Martin Fleming “Buddy” McDonough, Jr. passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, at the age of 92.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Martin Fleming “Doc” McDonough, Sr. and Cornie Ernestine (Shelby) McDonough, his sister, Bettye McDonough Kellett, and granddaughter, Stephanie Ann McDonough.
Buddy leaves behind his adoring wife of 71 years, JoAnn Barker McDonough; two loving children, Martin Stephen McDonough (Flowerree) and Debbie McDonough Gaff (Michael); three grandchildren, Jennifer Phillips (Darryl), Elizabeth Napolitano (Jack) and John McDonough; one great-granddaughter, Emma Cate Napolitano, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Buddy was born on February 20, 1926 to Doc and Cornie at their home on 38th Street across from the Chattanooga Medicine Company, and the St. Elmo community featured prominently for the rest of his life. His compassion for people, pride in his community, and love for his family and church were evident throughout his life, and is the legacy he leaves.
From a young age, Buddy was a joy to be around, popular with others, and always kept service to his community at the forefront of his heart. He was an active lifelong member of the St. Elmo Church of Christ, the local Masonic Lodge, the Alhambra Shine, and Scottish Rite.
Buddy greatly enjoyed hunting, fishing, good looking cars, shooting billiards, among other hobbies. During his early years, he was a local life guard, a cheerleader, part of Mr. Joe Engel’s famous Knot Hole Gang and was even a Golden Glove boxer
After his marriage, one of his most treasured pastimes was dancing with his bride, JoAnn, and later with his children, grandchildren and friends.
Buddy was a member in several professional organizations including Chattanooga Pharmacists’ Society, Tennessee Pharmacists’ Society and the National Association of Retail Druggists. He served on the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy and on the Dean’s Advisory Committee for the College of Pharmacy at Samford University. Other memberships included the Pan-O-Ram Club and Mountain City Club.
At age 17, aware of the importance of serving his country, Buddy was determined to enlist in WWII. Being under the legal age, he convinced his mother to sign the enlistment papers, and on May 12, 1944, he joined the US Navy as a Pharmacist’s Mate Third Class. Buddy entered the war and was sent to the Pacific Theater where he served on both the USS Sarasota and the USS Fond du Lac. His ship was poised to enter Okinawa when they received news that the war was over.
Buddy served just over two years on active duty, and was Honorably Discharged on May 22, 1946. He received the Victory Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Area Ribbon and the American Area Ribbon for Philippine Liberation. He always considered himself a Navy man, and was pleased to have served his country.
Newly married, and with the help of the GI Bill, Buddy and JoAnn moved to Birmingham and he enrolled in the Howard College of Pharmacy, later part of Samford University, to learn the pharmaceutical trade and eventually join his father at Incline Drug. Their son, Steve, was born while there, and Debbie arrived once they were back in Chattanooga.
Although he worked long hours at the drug store, his family was always first in his mind and heart, especially since he shared the work space with both his father and, later, Steve. All three were mindful of the store’s motto: “The Store of Friendly Service.” In fact, Buddy was named Tennessee Pharmacist’s 1983 “King of Courtesy” … not surprising to those who knew him!
Buddy didn’t just work in St. Elmo, but also lived and attended church there the majority of his life.
One of Buddy’s greatest joys was the arrival of his first granddaughter, Jennifer, who eventually dubbed him her “Papa.” Besides “Husband” and “Daddy,” it was the title he wore most proudly of all.
A lifelong member of the St. Elmo Church of Christ, Buddy believed in the Gospel message and the mission of the church and its members to spread that message far and wide in word, action, and deed.
Buddy was the epitome of a loving husband, adoring father and unwavering role model. He loved his family unconditionally and supported each of them in every endeavor. He may have only been 5’6”, but Buddy was a giant in the eyes of his family. All who knew him will miss his easy smile and big heart, but we can rejoice knowing he will be watching over all of us from Heaven.
The family would like to offer heartfelt thanks to Buddy’s special care givers, Hannah Sanders, Haven Smith and Fatrina Ransom along with the amazing support system that is Hospice of Chattanooga.
Buddy will be interred in a private family burial on Friday, April 20, and the family will hold visitation starting at 11 a.m. at the St. Elmo Church of Christ, 4713 St. Elmo Ave., Chattanooga, 37409, with a celebratory memorial service to follow at 12noon.
In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to make a donation to St. Elmo Church of Christ, Hospice of Chattanooga or the charity of your choice.
Arrangements are by Wann Funeral Home and Cremation Center 4000 Tennessee Ave., Chattanooga, Tn. 37409. Share your memories, stories and photos at www.wannfuneralhome.com.