Dr. Geddes Broadwell "G.B." Flagg
March 29, 1917 - July 12, 2013
Dr. Geddes Broadwell "G.B." Flagg, 96, of Gulfport, died at home Friday morning, July 12, 2013, in the presence of his wife and family. He was a retired ophthalmologist who had practiced in Gulfport for 35 years.
G.B. was born in McHenry, Mississippi, on March 29, 1917, the only son of Geddes Broadwell and Eunice Benton Flagg. He is survived by his wife, Nona McDonnell Flagg; a younger sister, Carolyn Shepherd; two daughters, Cass Flagg and Carolyn Temple; two sons-in-law, Dr. Hyler Bracey and Dr. Van Temple; a granddaughter, Tress Gardner and two great-grandsons, Payton and Van Carlton Shanahan.
G.B. often said he was the most fortunate man in the world, to have enjoyed the love and companionship of two wonderful women.
G.B. and his first wife, Helen, were married in 1944 and celebrated 50 years of marriage before her death in 1994. They had two daughters, Carolyn Temple and Cass Flagg, who is married to Dr. Hyler Bracey.
G.B. married the second love of his life, Nona McDonnell, in 1995. Together, they both enjoyed a full and active 18 years of marriage.
When G.B. and Nona were married, he welcomed her sons Jerry and Bill and daughter, Ann, as part of his own family. Jerry McDonnell and Pat Charlton have two daughters, Jocelyn and Brittany. Dr. William McDonnell, "Bill," and his wife, Dr. Vangie Foshee, have two sons, John and Thomas. Ann Fratesi has a son, Michael Jr., and a daughter, Emily.
Sailing was always an essential part of G.B.'s life, from the time his father built a sailboat for his 14th birthday to the years he sailed the Caribbean in his sailboat, Scorpio. He was the oldest living commodore of the Gulfport Yacht Club. He also served as Squadron Commander for the United States Power Squadron and was a member for more than 33 years.
Following his graduation from Gulfport High School, G.B. attended Mississippi State University on a band scholarship for playing the clarinet, graduating in 1939. Over 20 years later, he established the H. E. Wamsley Famous Forty Band Scholarship fund to help needy students such as himself receive an education.
He worked his way through medical school at Ole Miss and received his medical degree from Tulane in 1942. In New Orleans he served an internship at Baptist Hospital and residency training in eye, ear, nose and throat at Charity Hospital.
During World War II, G.B. served as a captain in Medical Corps of the U. S. Army Air Force, where he was assigned to the station Hospital of Kearns Army Air Base near Salt lake City, Utah. There, he met his first wife, Helen, a social worker stationed at the same hospital.
After the war, and battling the snow in Minnesota, G.B. and Helen moved to the Gulf Coast, where he set up his ophthalmology practice. For the next 35 years, he combined his medical career with community service.
G.B. was active in the Boy Scouts for 70 years, from becoming an Eagle Scout at age 16 to receiving Scouting's highest honor, the Silver Beaver award, in 2002. He introduced the skill of competitive tomahawk throwing to Scouting through the Pine Burr Area Council.
Sailing was always his first love. He established and taught Public Safety Boating Classes for many years at the Gulfport Yacht Club. His students quickly learned the importance of responsible, safe sailing and how to avoid the wrath of their rigorous captain of the ship.
His retirement enabled him to fully enjoy sailing aboard Scorpio. G.B. was 78 years old when he married Nona and took her and Scorpio across the Gulf of Mexico to the Florida Keys.
On G.B.'s passing, Nona reflected on the old sailor's departure from life, saying that he had lowered his sails and silently drifted away.
G.B. and Nona are members of the First United Methodist Church. As lifelong animal lovers, they request that in lieu of flowers, all contributions be made to the Humane Society of South Mississippi or to a
A celebration of life service honoring G.B. Flagg is to be held at First United Methodist Church, 2301 15th Street in Gulfport on Thursday, July 18, 2013 at 2:30pm. Friends are invited to a visitation in the sanctuary of the church with the family from 1:00 pm until the service begins at 2:30pm.
A private graveside service for the family is to follow.
RIEMANN FAMILY FUNERAL HOME, Gulfport is in charge of arrangements. Share your memories or express your condolences by signing the online Guest Book at www.riemannfamily.com.
Published in The Sun Herald from July 16 to July 17, 2013
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