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Respected local physician passes away
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Serving the people of Warren County for half a century as doctor, surgeon and spiritual leader, Dr. J.C. Gaw passed away Monday after an extended illness. He was 88.
“He loved it here and he loved helping people,” said daughter Barbara Sain of her father. “He was very compassionate.”
Dr. Gaw began life as a farmer, instilling a passion for farming which remained with him through the rest of his life even while he was a practicing physician. He also began a life of religious service, moving to Dalles, Oregon where he was a Church of Christ preacher before finishing his education with undergraduate studies at David Lipscomb and in Florida and his medical education at the University of Tennessee at Memphis.
His first assignment as a doctor was in the coal mines of Kentucky where he worked for a coal mining company.
“Sometimes he would have to go into the coal mines and work with patients,” said daughter Jane Krauth, noting it was there he began making house calls.
“He was not only a surgeon and general practitioner, but he would also make house calls and sometimes he’d take us children with him,” Barbara Sain recalled, noting she can remember one time they became snowed in at a patient’s house while making a house call.
Dr. Gaw continued his education in various locations before returning to Warren County for good in 1964. Prior to that time he had practiced here beginning in 1953 before going to continue his medical education.
His general practitioner office was most notably at Plaza Shopping Center; however, he maintained offices earlier in his career at the Badger Arcade and near what is now the First Baptist Church parking lot near downtown.
His daughter, Barbara Sain said patients remember how personable her father was during his years of practice which extended until the year 2000.
“He always took time with his patients,” Mrs. Sain said. “He was willing to go the extra mile.”
In addition to his medical work, Dr. Gaw was very involved in church, preaching at many churches over the years. He was a long-time member of Central Church of Christ where he served as an elder.
Friend and fellow Central elder Nestor Stewart said Dr. Gaw will be missed.
“He was first of all a Christian gentleman,” said Stewart. “He was a man of diligence, thoroughness and kindness. He was an excellent family physician and always manifested a humble and meek spirit. I knew and appreciated him for a long time. He certainly rendered a lot of good service to the community. I will miss him, he was a good man.”
When he had leisure time he enjoyed boating and skiing and bowling. He also loved farm work.