Dr. Gerald E. Belue, a longtime physician in the Niceville, Fla., area, died June 4, 2011, at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center following a long illness. He was 70.
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Dr. Belue spent nearly 40 years practicing medicine in the Florida Twin Cities area. He began his career in Niceville in 1969, becoming just the second doctor in the Valparaiso and Niceville area. He first practiced at the old Niceville hospital. As the area's population grew, Dr. Belue became an advocate for the building and expansion of the Twin Cities Hospital. He also was on the staff at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center for many years.
Dr. Belue, who retired in 2005, was known for his devotion to his patients. He was board chairman and Chief of the Medical Staff at Twin Cities Hospital for many years.
He was also a great conversationalist who loved nothing more than to tell or hear a good story. He was a gourmand who adored a wonderful meal - always accompanied by conversation. He traveled extensively on fishing trips, chasing trophies from Canada to the Amazon. He kept a first-class knife collection, and was an avid hunter.
During his leisure time, Doc could often be found on the golf course, where he relished the competition of a friendly wager with his country club buddies. He won more often than not -- or so he claimed.
Dr. Belue was born in Hattiesburg, Miss., on July 18, 1940, and was raised there by his parents, Oliver and Veona (Hudgins) Belue. He was a U.S. Navy Corpsman, and then attended college at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he was named outstanding pre-med student after earning a degree in less than three years. Dr. Belue went on to graduate from the Ole Miss Medical School.
He was preceded in death by his parents; as well as two siblings, Katherine Belue Littlejohn and Harold C. Belue.
He is survived by his wife, Jean Courtney Belue; and son, Gerald E. Belue Jr., both of Niceville. He is also survived by a sister, Myrtle Belue Aldridge (Bill); brothers, Coy C. Belue (Barbara Jean) and Bobby J. Belue (Betty); and numerous nieces and nephews.
Dr. Belue was a member of the County, State and National Medical Society and the Academy of Family Practice.
Services will be held Wednesday at Niceville United Methodist Church with visitation beginning at 2 p.m., followed by a service at 3 p.m. Family and friends are invited to a reception following the service at the Rocky Bayou Country Club.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Sharing and Caring Inc., P.O. Box 282, Niceville, FL 32588; or the Asbury Foundation Fund, c/o NUMC, 214 Partin Drive, Niceville, FL 32578.
You may go online to offer condolences to the family and sign the guestbook at www.heritagegardensfuneralhome.com. Heritage Gardens Funeral Home of Niceville is entrusted with the arrangements.
Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News on June 8, 2011