Posted on: March 28, 2018
John Kellam Lingo passed away at home on February 16, 2018, just 19 days before his 101 birthday. He will be remembered for his generosity and love for his family; his passion for practicing medicine and his compassion for his patients; his delight in playing golf and cards with his friends; his quick wit; and his devotion to the University of Virginia.
Dr. Lingo was an Eastern Shore of Virginia native and the fourth generation of medical doctors in his family. He was born in Pungoteague, Virginia and graduated from Central High School. He was a graduate of both the undergraduate and the medical school (1942) of the University of Virginia (UVA). He was a member of the Compass Rose Society, UVA’s Health System’s most prestigious donor society which benefits the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, the Claude Moore Health Science Library, and the UVA Medical Center.
He served as a Lt. with the U.S. Navy in World War II from 1942-47, serving in U.S. Naval Hospitals in Philadelphia, PA ; Portsmouth, Virginia; and San Diego, CA. He served in the Marshall Islands as a physician and surgeon for about a dozen LCI (landing craft infantry).
The best part of the war was meeting and marrying in 1946 the beautiful navy nurse, Lt. Cmdr. Hilda Sinclair Jervis (Jeri) of North Carolina. She remained by his side, faithful and steadfast forever cheering him on until her death in 2003. They were married 57 years.
After the war, he was given many opportunities to begin his medical practice. After narrowing his selections down he chose Mobile, AL because he was so impressed with the format ( a telegram) which was sent to him. He joined Dr. J.D.Perdue; Dr.Gayle Johnson; and Dr. Henry Dismukes in what is now known as the Premier Medical Group of Mobile, Alabama. In 1947 he became the youngest partner of this respected and recognized group; he practiced ophthalmology and otolaryngology for 50 years. During this time he demonstrated his commitment to his community by serving as President of the Alabama Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology; President of the Mobile Infirmary Staff; and President of the Doctors Hospital Staff. He was a member of the Medical Society of Mobile; the American Medical Association of the State of Alabama; the American Academy of Ophthalmology; the American Society of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology Allergy; the Alabama Academy of Ophthalmology; and the Southern Medical Association. His medical practice was always a pleasure and a privilege to him.
Upon his arrival in 1947 to Mobile, until his death in 2018, he was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Prior to 1947 he was a member of St. George’s Episcopal Church in Pungoteague, VA. It was important to him to participate in the Sacraments and to worship God. He was a member of the Mobile Country Club; delighting in his 160 yard hole-in-one on #8 of the golf course. He also enjoyed his membership in the Knights of Revelry Mystic Society and in 1968 escorted his daughter in leading the Ball.
The family suggests, that in lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at 4051 Old Shell Road, Mobile, AL 36608 or to the Salvation Army in Mobile.