Dr. John Oscar Dampeer Jr. was born Aug. 14, 1924, in Summit, Mississippi, and died Sunday, March 8, 2015 in Houma.
Visitation will be from noon until funeral time Saturday, March 21, at St. Lucy's Catholic Church in Houma. A Mass will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at the church, with burial this summer at the Felder Methodist Family Cemetery in Summit, Mississippi. All are welcome to attend the visitation and services and celebrate Dr. Dampeer's life.
He is survived by his devoted wife of 21 years, Milly Lally Dampeer; sons, John Oscar Dampeer III and wife, Susan, of South Bend, Indiana, and William "Mac" McKenzie Dampeer and wife, Lynn, of Artesia, New Mexico; daughter, Johanna Nicole Dampeer Turner, of Woodstock, Georgia; stepsons, Dr. John L. Steigner and wife, Julie, of Houma, Dr. Michael L. Steigner and wife, Claire, of Needham, Massachusetts, Patrick L. Steigner and wife, Sarah, of Huntsville, Alabama, and Jason L. Steigner, of New Orleans; and 20 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his son, Daniel Barnes Dampeer; daughter, Emily Ann Dampeer Moxom Lolli; and parents, John Oscar Dampeer Sr. and Clara Pauline Felder Dampeer.
Dr. Dampeer served his country as a sergeant in the U.S. Army from March 1943 until the end of World War II on Dec. 6, 1945. He was an armorer in Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes and Rhineland.
After the war, he returned to the University of Mississippi and graduated in 1947. Dr. Dampeer graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1950, and completed a surgical internship at Vanderbilt University Hospital in 1951. That year, with young children to provide for, he opened a medical practice in Kermit, Texas. In 1956, he returned to his surgical training and completed a general surgery residency at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1958.
Dr. Dampeer moved back to Kermit, and spent the next 20 years flying his plane all over West Texas to provide surgical care to far-reaching communities. With a desire to return to teaching, he arrived in Houma in 1978, to open the surgery department at South Louisiana Medical Center (now Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center) and chaired that department until his retirement in 2004, at the age of 80. He mentored countless surgical residents through the years, and the surgical suites at Chabert are named for him.
Dr. Dampeer will be fondly remembered by all who knew him. He was a humble man who referred to himself as, "and old country doctor from West Texas." He was an adventurous traveler and avid reader who loved crossword puzzles, motorcycles, gardening and animals.
The family wishes to especially thank Jeremiah Boudwin, who provided Dr. Dampeer with such loving and respectful care and companionship in his last two years.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in his name may be made to Chabert Medical Center Foundation, P.O. Box 4337, Houma, LA 70361.
To send condolences, please visit www.chauvinfuneralhome.com.
Chauvin Funeral Home in Houma is in charge of arrangements.
Published by Houma Today from Mar. 14 to Mar. 16, 2015.