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Peter Bemis H'Doubler

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Peter Bemis H'Doubler

Peter Bemis H'Doubler, MD, FACS, FLS, 83, died of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis at his home in Atlanta, Georgia with his family in attendance on December 7, 2012.

He was born on September 3, 1929 in Springfield, Missouri and raised in Springfield, where he attended Greenwood Laboratory School. At Greenwood he was Salutatorian, a multiple year letterman in 4 sports and Sir Greenwood. He received a football scholarship to the University of Arkansas where he attended college and graduated in the Class of 1951. He played on the Razorback football team for two years until a back injury ended his football career. At Arkansas, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in his junior year. He served as President of his pledge class and as the Sigma Nu chapter commander for two years. At Arkansas he met his wife to be, Evelyn Zack of Pine Bluff, Arkansas. They were married in 1954.

Following in the footsteps of his surgeon father, Francis Todd H'Doubler, M.D. FACS, HMS 1915, he received his Medical Degree at Harvard Medical School in 1955. At Harvard, he was his class president of Nu Sigma Nu medical fraternity. He did his internship and residency in surgery at The Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston under Francis D. Moore, Dwight Harken and Nobel Prize recipient Joseph Murray. He also completed a two-year surgical fellowship at The National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C. At the completion of his surgical training, he returned to Springfield, where he practiced as a general surgeon for 40 years. In the late 1980s, he went to France to learn the new technique of laparoscopic gall bladder removal and then implemented this in his practice. He was one of the first surgeons in Missouri to perform this procedure. Beloved by his patients, he is remembered as a technically superb surgeon and remarkably caring physician.

Many called Dr. H'Doubler a renaissance man as he had so many passions and interests outside of surgery. What he accomplished over his life was nothing short of amazing. He was a single digit handicap golfer and avid hunter and fisherman. He loved gardening, model airplane building and flying, astronomy and furniture repair. He was an inventor and held several patents including a golf green break reader that he invented in his retirement. He was an avid student his entire life, voraciously reading and studying and taking courses on all disciplines up to and including his final year of life. Of all the subjects he studied, Natural History, Mathematics and Military History were his favorites. Pete and his wife Evelyn loved to travel and fell in love with Paris, spending many wonderful times there. He was a fellow of The Linnean Society of London and a fellow of The American College of Surgeons. He was a Rotarian, 32-degree mason and Shriner, and a member of the Royal Order of Jesters.

He was a member of Christ Episcopal Church in Springfield, Missouri where he served on the Vestry for many years and worshipped at the Cathedral of St. Philip after moving to Atlanta. Most importantly, Pete lived his faith, loving his fellow man and always taking the time to talk to and help anyone. He was a warm and kind person, who had the ability to make everyone feel as if they were the most important person in the world. He lived by his motto "Carpe Diem" Latin for "Seize the day": appreciate what a precious gift life is, and enjoy it every single day.

He is survived by his loving wife Evelyn Zack H'Doubler, his three children, Peter B. H'Doubler, Jr. MD and his wife Karen Horan H'Doubler, Mary Triffany Cook and her husband A. John Cook, Jr. MD, William Zack H'Doubler, MD and his wife Carolyn Loscalzo H'Doubler, MD, his sister, Louise Emerson Nagle, his sister in law, Billie Zack Mahaffy and seven grandchildren, Alissa Phillips, Annie Phillips, Mary Zack H'Doubler, Tripp H'Doubler, Zack H'Doubler, Triff H'Doubler and Julia Anne H'Doubler.

The body will be cremated. There will be a memorial service at 2:30 pm on Tuesday December 11, 2012 at The Cathedral of St. Philip. The family will be receiving visitors at Gould room at the Cathedral at 1:30 pm immediately prior to the service.

A memorial service and interment will be held in Springfield, Missouri at a date to be announced.

In Lieu of Flowers, contributions may be made to the Building Fund at Christ Episcopal Church 1601 East Walnut, Springfield, Missouri 65806, or the St. Joseph's Hospital of Atlanta Mercy Foundation, 5665 Peachtree Dunwoody Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30342.

Published in the News-Leader on Dec. 11, 2012
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