Walking Among Docs – A New Twist

WWADcemetery 111214

WWAD cemetery 11.12.14

Decatur Cemetery Holds Many Doctors and 1,000 Veterans

Walk With a Doc visited the Decatur Cemetery where we were greeted by lead docent Cathy Vogel. Years of research enabled her to look up all the doctors who rest at the 58 acre greenspace and give us a walking tour to share a little bit of their lives and legacy.

Yes, normally Walk With a Doc, is led by a doctor in the community but we like to mix it up and keep things interesting. So every Veterans Day, for 2 years now anyway, we choose the cemetery as our weekly walk route because the volunteers post American flags to honor the 1,000 Veterans who rest at Decatur Cemetery; and because Cathy is there to lead us on a themed walk similar to the seasonal 2nd Sunday walks that are offered by the docents from May to October.

Here are some of the Docs we walked / visited with this week

  • Dr. Powell was the medicine man  (buried near Emory; marker only. Lots of family nearby in his plot)
  • Dr. Chivers was more poet than doc. (Decatur’s forgotten poet; rival of Poe and originally buried at his own front steps)
  • Bukumba worked for a Decatur family  (Nurse for missionary family with Decatur roots)
  • Dr. Carl Renfoe of middle school (Middle school named for him; educator)
  • Dr. Ormand Morgan (dates before 1827; ground penetrating radar located his grave and a marker will be installed in spring)
  • Dr. Margaret Pepperdene, Beloved English professor at Agnes Scott College, her classes on Chaucer were much in demand. She could speak Old English fluently with just the right lilt. After retirement, she continued teaching at the Paideia School in Atlanta.
  • Dr. Peter Hoyle, stepfather to Emily Pittman (whose beautiful grave we visited) and former owner of farm where Agnes Scott College stands today
  • Dr. Gary Stukes, Dean of faculty at Agnes Scott College
  • Jean Slack Morse & Dr. Chester Morse of Woodlands Garden land (donated home and gardens to City)
  • Dr. Wallace McPherson Alston, Agnes Scott College (President)
  • Rev. Donald Fraser  (Presbyterian minister who could make even Latin and Greek interesting to the boys in his school)
  • Drs. Durham & Goss ( Surgeon CSA and a doctor (related to one of our walkers) who made housecalls)

Be sure to grab the walking tour brochure and make your own discoveries in this beautiful greenspace full of champion trees, trails, paths, benches, a pond, and a cinerarium (a place to receive the ashes from cremations), and a marker for those donating their bodies to science, all of which are adjacent to Glenlake Park.

Note: Start time is now 10:30 am for Walk With a Doc through the winter months. Join us any Wednesday for free, we walk 3 miles, at a normal pace, all adults welcome or even students home on school breaks. Meet at Decatur Rec lobby.


Leave a Reply