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Excerpted from              
THE GETTYSBURG TIMES
Thursday, April 28, 1988

Physician, family practitioner dies at age 58
(headline from the Gettysburg Times April 28 1988)

George Morningstar was a healer in a way few people have been since humanity began.  He was that rare doctor who fully embodied the biblical standard of "dear and glorious physician."
He moved with a soft assurance, a grace and gentility that no one who knew him will ever forget.  He touched with his eyes and his heart, and he embraced with his countenance. That embrace was greatly extended beyond those who came to be healed, far from the community of Emmitsburg, Mount St. Mary’s College, Villa of St. Michael and the other clusters of people who immediately surrounded his practice.

The abrupt loss of this country doctor, this good man, while it has saddened and stunned us all, should not move us to despair.  All we have to do is remember the name and how the life fulfilled that essence too.  Morningstar is a most apt given name for this man. His life and work, somehow, rose and shone above all others. It was always there to assure, in a dawn after dark times, that there are new days, or parts of them to live.  George Morningstar will remind us that whatever we have in parts or whole days, we should live them well.

 

THE GETTYSBURG TIMES
Friday, April 29, 1988     

COMMUNITY REMEMBERS DR. GEORGE L. MORNINGSTAR
by Erin Dingle
Times Correspondent

The small community of Emmitsburg is mourning the loss of their local doctor who for 30 years reached out to his neighbors in a caring manner. To many citizens of the community, Dr. George L. Morningstar was more than a physician. He encompassed the role of friend, neighbor, listener, and role model.

His kindness and compassion were the trademarks of his practice. "I love my doctor" has been their heartfelt feeling of Emmitsburg people since 1959 and with the loss of their family doctor, they are sharing their memories and grief.

Long-time patients of the local doctor were upset and shocked by the town’s loss earlier this week. At the Hair’s Inn salon, just up the street from Dr. Morningstar’s office, talk was subdued yesterday. "He was a dear, sweet gentle man who always had time to listen no matter how busy he was," said Dee Dammann, who had been Dr. Morningstar’s patient for 15 years. Elaine Ebaugh, owner of the shop was an infant when she first met the doctor. "I was devastated when I heard. Dr. Morningstar was always so kind. He made you feel that your problem was special. Day or night, he was there. I’m going to miss him."

"He was Emmitsburg’s physician. Everyone in this town loved that man," said Mrs. Ebaugh. Mrs. Dammann added, "He was definitely an old-fashioned local doctor. He was so friendly." In the local library, talk centered around the loss of the town doctor too. "I’ve known Dr. Morningstar from the time he came to Emmitsburg," said librarian Katie Warthen. "He has been a pillar in this community and will be remembered as a man of compassion." Dr. Morningstar, who delivered two of Mrs. Warthen’s children, developed a strong bond with the family over the past 30 years. "He was dedicated. Everyone knows that. He accomplished so much in his years. I guess we all want to claim a little of our beloved physician."

The community of Mount St. Mary’s College will also miss Dr. Morningstar’s dedication and compassion. Dr. Morningstar has served as college physician since he opened his Emmitsburg family practice in 1959. Rev. Patrick J. McLaughlin, the campus chaplain said, "I want to remember Dr. George Morningstar simply as a good man. . .one who had a sincere compassion for his older patients and knew each one by name. I want to remember him as a man who would call everything to a halt to give his undivided attention to a college student who was ill or hurting. He would always have such a beautiful fatherly sense towards students because to him they each were much like his own kids and he could be a ‘Dutch uncle’ when that was needed. I think the wonderful quality of George Morningstar was that in his approach to healing and medicine he was a physician who was a husband and father. . . a family man."

Rainee Blakeslee, a local nurse who worked with Dr. Morningstar for the last ten years at both the Gettysburg Hospital and in the Mount Infirmary, remembered Dr. Morningstar’s compassion. "He would do all that he could to help people," she said. "Whenever we had to call him, he was always alert, very gentle and listened to what you were saying, even if we had to wake him up in the middle of the night." Mrs. Blakeslee was impressed with Dr. Morningstar’s ability as a skilled diagnostician. "He also had a genuine love and respect for the nurses who were having problems.  What’s the community going to do?" Mrs. Blakeslee wondered aloud. "There is no way he can be replaced. He had his finger in an awful lot of pies that many people weren’t aware of."

Mount student and editor of the campus newspaper Carolyn Hakes said, "He was great. He contributed a lot of time to the Mount and he’ll be greatly missed."

Patients come to his office on South Seton Avenue from many of the communities surrounding Emmitsburg. In Thurmont, many considered Dr. Morningstar to be their local physician. Mrs. Tuck Willards’ family have been patients for 30 years. "It’s a terrible loss," she said. "He was not only a good physician, but a wonderful friend. He was wonderful to everyone." Another Thurmont resident and long-time patient said, "he was a spiritual man who directed his life’s work towards helping others. We are a lucky community to have been blessed with a caring physician like Dr. Morningstar."

 

The Gettysburg Times Editorial captured the essence of the man and his scholarship best:

"Morningstar is a most apt given name for this man. His life and work, somehow, rose and shone above all others. It was always there to assure, in a dawn after dark times, that there are new days, or parts of them to live. George Morningstar will remind us that whatever we have in parts or whole days, we should live them well."

The Dr. George Morningstar scholarship was established by the Emmitsburg Lions Club in 1989 in memory of Emmitsburg's beloved physician who died suddenly before his time.
"....that rare doctor who fully embodied the biblical standard of "dear and glorious physician." 

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