen School, and anti-submarine school at the Naval Training Center in Miami. Dr. Boggs then served as an officer in the U.S. Navy for two years in the Pacific and was awarded three military ribbons for his service. After the war, he resumed his studies at WVU’s School of Medicine. Dr. Boggs and his two uncles, both dermatologists, represented the oldest family legacy of the medical school, a story which was featured on the school’s website.

Dr. Boggs completed his surgical training at the Northwestern University School of Medicine. He was chief resident under Dr. Loyal Davis and studied under noted hand surgeons Dr’s Koch, Mason and Allen. In addition to his M.D., Dr. Boggs earned a Masters in Surgical Research at Northwestern and was awarded the Allan A. Kanavel Fellowship in Surgery from 1954 to 1956.

Dr. Boggs was a general surgeon at the V.A. Medical Center in Salem, Virginia from 1956 until retiring in 1991, and was also Director of the Tumor Registry. Additionally, he was an Assistant Professor of Surgery with the University of Virginia School of Medicine for twenty years and enjoyed training numerous surgical residents. He was a member of the Roanoke Valley Academy of Medicine, had served as Vice President of the Opera Board, and was a longtime supporter of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra.

Dr. Boggs’ deep and abiding faith sustained him throughout his life. His vibrant personality, legendary memory and compassionate spirit will be greatly missed. He had a wonderful enthusiasm and extensive knowledge of many topics including history, geography, family genealogy and sports. An avid golfer and skier, he read voraciously and enjoyed painting watercolors later in life. Most of all, he loved people and treasured spending time with his family and many dear friends.

Dr. Boggs engaged his love of history as a member of the Virginia Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. He served as President and Program Chairman of the Fairfax Resolves Chapter from 1993-1994. He also served as State Surgeon from 2003-2004, was Chairman of Historic Sites and Observances for the State of Virginia from 1994-2004 and served on two national committees: Genealogy Research and Historic Sites and Observances.

Another passion of his was Alaska. After retirement from the V.A. Hospital, Dr. Boggs became a VIM (Volunteer in Mission) at Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka, AK. He served a total of six months over various summers. Later he enjoyed sharing trips to The Great Land with his family.

Dr. Boggs is survived by his daughter Elizabeth (Betsy) Freund and husband David of Salem, son Brian Boggs of Salem, grandson Harrison Freund of New York City, former wife, Audrey Boggs of Salem, several nephews, a niece, and many cousins. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by brother William Boggs, sister Charlotte Allen, two nephews and a niece.

Memorial gifts may be made to St. John’s Episcopal Church, the Bradley Free Clinic, the Roanoke Valley Academy of Medicine Foundation, or a charity of your choice.