Gone….never forgotten

Published 8:15 pm Friday, May 6, 2011

AHOSKIE – To some he was only known as Dr. Weaver.

Others knew him as “Joe Dudley.”

However, what we all know is that on Nov. 21, 1998, the Roanoke-Chowan area lost a medical giant with a big heart.

The life and legacy of Dr. Joseph Dudley Weaver continues today, despite the passing of nearly 13 years since his death. That fact will be very apparent on Saturday, May 21 with the celebration of the Dr. J.D. Weaver Scholarship Banquet. The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Quinton’s Restaurant in downtown Ahoskie.

This marks the 12th year that the Weaver Foundation Scholarship Committee has awarded several thousand dollars in scholarships to high school seniors in the Roanoke-Chowan area where Dr. Weaver lived and worked for so many years.

The Foundation continues to carry on Dr. Weaver’s legacy as well as reaching out to help children as Dr. Weaver did for so many years as a family doctor.

Held on a biennial basis, the banquet will be the platform from where well-deserving high school seniors in the Roanoke-Chowan area will each receive scholarship funds to assist them in their pursuit of a college education. Most recipients plan to study in a field related to medicine or healthcare.

According to Foundation Committee member Dwight Ransome, six scholarships will be awarded on May 21 – two each to Hertford and Bertie County graduating seniors and one each to grads from Gates and Northampton counties.

Ransome said scholarship applications have been sent to high school guidance counselors in each of the four counties.

“It is well known that Dr. Weaver never refused medical services to anyone, regardless of his or her ability to pay,” said Ransome. “Our hearts and our minds should be just like that of Dr. Weaver.”

Ransome urged the public to make a donation to this scholarship fund so that these local young people will themselves pick-up the banner one day and continue Dr. Weaver’s healthcare legacy.

To contribute to the scholarship fund or to gain information concerning tickets to the banquet, contact Ransome or any Foundation Board member. That group includes Garry Lewter, Lillie Owens-White, Hilma B. Flood, Norman L. Mebane, J. Wendell Hall, Bertha Newsome King, Dr. Claudia Weaver-Richardson, the Honorable Donald P. Wilson, Earlene Davis, Howard Hunter III and Mary Harrell-Sessoms.

Tickets for the May 21 event are priced at $25 per person or $200 for a table of eight. Make your reservations early as this banquet traditionally is a sell-out.

Born in 1911 and raised in Winton, Dr. Weaver was educated through the local public school system, graduating from Water’s Normal School before going on and earning his Bachelor of Science and Doctorate of Medicine from the prestigious Howard University.

Soon after being licensed to practice medicine in North Carolina and Virginia, World War II broke out and, like many men of what is hailed as the greatest generation, Dr. Weaver served his country. Commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the US Medical Corps, he proudly served with the 372 Second Infantry Regiment for two years.

Over the course of the next five decades, Dr. Weaver served again – this time as the physician for multiple generations of patients. Ahoskie was his base of operations as he operated Weaver’s Clinic on Maple Street.

There may have been hours of business listed on the clinic’s door, but Dr. Weaver’s job never ended – working before the sun came up until long after it went down. He was a country doctor and proud of that fact.

Driven by a desire to help the entire community, he later joined the practice of the Roanoke-Chowan Medical Center. He also served Roanoke-Chowan Hospital in a number of capacities; served as Medical Director of I.B.P.O.E. of W. Grand Lodge; was the physician for the Hertford County Law Enforcement Center; and served as Medical Examiner for both Hertford County and Gates County.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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