Legacy lives on

Published 9:26 am Tuesday, May 28, 2013

AHOSKIE – It’s been nearly 15 years since the passing of Dr. Joseph Dudley Weaver, but his legacy lives on.

On Sunday, June 2, three deserving high school seniors from the local area will benefit from the Weaver Foundation as each will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship during a 10 a.m. ceremony at New Ahoskie Baptist Church, located at 401 East Hayes Street and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive.

The biennial event marks a continuation of an effort that began shortly after Weaver’s death on Nov. 21, 1998. It was then that the Roanoke-Chowan area lost a medical giant with a big heart. Those receiving the scholarships will perhaps follow in Weaver’s footsteps, becoming the next “country doctor” or plan to obtain a degree in the broad range of healthcare.

Sunday’s event is a departure from the past as a banquet will not be held in honor of the scholarship recipients.

“As a result of the economic state, the Dr. J.D. Weaver Scholarship Foundation has decided that in lieu of the banquet for 2013 we are currently planning to give three $1,000 scholarships at New Ahoskie Baptist Church on June 2,” said Dwight Ransome, who serves as President of the Foundation.

“Even without staging the traditional banquet, we feel it’s important to continue to recognize the impact Dr. Weaver had on our local communities,” Ransome added. “Dr. Weaver dedicated his life to 58 years of professional medical service to our community.  The Scholarship Foundation is trying to continue this legacy of helping others.”

Ransome said one student from Hertford County, Bertie County and Northampton County will each earn a scholarship.

To contribute to the scholarship fund or to gain more information about the work of the Weaver Foundation, contact Ransome or any 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.

Ransome said contributions can be mailed in his care to PO Box 786, Windsor, NC 27983.

The tax identification number for the Dr. J.D. Weaver Scholarship Foundation is EIN-01-0659395.

“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.

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; was 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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