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DR. GEORGE PIERCE BOGUMILL

 

January 11, 2018

Dr. George Pierce Bogumill

Dr. George Pierce Bogumill died November 14, 2017, in Woodruff, WI, after a short illness. He was 88. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 62 years, Bonnie (Anderson) Bogumill; and two of his grandchildren, Brianne Bogumill (37) and Jeffrey Britt (31).

He is survived by his two children, Dr. Hugh Bogumill (wife Marianne) of Arbor Vitae, WI, and Jennie Bogumill Britt (husband Lewis) of Amarillo, TX.; his six grandchildren, Charity Bogumill, Rebecca Bogumill Schillinger, LC pl Joseph Bogumill, Joshua Bogumill, Rachel Bogumill and Thomas Britt; and three great-grandchildren, Donavin and Caden Schillinger and Chaytum Bogumill. He is also survived by siblings, Mary Orvis, Leo Bogumill, Byron Bogumill (wife Barbara), Judy Thaxton, Ruth Somers (husband Jim), Michael Bogumill and Fran Wargolet.

Dr. Bogumill was born March 21, 1929, in Madison, WI, the second of Edward and Clarissa Bogumill's ten children. He grew up in Thorp, WI, joined the Army his senior year of high school and served his country for over twenty years, retiring from military service in 1977 with the rank of Colonel. During that period Dr. Bogumill earned a Master's Degree and PhD in Anatomy and his Medical Doctor Degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Highlights of his military career included receiving the Army Commendation Medal for helping set up a 1000-bed hospital in the 106th General Hospital while serving as Chief of Surgery & Orthopedics in Yokohama, Japan, during the Vietnam War. Dr. Bogumill also spent three years in a teaching capacity at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) in Washington, D.C., where he received the AFIP Certificate of Distinguished Service and the Legion of Merit Medal, the highest non-combat award given to officers below the rank of General. While serving as the Chief of Hand Surgery and Asst. Chief of Orthopedic Surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital, Dr. Bogumill was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal and in 1976 he became the first Chairman of Anatomy at the military's first medical school in the D.C. area, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). He helped select faculty, books, and teaching schedules for anatomy and received his second Legion of Merit Medal for his work there. Dr. Bogumill loved being an educator and considered this one of the high points in his medical career.

Dr. Bogumill began his civilian career at Georgetown University Hospital in 1977, and worked there until 2000 as a Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and as an attending Hand Surgeon, another career lasting more than 20 years. During his tenure at Georgetown he was the Hand Consultant at Walter Reed and received the Distinguished Civilian Service Medal for training more than 25 hand surgery fellows. He also served part-time as an attending surgeon at the VA Hospital. During this period Dr. Bogumill was asked to be on the Medical Committee for the Washington Ballet Company. He and Bonnie were rewarded invitations as guests of the company to attend performances, which they greatly enjoyed. After retirement from Georgetown University Hospital, Dr. Bogumill served part-time as an attending physician and professor at Children's Hospital in Washington, D.C., and at Walter Reed. He additionally did volunteer work as a hand surgeon and teacher in St. Lucia, Honduras, the Dominican Republic twice, and Lima, Peru, four times.

Other highlights of his civilian medical career included the opportunity to do hand surgery on several notable patients. In 1987, Dr. Bogumill received a call from a former hand fellow, asking him to make a "house call" with him. The house they were to visit was the White House and the patient was President Ronald Reagan, who needed surgery on the ring finger of his left hand. Dr. Bogumill recalls President Reagan being awake during the procedure, joking and telling stories about his horses and ranch. In 1989, Dr. Bogumill operated on another US President, George H.W. Bush, operating on the middle finger of his right hand. Dr. Bogumill recounts that President Bush was a no-nonsense "let's do it and get it over with" type guy.

Dr. Bogumill belonged to many medical associations during his career, including the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery, the American College of Surgeons, the Washington Orthopedic Society, the Society of Military Orthopedic Surgeons, and the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. He served as President of the Washington Society for Surgery of the Hand in 1985, the DC Society for Surgery of the Hand from 1985 to 1987, and the Eastern Orthopedic Association in 1992. Dr. Bogumill co-authored two published books, "Orthopedic Pathology: A Synopsis with Clinical and Radiographic Correlations" in 1984, and "Tumors of the Upper Limb" in 1993.

George and Bonnie lived in the Washington, D.C., area for more than 40 years and loved all the area had to offer. They were devout members of the Episcopal Church from the time of their marriage in 1952 until their deaths, attending St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Arlington, VA, for more than 30 years. They were passionate about traveling, visiting more than 40 countries and all 50 of the United States. They especially loved their annual summer visits to see their families and cherished cabin in northern Wisconsin. George grew up in extremely humble circumstances during the Great Depression. He was a self-made man with big dreams, ambitions, and an impeccable work ethic. He loved his country deeply and served it with distinction and honor. George was a devoted husband and loving father and brother, and will be greatly missed.

Arrangements are being made for a military funeral at Arlington National Cemetery.

 
 

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