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Hugh Geister Harris M.D.

Hugh Geister Harris, MD

Hugh Geister Harris, MD, of Springfield, MO, passed away March 23, 2013 in his home, from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease). He was born October 1, 1937, in Springfield, Missouri, to Hugh Alexander Harris and Louise (Geister) Harris.

He attended Greenwood Laboratory School, graduating in 1955. From there, Hugh attended Westminster College in Fulton, MO, receiving his Bachelor of Arts in 1959. As a proud member of the United States Army, he graduated from the University of Alabama Medical School in 1963. Serving residencies in Fort Benning, Georgia and Denver, Colorado he completed his fellowship in hand surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 1976. Hugh brought honor to his country through his distinguished military career, retiring August 31, 1982, as a Colonel in the United States Army.

Among many other things his professional positions include: Commanding Officer of 6th Evacuation Hospital in the Republic of Vietnam, Chief of Orthopedic Surgery, the Department of Surgery in Heidelberg, Germany, Assistant Chief of Orthopedic Surgery at Letterman Army Medical Center, and Director of Medical Students at Letterman AMC. Hugh returned to Springfield in 1982. He was called upon to reenter his military service in 2004, again serving his country by taking care of our wounded soldiers from Afghanistan in Landstuhl, Germany. In Springfield, he was a founding partner of OAOA. Hugh practiced at both St. John's and Cox Hospital, most recently as a staff member at Cox Health. Board certified in Orthopedic Surgery since 1973, Hugh most recently re-certified for a lifetime certification in Orthopedic Surgery.

Dr. Harris was a member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Fellow of American College Surgeons 10/19/1982, Society of Military Orthopedic Surgeons, Greene County Medical Society, Missouri State Orthopedic Society, Missouri State Medical Society, Mid Central States Orthopedic Society, Southern Orthopedic Associates. He was also a long time member of Springbike Bicycle Club, Ozarks Greenways, American League of Bicyclists, Rails-to-Trails, Missouri Pilots Association and Association of American Pilots.

He was preceded in death by his parents and Jeri Gale Beshears, his wife of 49 years, who passed away in 2006.

Hugh is survived by wife, Kathryn Marie Harris, of the home; daughter, Kelly Lynn Thomas (Bob), Louisville, KY; son, Erich Geister Harris (Jenna), Evergreen, CO; stepchildren, Amanda Nicole Gott, NY, NY and Bryce Joseph Gott, Springfield, MO; brother, John R. (Dick) Harris (Linda), Springfield, MO; grandchildren, Michael Geister Harris, Taylor Ross Thomas, Trey Alexander Thomas, Drew Clayton Thomas, Sydney Gale Harris and Madison Joan Harris; nephews, John Richard (Jay) Harris and Jeffrey Charles Harris.

There is no way one could capture Hugh, nor the remarkable way he lived his life within this notice; those of you who knew and loved him will have to tell his story. He always did the very best for what he loved-his family, his country, his patients, for the staff with whom he worked. All whom he touched were only touched for the good. He also loved the Earth that God created, and lived his life accordingly.

Visitation will be Wednesday, March 27, 2013 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. in First and Calvary Presbyterian Church with The Reverend Greg Ellis officiating. Burial will be at 1:00 pm in Missouri Veterans Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Discovery Center of Springfield, 438-E. St. Louis, Springfield, MO 65806, or KSMU Radio Station, 901 S. National, Springfield, MO, or Westminster College Scholarship Fund, 501 Westminster Ave., Fulton, MO 65251.


Published in the News-Leader from Mar. 26 to Mar. 28, 2013
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