In honor of friends

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 24, 2000

Features Editor

Many men are honored, but when a man and his son are honored together, there has to be a special reason for the recognition.

Dr. James A. Brantley and his son, Dr. James C. "Buddy" Brantley were so honored Thursday when Edge Regional Medical Center dedicated the newly renovated Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Waiting Room to them.

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"It is our pleasure to honor two men who have dedicated their lives to helping others," said Dr. Steven Coleman, hospital chief of staff.

"The physicians and staff of Edge Regional Medical Center and members of the community honor Dr. J. A. Brantley and Dr. James C. Brantley who continue to lend comfort and support with their kind spirits and positive attitudes."

The ICU waiting room could not hold all of those who came to pay tribute to two of the area’s most popular and best loved doctors.

The overflow crowd stretched down the halls of the hospital’s third floor and people strained to listen to the accolades befitting the doctors.

Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford commented on the compassion and kind spirits of

both father and son and their high degree of medical skill.

"Dr. Jack and Dr. Buddy both served their country in the Navy," Lunsford said. "They are true patriots. They are good men, good doctors, good Christians and good friends. All of that adds up to greatness."

Rep. Alan Boothe read a proclamation from Gov. Don Siegelman designating June 21, 2001 in their honor. Boothe also read a resolution from the Alabama House of Representatives commending the doctors on their commitment to the field of medicine and to making a positive difference in the lives of those they served.

Dr. Alan Young, physician advisor for the hospital, told the gathering a person learns in three ways – through books, through practice and through example."

"Dr. Jack and Dr. Buddy have been great examples," he said. "They were committed to their patients every day and I can think of no better way to honor them and their commitment than by naming the ICU waiting room in their honor."

The Brantley commitment to the Pike County community began a half century ago on the first floor of the old Masonic Temple building.

Dr. J.A. Brantley had come home to practice medicine.

Although he was born in Waycross, Ga., he moved to Troy at a very young age and graduated from Troy High School.

After attending The Citadel for a year, he attend Auburn University for two years and the University of Alabama for another. He enrolled in Tulane University School of Medicine in 1936 and married his childhood sweetheart, Jane Jernigan in 1938.

Brantley spent seven years in the Navy and upon completion of his Naval service, he returned to practice medicine.

In 1951, he partnered with Dr. William Stewart and, in 1957, went into solo practice in an office building on Walnut Street, which was the first architect-designed, free standing doctor’s office in Pike County.

Dr. Jack Brantley made house calls and often said this gave him insight into his patients’ lifestyles. He was well known for the genuine compassion and kindness with which he treated his patients. He was thought of as a good friend, who just happened to be a doctor.

Dr. Buddy Brantley earned the respect of his patients and friends while practicing medicine with his father. He was greatly influenced by his father and his caring and gentle demeanor has made a lasting impression on his patients.

He was born in San Diego, Calif. but completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Alabama. He graduated from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1966 and performed an internship at Georgia Baptist Hospital in Atlanta.

Like his father, he served his country in the Navy from 1967-69 and then continued his residency training at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville.

In 1972, he joined his father’s medical practice at 318 W. Walnut Street. He continued to practice there after his father’s retirement in 1991 and until his own

retirement in 1998.

Both Drs. Brantley maintain special relationships with their former patients and continue to encourage and uplift them with their kind and caring spirits, Young said.

Both doctors said their spirits were uplifted Wednesday by the outpouring of caring by the community they served for so long.

"We are both deeply honored," the elder Brantley said. "Deeply honored."

Life father, his son nodded in full agreement.