Dr. Archer K. Tullidge

“I surrender all, I surrender all,”                                                                                                        All to Jesus, I surrender, I surrender all.” ( Words from an old hymn)

These words are a testimony to my brother Arch’s life which ended on this earth last week.  He had dreamed of  being a medical missionary to  go to Africa to use his passion to teach and heal among the poorest of the poor.  For whatever the reason, that door was closed so Arch changed course and went to West Virginia to the heart of coal country to serve there.  Because he was not happy to have the union tell him how to practice medicine, he left for East Tennessee which is  also in Appalachia. I remember he was the only doc for 18,000 souls when he first went to minister to them.  He was on duty 24/7 , and often delivered babies and officiated at funerals as well as healing.  The people loved this big bear of a man who was always full of stories and love. He was the doc who would tell patients to lose weight when he himself struggled with his love of food and also his struggles with nicotine. He was understanding when patients were not perfect. Patients would sometimes pay with potatoes or other items of barter.  Arch built a clinic and later a hospital.  I remember the first time I visited there that many houses and barns were unpainted. I had never seen that before.  It was due to poverty that people had no money for paint. This was Mountain City years ago, but now it is more thriving. It is here that Arch wish to be buried.

The family grew by leaps and bounds as 5 boys arrived in 5 1/2 years. Dot had her hands full as did  Arch with his never ending line of  patients. They stayed until another door was closed and Arch had serious eye problems that made it necessary to find a less stressful practice.  He went to work in an Emergency Room..less stressful?  He also joined the Veteran Hospital system to work with the veterans and especially loved the World Word I I vets with their stories of  courage and determination.  And he cared for the Native Americans who were near his V A Hospital  in South Dakota.

More and serious health problems arose and he retired from the VA system.  But he was going to try one more time to go overseas . They were all set to go to Belize when there was a medical crisis that made this move impossible.  With such grace, he and Dot  said that they were happy some other younger couple would now get the opportunity to serve…no anger at yet another door closing in their lives.

They moved from Florida to Alabama and  Arch was exhibiting more and more symptoms of Parkansons …again with no complaint or anger.Slowly he became more and more inferred, but his mind stayed clear until the end.  He asked Dot to try and keep him at home as long as possible.  He died at home. They cherished the time to remember their life together, to talk and just sit together after years of the life of a busy committed doctor.  Arch, ever the story teller, was able to share and inspire residents from the University of Alabama . Many of them continued to visit long after their class was over.

Life in bed became a reality and lasted for nearly five years. That long and final refining seemed to many a burden almost unbearable, but Arch and Dot surrendered that as well.  Arch would always be cheerful on the phone and never angry or complaining. This was the life he was to live and he met it with the  same joy of other seasons in his life. He was quick to share his faith and hope and to encourage lovingly all who called even when  speaking became more and more  a struggle.  Last week, his time on earth was over.

His life was a continuum of loving God with all his heart, mind , and soul and loving  his neighbors as himself. For all the “least among us” to whom he ministered body and soul. I thank God.  For his example of perseverance, love,  and faith, I am also grateful.

I also thank God for His promise:

“Blessed is the man who preservers under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. ”                                                                                             James 1:12


About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
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40 Responses to Dr. Archer K. Tullidge

  1. Thank you so much for this insight into your dear brother’s life. What a testimony to him and to the God he served!


  2. Trapper Gale says:

    Thanks for sharing this. Arch sounds like a remarkable, loving man who left behind quite a legacy of selflessness.


  3. Dana S. Hugh says:

    Great tribute for your beloved brother, Annetbell!


  4. Sorry for your loss, Annetbell! Thank you for sharing this tribute to your brother and his mission in life to help others.


  5. I’m so sorry for your loss. He sounds like such an amazing man. Thank you for sharing. It’s an inspiration. We never get to hear about the “average” people who do so much to brighten other people’s lives.


  6. dalo2013 says:

    What a wonderful tribute to a man who enriched the lives he touched…although I have never met him, your words bring to light the greatness of your brother. A gift to the world.


  7. ebutla4 says:

    Miss Anne, your brother, Arch, was a blessing to our world, I just feel it in my heart. The physical life that he lead was nothing but sacred, special, and all about others. This is something I can learn from. Now he is blessing Heaven with his soul. I look forward to the day I get to meet him. You are so blessed to have a sibling like Arch. His story will not be forgotten, as he has effected so many others. I am praying for you all in this trying time.
    Long live the soul of Dr. Arch. ❤


    • annetbell says:

      Oh Erin, what a blessing your comment is to me. I am so glad you were touched by his story. You are right, there are so many, many people who have been touched by his life! Thank you for taking time to write such a lovely heartfelt comment.


  8. This is such a loving tribute Anne, one that I’m certain Dot and your extended family will take great comfort in as the days pass and all of you continue to cope with your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time, Heaven has certainly welcomed another angel.


  9. Kesha & P.J. says:

    What a beautiful life he lived. I will think of your brother now each time I hear Mountain City and the many wonderful things he did. Thank you for sharing his story and his services to all of those in need.


    • annetbell says:

      Thank you for sharing your heart. I appreciate it . I don’t think that I shared that as we drove through town to the cemetery that workman stood beside the road , not a huge number but enough to notice with their hats off , placed over their hearts. It was a tender sight!


  10. Kelly Tullidge says:

    Hi Anne, Thank you for sharing this & providing such thoughtful insight. I’ll check out more of your blog now that I know its here. – From George & Ginny’s daughter-in-law [married to Robert in Syracuse, NY]


    • annetbell says:

      Hey girl , I am so glad to here from you. We live in Troy, NY and actually came to your wedding. Our son Chris and his family live in Skaneateles with there two kids. I hope you all can meet. Chris is CFO at Gould’s Pumps and wife Demone is stay at home. (Architect )mom. Parker 8 Violet 3.
      So glad to hear from you!



  11. Maureen lewicki says:

    Such a wonderful man, Anne! So sorry for your loss. I will try to send you a link to a book you would be interested in, about a doctor who served in the Appalachians. Sounds a lot like your brother.


  12. Kev says:

    A real man and what a positive for you to be able to share like this. 🙂


  13. cindy knoke says:

    Oh my gosh!! This has given me goosebumps that won’t go away! How incredible is this man? How marvelous his was his life of service to humanity? What a joy that someone like him was on this earth. I believe this is what a Christian can be when focused on compassion and non-judgement. How inspiring. I am truly sorry for you and your family’s loss, but so grateful you had him in your life. Hugs to all of you.
    PS- I wish he had been my doctor!


    • annetbell says:

      You’ve have loved his stories and his belly laugh. He was this bigger than life person you would never forget even if you only met him once!
      Thanks for such a lovely comment!


  14. Thank you for sharing – he sounds like a wonderful teacher, person and physician. I am sure he is in many hearts and minds to this day.

    Your closing quote was lovely and reflected your brother’s journey… I am sorry for your loss.

    Be well.


  15. Dr. Rex says:

    Awesome!! What a life of service!!! I will reblog …. fellow VA physician!! To honor Arch …. 🙂
    RIP ….


  16. Dr. Rex says:

    Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Dr. Archer K. Tullidge ….. a fellow physician with the Veterans Administration. Honor where honor is due!!


  17. Pingback: Semper Fidelis Award, Parliament Award, Blog of the Year Award | TalesAlongTheWay

  18. Not many would sacrifice their own opportunities and well being for that of another. Example of a true servant of humanity. Thanks for sharing this with me.


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