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Veteran physician had staff privileges at Muncy Hospital

By Staff | Nov 7, 2018

Dr. G. Walter Muffly 1892-1963  

TURBOTVILLE – Dr. George “Walter” Muffly was one of two general practitioners from about 1920 into the 1960’s with offices and residences in Turbotville. If he were unavailable, patients were directed to Dr. Dio Maine Nipple.

Dr. Muffly’s father, also a physician, was Dr. Oscar L. Muffly. In 1892, the elder doctor and wife Matilda Hoffman resided in Turbotville when son Walter was born. At age 9, the youngster was baptized at St. James Lutheran Church in town.

Our subject was enrolled in public school, Turbotville High, and Bucknell University. In 1917, he graduated with a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

After serving a short residency to gain experience at Williamsport Hospital, Dr. Muffly enlisted in June 1918 with the Army Medical Corps. Before his departure, on July 11 he wed Miss Ruth Savidge. The bride was the daughter of Limestone Township residents Benjamin and Sophia (Runyan) Savidge.

Assigned the rank of 1st Lieutenant in the Army Medical Corps, Muffly was sent to the base hospital at Hoboken, New Jersey. Shortly thereafter, he was reassigned to its expanded facility at Camp Mills, Nassau County, Long Island, some ten miles east of New York City.

Camp Mills had been established as a tent camp, then in April 1918, prior to Dr. Muffly’s arrival, the facility became a Port of Embarkation mobilizing troops in transit. While the site remained open until closure in May 1920, Dr. Muffly had been discharged June 23, 1919 after an 11-month stint.

Following his wartime service, the veteran physician returned to Turbotville and to the couple were born daughters Justene (Mrs. Storres Coppes) and Betty Ann (Mrs. Carl Lucas), both late of Muncy.

An ardent fan of baseball, young Muffly had played on the Turbotville team. In 1910, fellow players included Domer Ackerman, Herbert D. Barr, John Bilhime, Tim O. Bobb, Clair Grover, Paul Menges, brother C. Rolland Muffly, T. O. Renn, Joseph Rishel, Hunter Savidge, William “Bill” Savidge, and T. Meryl Shade. The team’s mascot was S. Lee “Skeet” Menges.

In early 1936, our subject’s brother, C. Rolland Muffly, proprietor of a local restaurant and team manager died. Dr. Muffly took over the team’s managerial position.

Following his wife’s death in 1945, the doctor married a second time and to Miss Ethna Louise Kurtz, a registered nurse at Williamsport Hospital. When the couple vacationed in Florida, a favorite pastime was to attend baseball spring training camps at Clearwater.

Dr. Muffly was a member of the Lycoming County Medical Society which met in Williamsport. According to the society’s journal, “He faithfully attended its affairs regardless of distance.”

His interest and leadership in the activities of his home town included Borough Council President, a member of the local Masonic bodies, state and national medical organizations and the Muncy Hospital Medical Society. He was a staff member at both Muncy Valley and the Evangelical Community Hospital at Lewisburg.

In 1922, the Turbotville Community Center was erected and dedicated in honor of the area’s WWI veterans. On a brass plaque in the building’s interior, Dr. Muffly’s name is one of several listed.

The local V. F. W. identified as the Muffly-Huff Post, honors WWII fatality Dorrance Muffly, the doctor’s cousin.

In the medical field, Dr. William P. Bartlow with the Muncy Family Practice group near Pennsdale, is a descendant of Dr. Muffly’s only sister, Irene (Mrs. Randall) Ellis.

Dr. Muffly died on Jan. 13, 1963. Fellow WWI veteran Paul S. Grittner and the staff of his funeral home, oversaw the doctor’s service and internment in St. James Lutheran Cemetery at Turbotville.