News 12 First at Five / Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Many in the community are mourning the loss of Dr. W.G. Watson. He was 102 years old.
Dr. Watson was in the hospital after a fall at his home this weekend. He died Wednesday morning, and now, thousands are looking back on his legacy. It's a legacy few can even hold a candle to.
You can't go anywhere in this area without finding someone who knows Dr. "Curly" Watson.
Almost all the ladies at Parks Pharmacy in North Augusta have a connection.
"He's just an icon in this town. Everybody knows him, everybody loves him," explained Lorraine Dunaway.
"My daughter is a Watson baby. She is my one and only child and she is now 57," said June Faglier.
There's no doubt his impact is far reaching, but for Dr. Watson, home was University Hospital.
"The University family is hurting today because we felt like a legend walked among us and certainly, we have lost that legend," said Laurie Ott, president of the University Health Care Foundation.
And on a day when one life comes to an end, we head to the nursery, a place in the hospital full of new beginnings and Dr. Watson was a part of many of them.
"To have delivered more than 15,000 babies in his lifetime is a tremendous legacy," Ott said.
"He would run to the hospital and deliver a baby, and if you had an appointment, you just sat there and waited until he got back because he was worth waiting for," Faglier said.
As oldest known physician in the nation, Dr. Watson was still taking patients up until just a few years back.
"He had a mantra: service and kind words and he also had a saying: God, family, work," Ott said.
"That was his passion and he was just so dedicated to it," Dunaway said.
His statue stands in the lobby and his name will forever be on the building and in many hearts.
"To be able to say that you've made the lives of others better, I think, is the best legacy you can leave. We can say now that he's with God and our thoughts are with his family ... and his work will go on here," Ott said.
Dr. Watson leaves behind his wife, five children, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren -- who call him Papa Doc.
Funeral arrangements have not been announced yet, but News 12 will pass them along as soon as they come in.