Obituary of George Earsel Doyen
George Doyen passed peacefully into the presence of the Lord on September 3, 2018 at the age of 80. George was born March 18, 1938 in Hemphill, Texas to Jimmy and Lucille Doyen. George graduated from Kirbyville High School in 1956 and then became the first male student to attend the x-ray technician school at Baptist Hospital in Beaumont, Texas. While attending x-ray school, George met Nelda Graves and there began a 60-year love story. George and Nelda were married on February 8, 1958 and made their home in Silsbee, Texas from that point forward.
George went to work at Hardin County Memorial Hospital in 1960 as an x-ray technician. While working in Kountze he taught himself how to be a laboratory technician and passed his boards becoming both an x-ray technician and a lab technician. In 1971, George was hired by St. Elizabeth Hospital to create Southeast Texas’ first cardiac program.
St. Elizabeth sent George to Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where he trained to become a perfusionist. While in training, George worked with Dr. Michael Debakey’s surgical team. George became Southeast Texas’ first certified perfusionist. Also in 1971, St. Elizabeth Hospital opened the first cardiac cath lab located between Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Houston, Texas, with George in place as its director. George was instrumental in Southeast Texas’ first cardiac arteriogram, first cardiac angioplasty, first pacemaker implantation, and he operated the heart and lung machine for the area’s first open heart surgery. George was a true pioneer in the field of cardiovascular medicine and cardiac rehab. He retired (the first time), as St. Elizabeth Hospital’s Director of Cardiology, in 2001.
George would return to St. Elizabeth between 2001 and 2012 as a consultant. In addition, he remained involved in cardiac medicine as a consultant to various local cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons until his ultimate retirement in 2017. During his career, St. Elizabeth Hospital’s cardiac program grew from its initial, single cath lab to a department with multiple labs having performed over 90,000 cardiac arteriograms, along with thousands of open heart surgeries and other procedures.
While George’s contributions to cardiac medicine were substantial and notable, his greater accomplishment was the impact he had on thousands of lives during his tenure at St. Elizabeth Hospital. Known simply as “George in the Cath Lab,” he touched literally thousands of lives with words of comfort and prayers of faith for both his patients and their families.
George’s contributions were not limited to his work at St. Elizabeth Hospital. He was a tireless volunteer at his church and with local organizations such as the American Heart Association. He was appointed multiple times as Foreman or member of the Hardin County Grand Jury. After his first retirement, he went on to serve as a City Council Member for the City of Silsbee. George served for many years at Evergreen Assembly of God in Silsbee, and later was a deacon at Fletcher Emmanuel Church Alive in Lumberton. George then was an active member of Journey Community Church in Lumberton from its founding until the time of his death.
George was preceded in death by his parents, Jimmy and Lucille Doyen, his sister, Laylor Weaver, and his brothers: J.R. Doyen, Jimmy Doyen, and Fred Doyen.
He is survived by his wife, Nelda Doyen; his daughter, Juliana Worsham and her husband, Daryl; his son, Scot Doyen and his wife, Lori; grandchildren: Cody Worsham, and his wife Beka, Kate Worsham, Shelbye Doyen, Kenny Minor and his wife, Tiffney, Michael Willette, Christian Willette, Dylan Willette, and Jonathan Willette, a well as great grand-daughter, Olive Minor; his sister Sweetie Bonner; his brothers Hugh Doyen and Grady Doyen; and numerous nieces and nephews.
George was a friend, mentor, confidant, and advisor to countless people throughout his time working at St. Elizabeth Hospital, as well as his time serving his community and his church.