Posted on: May 23, 2017
Dr. Emerson Daniel Baugh, Jr. was born in Lawrenceville, Va. July 2, 1929, the son of the late Judge Emerson Daniel Baugh and Maggie Lee Matthews Baugh. He passed away on May 9, 2017, at the age of 87.
He attended Berea College in Berea, Kentucky, graduated from The University of Virginia School of Medicine and interned at the Medical College of Virginia (now V.C.U. School of Medicine.) He began his solo practice of medicine in Kenbridge, Virginia where he opened his office and his heart to the community in 1955. He practiced here for nearly 50 years. During that time he treated snakebites, set broken bones, and repaired open wounds while treating the spectrum of diseases and infirmities of all ages. He said that he followed patients through infancy, adulthood, and senility. House calls were the norm, and for many years he delivered babies in his office and homes. He delivered one baby on the ground in the patient’s yard and twice in the back seat of a car. Early on, he was the local dentist’s leading advocate and supporter in getting fluoride introduced to the Kenbridge water supply… a controversial concept in its day.
Dr. Baugh served on the Board of Directors of Lunenburg Health Service since 1956, an organization dedicated to providing free, supportive, compassionate nursing care to people in need in Lunenburg County. He and his wife Helen Jane opened their home for many years, two weeks at a time, to medical students contemplating the family physician way of life in a rural community. He was honored when asked to participate in this part of a med students education. He shared his calling with the students willingly and enjoyed it thoroughly. He was a Charter Fellow and Life Member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a four-time Diplomate to the American Board of Family Practice. He held many offices with the Virginia Academy of Family Physicians including Office of President and was chosen the V.A.F.P. Family Physician of the year in 1998. While he considered this to be the highest professional honor of his life, he never claimed to be anything but “a country doctor,” the title he preferred. This was his deeply satisfying and profoundly meaningful life’s work.
Dr. Baugh is predeceased by his wife of 60 years, Helen Jane Beckelheimer Baugh of Fayetteville, West Virginia, and his brother Judge Arthur Matthews Baugh (Pete) of Richmond, Virginia. He is survived by his four children, Jane Osborne Baugh Singletary (Bruce Love), Ann Carter Baugh Watts (Ed), Emerson Daniel Baugh, III (Cornelia), and John Matthews Baugh (Robin) and his grandchildren, in Virginia and North Carolina.
Dr. Dan loved the outdoors: the land, the woods and ponds of Southside Virginia, and the wildlife residing there. He loved fishing and hunting in all of these places with his boys and his friends whenever he could. He was a deep thinker with a sweet soul and a wonderful sense of humor. He gave generously to every charity that asked and many that did not. He spoke gently, he looked out for those less fortunate, especially children and the elderly, he laughed often, made others laugh, and he worked tirelessly, always putting the needs of others before his own. His dedication to his patients and his family and his community endeared him to multiple generations in Lunenburg. Dr. Dan slipped away from us in the early morning of May 9, 2017, into a final sleep. It was time, and he needed the rest.
The family wishes to extend a heartfelt “Thanks” to all of Dr. Dan’s extraordinary and loving caregivers, Most especially Gloria Jean Wilson and Deborah Craven. In lieu of flowers, Dr. Dan would be honored to have a donation sent to any of the following: The Patrick Henry Boys and Girls Plantation, Brookneal, Va. 24528, Lunenburg Health Service P.O. Box 128, Victoria, Va. 23974, Kenbridge United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 926, Kenbridge, Va. or the Kenbridge Fire Department, P.O. Box 556, Kenbridge, Va. 23944.