Halbert E. Ashworth, MD. Captain Medical Corps USN (Ret), of Hilton Head, SC passed away on Thursday January 25th, 2018.
Hal was born in Beckley, WV on March 10th, 1934 to the late Hattie Mae (Tiller) Ashworth and Eugene Marvin Ashworth. He spent his early years in Beckley and moved to Charleston, WV in 1945. He graduated from Charleston High School in 1952 and graduated from Duke University in 1956. On June 10th, 1956 he married his high school sweetheart and the love of his life, Peggy Jean Spradling in Charleston, WV.
After graduating from Duke, he spent 11 months as a Naval Aviation Officer Candidate and was commissioned an Ensign in 1957 prior to his release to the inactive reserves because of an excess of Naval aviators at the time. He then entered the West Virginia University School of Medicine in 1958 and graduated with an MD degree in 1962. After completing medical school, he returned to active duty in the Navy and interned at Naval Hospital Pensacola, FL. He then attended the Naval Institute of Aviation Medicine and spent 2 1/2 years as a Naval Flight Surgeon assigned to Carrier Wing 3 and the USS Saratoga, CVN60, visiting many ports in the Mediterranean aboard the "SARA".
He started in the General Surgery Residency training program in 1966 at the
National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD. He continued in the Cardiothoracic Surgery program, graduating in 1974. He remained on the staff at Bethesda attaining the rank of Captain, ultimately becoming Chairman of the Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery Service. He retired from the Navy in 1980 after 20 years of faithful service. He was a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Fellow of the American College of Thoracic Surgeons, Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, Member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, and Associate Professor of Surgery at George Washington University School of Medicine.
Upon retiring from the Navy, Hal and Peggy moved to Wyomissing, PA where he and a Navy colleague, G. W. Gregory, MD, started the open-heart surgery program at the Reading Hospital and Medical Center in 1980. He worked in private practice for 12 years before retiring from medical practice in 1992.
His love of orchestral music led to him serve 11 years on the Board of Directors of the Reading Symphony Orchestra, the last four as President.
Over the years Hal and Peggy traveled extensively starting with Egypt, Greece, and Italy, then throughout Europe, the UK, the Baltic, South America, Australia and the Caribbean. A favorite destination was Curtain Bluff on Antigua in the Caribbean which they visited 30 times.
When it got too cold in Pennsylvania he and Peggy moved to Bluffton, SC in 2003 where they built a home and lived for 14 years until they moved last year to Hilton Head. His love of music continued, and he served 10 years on the Board of Directors of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra.
Hal is survived by his loving wife Peggy, his four loving children; Melissa
Buchanan (Bill) of Springfield, GA; Laura McCloughan (Michael) of Nobelsville, IN; Rolfe Ashworth (Michele) of Virginia Beach, VA, and Nancy Callahan (John) of Denver, CO; and his brother Don Ashworth (Cindy) of Charleston, WV. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren; Colleen and Kevin (McCloughan); Patrick and Devin (Callahan); William and Lindsay (Buchanan); and Elisabeth, Madalyn, Margaret and Jonathon (Ashworth); and 2 great grandchildren (Maren Grace, Theodore Marcellus). They will all miss him greatly.
Funeral service will be held on Saturday, February 24th at 10:00 a.m. at First
Presbyterian Church, 540 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, PO Drawer 5757, Hilton Head Island, SC 29938
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