OBITUARY: Donald W. Hegge, M.D., services Saturday

  • Fri Jul 10th, 2015 5:58pm
  • News

Dr. Hegge

Donald W. Hegge, M.D.

March 30, 1937

June 25, 2015

Donald W. Hegge, M.D., passed away on June, 25, 2015 at the age of 78, after a short illness, with family at his side.

He was born on his family farm in Littlerock, North Dakota, the youngest of eleven siblings. The family moved to Elgin, North Dakota, when Don was 7, where he attended school.

He lost his mother at 16 and father at 17. He was offered a temporary home with Dr. and Mrs. Buckingham and was thereby able to complete high school in his hometown.

Dr. Buckingham awakened Don’s interest in pursuing a medical career aiding others.

Don was an avid high school athlete and member of the 1956 National Championship Football Team, the Elgin Fighting Dutchmen.

Don graduated from high school in 1956. He attended the University of Washington from 1956 to 1959 in Seattle, Washington, where some of his married siblings were living.

He returned and attended the University of North Dakota Medical School in 1960 and 1961. Don attended medical school at the University of Washington from 1961 to 1963. During that time, he met his wife, Brita-Ann, a postgraduate exchange student in Nursing Administration from Sweden.

He had his internship at Detroit Receiving Hospital in Michigan. Brita-Ann returned from Sweden, and they married in September of 1963.

The couple moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, where Don had one year of general surgery. He then attended the urology residency program from 1965 to 1968 at the University of Washington in Seattle

Upon graduation he entered the Air Force and became the Chief of the Urology Department at the Air Force University Hospital, Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama.

Following his honorable discharge in 1970, Don moved his young family to Port Angeles to become the sole urologist on the North Olympic Peninsula for 13 years. He practiced until 1994.

During this time, he was actively involved first at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Port Angeles and, after moving to Sequim, in Faith Lutheran Church.

From early on, Don recognized the need for increased medical care in Sequim. In 1978, he started the preparation to get a medical facility built in Sequim.

He was the driving force in getting the Sequim Medical Plaza built and operating. He did so with the involvement of partners from the medical field.

Don recruited partners and was the voluntary chairman of Sequim Medical Plaza, Sequim’s Same Day Surgery and Sequim Diagnostic Services from their opening days in 1981 through the next decade and more. Donald W. Hegge, M.D., with partners in the medical field, provided access to previously distant care and recruited fellow physicians to the area, who in turn further expanded area care.

He held memberships in the American Urological Association and the Western Section of Urologists.

His other driving loves included family, travel, sports, architecture and the arts.

In retirement, “Doc” as friends and his patients knew him, further pursued these, with extended stays on the Hawaiian Islands and three lengthy national motorhome trips, one to Alaska. He and his wife, Brita-Ann, also enjoyed extensive international travels.

Always a Husky, Don remained an ardent sports fan. He also finally had the time to enjoy golfing and swimming. His love and hobby of architecture, a weekend pursuit when he designed and built the family home, was also continued.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Brita-Ann; two children, Ann-Marie and Eric Donald (Tracy); two grandchildren, Nick and Brianna; sisters Myrtle Rieker of Glendale, Arizona, and Eilene Almos of Moses Lake, Washington; and many nieces and nephews around the country.

His parents, four brothers and four sisters preceded him in death.

Services will be held Saturday, July 11, 2015, at 1 p.m. at Faith Lutheran Church, 382 West Cedar Street, Sequim, and will be open to the public with graveside services following.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Faith Lutheran Church or your favorite charity.