Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


March 3, 2014

Dr. Philip Deatherage

CROSSVILLE — Oct. 3, 1920—Feb. 28, 2014

Philip Miner Deatherage, MD, 93, of Crossville, passed away Feb. 28, 2014. Visitation will be held at Bilbrey Funeral Home March 6, from 5 to 7 p.m., with funeral services to be held March 7 at 10 a.m. Interment will be in Oliver Springs City Cemetery March 7 at 1 p.m. CST.

Dr. Deatherage was born Oct. 3, 1920, in Birmingham, AL, the son of Hubert Taylor Deatherage and Amy Payne Deatherage. Prior to moving to Knoxville in 1930, his family lived in California and North Carolina.

He was nine years old at the start of the Great Depression and learned early in life the importance of giving to those less fortunate, even when times are hard. He was a giving man his entire life. Dr. Deatherage contributed much to his country, community and family in his 93 years of living.

After attending Park College (B.A. 1943), Dr. Deatherage served in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He served as a first lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, First Battalion Sixth Marine Reg. (2nd Marine Division), stationed at Camp Lejeune, Camp Pendleton, Saipan and Japan. He landed in Nagasaki in September 1945 and was among the first Marines to land after the bombing. After the war, he transferred to the Marine Corps Reserve.

He entered the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1947 and graduated with his M.D. in 1951. As a senior in medical school, he transferred from Marine Corps Reserve to the United States Naval Reserve. He interned at Kansas City General Hospital and did his surgical residency at City Memorial Hospital, Winston-Salem, NC, and the Veterans Administration hospitals at Newington and West Haven, CT, and Clarksburg, WV. He was chief surgical resident at Allentown Hospital, Allentown, PA, from July 1957 to June 1958.

From 1958 to 1974, Dr. Deatherage was in private practice as a general surgeon in Berkeley Springs, WV, where he was the sole surgeon in the community. Out of necessity, he performed various procedures ranging from trauma to orthopedics to childbirth. During this time, he remained in reserve status with the U.S. Navy Medical Corps and served on tours of duty at Bethesda Naval Hospital, Bethesda, MD, on orthopedic service, and he served as medical officer for the Cumberland (MD) Reserve Unit, where he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant commander in 1966. After treating soldiers returning from the Vietnam War, he retired from the Naval Reserve in 1973 with a citation.

He moved to Crossville in 1973 and continued his medical practice at Cumberland Medical Center and Crossville Medical Group, retiring in 1989. Soon after, he went back to work as medical director at Life Care nursing home (now WyndRidge Health and Rehabilitation Center), retiring in 2000 at the age of 79.

He was a skilled surgeon. Many tell the story of how "Dr. D" saved the life and limb of their mother, brother, sister or cousin. He never refused to help someone just because they could not pay. His family knew all too well that the rick of wood, delicious casseroles and hand-crocheted throws were more honorable payments for surgical services rendered than a dollar would ever be. Dr. Deatherage was a country doctor with a huge heart to heal. He made a difference not only in the lives of countless neighbors, but also in the lives of many young men as an active Scout leader in the Boy Scouts of America.

Dr. Deatherage served in Crossville as a Boy Scout leader of Troop 174 for 10 years. He helped teach a generation of Crossville men how to fish, pitch tents, shoot arrows and survive in the woods. Most importantly, he taught them how to give back to their community. Under his leadership, and that of his colleagues, many young men had the opportunity to travel and learn about the world beyond their own backyard. Dr. Deatherage taught the boys that the spirit of giving knows no boundaries.

Dr. Deatherage passed this wonderful giving spirit on to five children, one grandchild, three great-grandchildren, and many more "adopted" kids and friends. His legacy lives on in sons and daughters who serve, teach and contribute to the world around them as a shadow of the amazing life he contributed to us all.

He is survived by his wife, Mildred Deatherage of Crossville; son, James Deatherage of King George, VA; son, Thomas Deatherage of San Antonio, TX; daughter, Ann Deatherage of San Antonio, TX; daughter, Sarah Deatherage of Knoxville; son, Paul Deatherage of Lexington, KY; granddaughter, Jennifer Caley of Stafford, VA; and great-grandchildren, Andrew, Ashley and Amelia Caley of Stafford, VA.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to First United Methodist Church or Boy Scouts of America.

Bilbrey Funeral Home, Inc. ( was in charge of the arrangements.

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