Murray Benham Lumpkin, 86, of Dalton, Georgia, died on Sunday, October 25, 2015, at his beloved home where he had lived for more than 80 years.
He was preceded in death by his father, W. H. “Pete” Lumpkin; his mother, Margaretta Womelsdorf Lumpkin; his brother, W. H. “Bill” Lumpkin, Jr.; and his brother-in-law, Julius Clarence “Bud” Shaw.
Dr. Lumpkin was born July 20, 1929 in Cartersville, GA. He was a Dalton native and graduate of Dalton Public Schools. One of his achievements was becoming an Eagle Scout in 1942. He played football at high school and was team captain in 1945. He attended Emory University where he received a BA in science and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He pursued his medical degree through Emory University School of Medicine and a surgical internship at Grady Memorial Hospital. He was a 5 year surgical resident at Grady Hospital and then served in the U. S. Army Medical Corp as Chief of Surgery at Valley Forge Army Hospital in Pennsylvania. He became board certified in 1957 and a member of the American College of Surgeons in 1962.
His love for Dalton caused him to return to his hometown in 1960 as the first board certified specialist in Dalton. He was at the forefront of a group of young physician specialists coming to Dalton and developing Hamilton Medical Center into a state-of-the-art community hospital with specialists in all areas of medicine. He brought many new surgical techniques to this area, thus saving lives and improving the health of many people.
As founder and former partner of North Georgia Surgical Associates, PC, Dr. Lumpkin performed many of the first major surgeries in Dalton: open chest operations, bronchoscopy, esophagoscopy, vascular grafts, endarterectomy, and open bone procedures such as hip replacements. He was the first to do total removal of pancreas and adrenal gland and radical neck dissection for cancer. Throughout his career, he continued to pioneer surgical procedures, such as laparoscopic cholecystectomy, thoracoscopic removal of tumors of the chest, and laparoscopic hernia repairs.
As a doctor in Dalton and a member of the staff of Hamilton Medical Center, he served as President of the Medical Staff and also was Chief of the Department of Surgery and numerous other offices both at Hamilton Medical Center and also at the Murray County Hospital. He was a leader in trauma care, serving as the head of the trauma committee for 15 years and was responsible for Hamilton Medical Center becoming a Level II Trauma Center. He served as the Director of Region One of the State of Georgia on the Committee for Trauma as well as President of the Medical Staff, Chief of Surgery.
In 1996, Dr. Lumpkin retired from his active surgical practice but considered retirement as graduation to new activities, one of which was to be an area torchbearer for the 1996 Olympics. He continued to practice medicine at the Medical Access Clinic throughout the North Georgia Regional Health Department for 12 years. He served on the boards of the Alzheimer’s Foundation, Foundation for Successful Aging, and the American Cancer Society, Aids Task Force, and the County Health Department. He actively trained personnel in the use of the AED, automatic external defibrillator for cardiac arrest. He was active on the board of Hamilton Emergency Medical Services, Inc. from 1985 to 2014. One activity he always wanted to pursue was painting so he took lessons in watercolor and won several first place ribbons at the county fair. Other awards he received were the Humanitarian Award from the Whitfield Healthcare Foundation of Hamilton Medical Center and the Paul Harris Fellow from the Dalton Rotary Club.
He was a member of ChristChurch Presbyterian (formerly First Presbyterian) from the time he was born and where he taught Sunday School for 14 years until his illness developed in 2014. Next to his church and family, he loved his dogs, hunting, fishing, traveling, and friends. The family wishes to thank Horace Moore for his dedicated devotion to Dr. Lumpkin during his illness; Hamilton Hospice, in particular, Jennie Banks, Caron Cobb, and Davida Underwood, along with Dr. Mark Elam, Dr. Bill McKay and the staff at Judd Cancer Center, for their loving care and support during Dr. Lumpkin’s illness.
Survivors include his wife, Carol Sutton Lumpkin; sons, Dr. Murray MacIntyre Lumpkin and wife Lucy Rose of Wintergreen, VA and Peter Benham Lumpkin and wife Debbie of Calhoun, GA; daughters, Berrien Lumpkin Long and husband Mickey of Rocky Face and Alice Lumpkin Ensley and husband Doug of Dalton; granddaughters, Collier and Kate Lumpkin of New York City, Mimi Ensley of South Bend, IN and Emma Ensley of Chicago, IL, Jo Beth Long Thompson and husband Chad of Dalton and Lilly Long Douglas and husband John of Chattanooga; step-grandson, Justin Schayer of Atlanta; great-granddaughters, Libba and Mary Lois Thompson of Dalton; sister, Margaretta Lumpkin Shaw of Atlanta; sister–in law, Betty McCamy Lumpkin of Dalton; several nieces and nephews and their spouses and grandnieces and grandnephews; and his dearly beloved dogs, Buck and Beau.
Pallbearers will be the Elders of ChristChurch Presbyterian with honorary pallbearers being the Louise Ham Men’s Sunday School Class, DHS Class of 1946, the Supper Club and the Grumpy Old Men, Murray’s walking group.
Visitation will be Tuesday, Oct. 27, at Love Funeral Home from 5-8 p.m.
Funeral will be at ChristChurch Presbyterian on Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 11 a.m. with Dr. William Dudley and Rev. Alfred Turley officiating with burial at Christus Gardens in Whitfield Memorial Gardens.
The family requests that flowers be omitted and memorials be made to ChristChurch Presbyterian, 510 S. Tibbs Rd., Dalton, GA 30720 or to NW Georgia Council Boy Scouts of America, 100 E. 2nd Avenue, Suite 20, Rome, GA 30161 or to a charity of one’s choosing.
Words of comfort may be sent to the family at www.lovefuneralhomega.com. Love Funeral Home, 1402 N. Thornton Ave. Dalton is in charge of arrangements.