Glenn “Doc” Hogancamp, MD, was a generous man with a kind heart who would have given his last dime to help someone in trouble. His generosity lives on in a room honoring his memory and dedicated to the staff at Evelyn’s House, the hospice home where he spent his final days.
As a teenager, Carol Branson helped her father, a family practice physician, by answering the phones and scheduling patients’ appointments at his offices in Ballwin and Ellisville, Missouri. It was an experience she will always remember.
“I could tell you countless stories of people struggling financially, due to having a large family, loss of a job, medical disabilities or people just down on their luck. Dad gave them free treatments, house calls, discounts and free medicine,” she says. “He was never too busy to drop what he was doing to lend a helping hand to anyone who needed him.”
That was Glenn “Doc” Hogancamp, MD, a generous man with a kind heart who would have given his last dime to help someone in trouble, says Carol.
His generosity lives on in a room honoring his memory and dedicated to the staff at Evelyn’s House, the hospice home where he spent his final days. Carol and her husband, inspired by Doc’s kindness, made a gift to The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital so that others can benefit from the same care Doc received.
“We were taught to help those in need and less fortunate than ourselves,” Carol says. “Dad always told us that material things didn’t matter. What matters is the kind of person you are, your relationship with God and how you treat others.”
A Calling for Medicine
Doc understood what it was like to come from humble beginnings. He was born and grew up on a farm in the small town of Bardwell, Kentucky. One of ten children, Doc attended a one-room schoolhouse and later earned both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Education from Murray State University in Kentucky. While attending the university, he met the love of his life, Annette Webb, and the couple later eloped and remained married for 68 years.
After getting his degrees, Doc became a math and science teacher, basketball coach, principal and superintendent of schools, all in Ashley, Illinois, while Annette taught English at the same school.
But Doc had always felt a calling to become a physician, so after about six years working in education he decided to go to medical school. He graduated third in his class with honors in medicine and surgery from University of Louisville School of Medicine. He then went on to enjoy a lengthy career that included more than 40 years in private practice in Missouri and Kentucky as well as eight years as director of emergency medicine at Lourdes Hospital in Paducah, Kentucky.
“He loved being a doctor,” Carol says. “He was more than a doctor, he was a caregiver, mentor and friend to his patients.”
He also loved sports medicine and donated his time as team physician for Rockwood School District sporting events, as well as the Ballwin American Legion team.
“Among our fondest memories is that the coaches at high school games would look for Dad in the stands or sidelines and they’d be calling, ‘Doc, Doc,’ and Dad would run down to take care of an injured player,” Carol recalls. “It made us so proud because everyone in the community looked up to him and trusted him to help their kids and handle any situation that arose. They knew he was dedicated to helping others.”
Finding Joy at Every Stage of Life
After Doc retired in 2008 at age 80, he and Annette discovered they enjoyed traveling and went on many trips with Carol and her husband, Mike, until Annette passed away in 2016.
Doc continued to travel with Carol and Mike but fell ill during a 2019 visit to Montana. Doc had just turned 90, and 17 days later he was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
“Dad would never let us be quitters,” Carol says. “When he found out he had terminal cancer he told us, ‘When I die, I don’t want there to be a lot of sadness and crying. It should be a time for celebration.’ Our house had always been filled with love, laughter and music. Dad played guitar, mandolin, fiddle and even the piano.” Together, the family made sure the end of life would be no different.
When Carol and her family learned about Evelyn’s House and its goal to celebrate the well-lived lives of its guests, the hospice home seemed like the perfect place for Doc. Thanks to Evelyn’s House, Doc was able to enjoy the last 2 1/2 months of his life, Carol says. He was comfortable, happy and always had a smile on his face.
“I can’t say enough about the kindness, the attentiveness, the empathy, the skill and expertise of the staff at Evelyn’s House. The physical exhaustion of being a caregiver was removed and we could share all that time just being with Dad. For us, as well as him, it was just such a positive experience,” she says.
“I think the staff does as much for the family as the patient. They supported us and guided us through the journey. We’ll never forget the wonderful, dedicated staff at Evelyn’s House. God bless them all.”
Carol has many fond memories of Doc’s stay at Evelyn’s House. There were the times when he played the home’s piano or when the family and Doc harmonized with the music therapist while singing Doc’s requested “My Old Kentucky Home.” And then there was a very special occasion when the family held a fish fry for Doc at Evelyn’s House.
“He was just happy as a clam,” Carol says.
She also remembers how a nurse’s aide was able to convince her father to get a massage.
“At 90, he had never had a massage. I don’t know how she talked him into it, but after that, he looked so forward to it every day he was there,” says Carol. “It made him feel so much better.”
Because of the care Doc and his family received at Evelyn’s House, Carol and Mike continue to give after their original gift to the home was made in order to name his room, No. 9, as “The Glenn ‘Doc’ Hogancamp, MD, Guest Room.” The plaque on the door also states, “With Love and Gratitude to the Dedicated Staff at Evelyn’s House.” Carol says they hope their investment will ensure the future expansion of Evelyn’s House.
“I hope our donation will help bring Evelyn’s House closer to their goal of adding on to their wonderful facility so that more dying patients and families can benefit from this special place and the extraordinary care provided by the exemplary people who work there.”