The Altoona Rotary Club and the area medical profession lost one of its most respected members with the passing of Dr. John W. Hurst.
Hurst, 99, of The Winds at Mattern Orchard, Duncansville, died Tuesday.
"He was a wonderful guy and was very quiet. He was very professional and was very well respected," Rotarian Jerry Sacks of Altoona said. "Some people called him Jack, but we called him Doc."
Club President Jodi Cessna said Hurst was a very sweet man.
"I had to tell the club about him yesterday, and I got very emotional. We were looking forward to celebrating his 100th birthday in December," Cessna said. "He loved being part of the Rotary club. He always wanted to be involved in any way he could."
Rotarian G. William Ward of Hollidaysburg remembered when he was 12, Hurst treated his injured shoulder.
"I hurt my shoulder lifting a wagon tongue. He came into the office on Saturday and treated my shoulder, and I have never had a problem with it since then," said Ward, whose father William W. Ward was a friend of Hurst. "That was an indication of what kind of a guy he was. He was very compassionate."
Rotarian Irving Seltzer of Altoona called Hurst "a good guy."
"John was a man of great stature but very quiet. He was a very regular attender at the Rotary meetings and very interested in the programs of Rotary," Seltzer said.
Hurst was named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Foundation in 1997, Seltzer said.
Hurst was a board-certified physician in Blair County for more than 50 years. Specializing in radiology, he founded Blair Radiologic Associates, serving Altoona, Nason, Spangler, Bedford and Tyrone hospitals as well as his own practice.
He also established the radiology department of Mercy Hospital, Altoona, and served as the radiologist for the Pennsylvania Railroad for many years. He was one of the original members and owners of the Blair Medical Center in Altoona.
"He was a grand old guy, he was very caring. He loved being a physician. He lived life to the fullest, he really did. He loved his career," his daughter Elizabeth Hurst said.
Bob Donaldson of Hollidaysburg provided transportation for Hurst for the past ten years.
"Doc was very independent. I took him to the supermarket and his doctors appointments," Donaldson said. "When we went to the store, he did his own shopping. He was something else."
Donaldson also said Hurst was a very religious man.
"He was a very alert student of the Bible. When he was at the Lutheran Home, he would ride his motorized scooter to church even in the winter," Donaldson said.
Hurst also had a love for music.
"He had a recording studio in his home. He would write and record songs and play them at the Heidelberg [Country Club], and people would dance to his music," Ward said.
Friends will be received from 9 a.m. until the 11 a.m. funeral service today at First United Methodist Church, 801 Allegheny St., Hollidaysburg.
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.