THE GETTYSBURG TIMES
Friday, April 29, 1988
REMEMBERS DR. GEORGE L. MORNINGSTAR
by Erin Dingle
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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."
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."