Dr. Weaver’s legacy remains intact

Published 5:05 pm Tuesday, April 18, 2023

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AHOSKIE – For nearly 60 years, Dr. Joseph Dudley Weaver served his patients with not only professional medical care, but also with a heart full of compassion for others.

The Ahoskie-based “country doctor” passed away 25 years ago, but his legacy remains entrenched in the local area, so much to the point where college scholarships are available to encourage aspiring medical professionals to follow in Weaver’s broad footsteps.

As they do every two years, the Dr. J.D. Weaver Scholarship Foundation will provide financial assistance to local young people in their quest to attend a college or university. Three scholarships, each valued at $1,000, will be awarded this year. There will be one scholarship recipient each from Bertie, Hertford, and Northampton counties.

“We typically award these scholarships every two years to deserving graduates of our local high schools,” said Dwight Ransome, president of the Weaver Foundation.

Ransome said donations are still being accepted to fund the scholarship.

“These students have a desire and a hunger to learn, but they face financial difficulty,” he noted. “The Weaver Foundation is committed to keeping this wonderful legacy of giving alive. Please consider making a donation so that we can continue to pay it forward.”

Those wishing to make a donation to the scholarship fund can contact any member of the Weaver Foundation. That group includes Ransome along with J. Wendell Hall (vice president), F. Gary Lewter (secretary), Mary Ruffin-Harrell (assistant secretary), Lillie Owens-White (treasurer), and Bertha Newsome King (assistant treasurer) along with Board members Dr. Claudia Weaver-Richardson, Earline Davis, and Howard Hunter III.

Donations, which are tax deductible, can be mailed to Ransome at 1209 Tennyson Lane, Windsor, NC 27983. Checks need to be made out to the Dr. J.D. Weaver Scholarship Foundation.

For more information, call 252-325-2020.

This biennial effort 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.

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.

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.

“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.”

The Foundation began awarding scholarships in 1998, before Dr. Weaver passed away. Since that time the Foundation has given over $66,000 to local students in an effort to further their education.

“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 concluded.

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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