Durward B. "Buck" Pridgen M.D.

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    - Lynne Cesarini
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Durward B. "Buck"Pridgen, M.D.
North Augusta, S.C. - Durward B. "Buck" Pridgen, M.D., of North Augusta, South Carolina, died quietly Sunday morning, March 16th at the University Hospital after a long, hard fought struggle with myelodysplastic syndrome.
Board-certified in internal medicine, emergency room medicine, he brought a tender heart, a no-nonsense de-meanor, and an extraordinary skill for diagnosis to his practice in Aiken, SC, and most recently as a staff physician at Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He enjoyed teaching nursing students at the University of South Carolina-Aiken, and working with colleagues in emergency rooms including University Hospital in Augusta, GA, and the Medical College of Georgia.
Dr. Pridgen was a father to five children and a grandfather to nine, but family members acknowledge their place is in line behind the current German Shepherd or English bulldog.
At family reunions, which hopefully would include barbecue and oysters, he dispensed wisdom through storytelling and distributed copies of the latest inspirational book he enjoyed or tee-shirts custom made to honor his dog. He loved taking grandchildren to Disney World, growing tomatoes, capturing loved ones and the natural world-especially hummingbirds-in photographs, and celebrating his children's successes.
He was born February 21, 1941 in Kershaw, SC to Harold Durward and Elizabeth Bell Pridgen, both deceased, and was known to family and friends by his middle name, Boye, which may have launched his love for jokes and puns. Accustomed to his mother's praise for his intelligence, he would respond, "I'm so bright Daddy calls me son."
He joined the Army in June 1959 where he thoroughly enjoyed his assignment to train German Shepherds in the U.S. Army's K-9 Corps, only deepening his affection for man's best friend. After a follow on and quite enviable assignment in Hawaii, he graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1965, completed medical school at Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Wake Forest University in 1969, and began a practice specializing in oncology in Aiken in the summer of 1975.
In addition to participation in numerous professional medical associations, he served on the Aiken County Board of Education from 1980-84, chairing the board from 1980-81.
His survivors include his wife Rhonda Pridgen; five children, Dawn Pridgen of Lexington, SC., Colonel Robert (Tamla) Pridgen, USMC of Leonardtown, MD, and Raymond (Melissa) Pridgen of Port Royal, SC.; Erin Pridgen of Charlotte, NC, Andrew Pridgen of Evans, GA; and grandchildren Catherine, Marshall and Patrick (Dawn); Katie, Cary, and Connor (Bert); Raymond, John, and A. David (Raymond).
He is also survived by a sister, Sylvia Soholt, of Vashon Island, WA; a brother, Hal Pridgen (Lynn) of Aiken, S.C.; five nephews and one niece; and several cousins. Indelibly a family member in Dr. Pridgen's eyes and heart was Mamie Moton of North Augusta, SC as she faithfully and unwaveringly provided loving care and indispensible support during his difficult journey.
Graveside services will be held 3:00 pm Friday March 21 at Bethany Cemetery in Aiken, SC.
Memorial donations can be made to the Patchin Weston Endowment c/o University Healthcare Foundation 2100 Central Avenue Suite D-1, Augusta, GA 30904.
SHELLHOUSE FUNERAL HOME, INC., 924 HAYNE AVE., AIKEN, SC

Dr. Pridgen's online guest book may be signed by visiting www.shellhousefuneralhome.com
Funeral Home
Shellhouse Funeral Home, Inc. - Aiken
924 Hayne Ave.
Aiken, SC 29801
(803) 642-3456
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Published in The Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star from Mar. 17 to Mar. 19, 2014
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