George Eugene (Gene) Artress, M.D., beloved husband, father, brother, uncle and friend passed away Monday, May 10, 2010. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Mary; loving sister Juanita; four daughters; seven grandchildren; and many cherished nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by three older brothers Lynn, Elwin and Val.
Artress was born outside of Chattanooga, TN on May 30, 1930. He attended Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California where he received his Doctorate of Medicine. In 1954, Artress married Mary LaGrone, of Amarillo, Texas, a nurse he met during medical school. After completing his residency in general medicine, he joined the U.S. Navy and soon after the U.S. State Department where he cared for U.S. citizens abroad and helped to open much needed medical clinics from 1959 to 1968 in countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Thailand and the Philippines.
Upon returning to the U.S., Artress moved his family to Smyrna, where he practiced family medicine at the same location for more than 30 years. He remained committed to his profession and patients, especially seniors, becoming a founding member of the Georgia Medical Directors Association for Nursing Homes and president of the American Medical Directors Association.
Patients referred to Artress as Dr. George and would often bring home-made gifts of food, quilts or paintings. Hundreds of patients have stories to tell of Dr. George as not just a physician, but as a trusted friend who was always there when needed. Not just patients cared for Dr. George; many of his office staff worked with him for more than 30 years and became much beloved members of his extended family.
With his passing, his family and loved ones are reminded of the definition of a true hero – a person with courage, selflessness, bravery and honesty – truly the traits and life personified by Dr. George.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, May 14, 2010 at 11:00am at the chapel of Georgia Memorial Park with Pastor Peter Kulakov officiating. The family will receive friends on Thursday, May 13, 2010 from 6-9pm at the funeral home.
Georgia Memorial Park Funeral Home in charge of arrangements. 770-432-0771