Dr. John R. Folger joined the Church Triumphant Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, two days short of his 95th birthday.
He was one of the longest licensed physicians in the state of North Carolina. He was active for 18 months as a Corpsman in the United States Navy. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Davidson College in just two and-a-half years. He attended Wake Forest School of Medicine. He and Hilda, his wife of 72 years, moved to Brevard and he started his medical practice in 1956, focusing on general and family medicine, obstetrics and surgery. During his practice, he delivered more than 1,000 babies. He also made thousands of house calls during his more than six-decades as a physician.
He started working in the Transylvania County Health Department in 1956 and was Health Director for 45 years. During this time Transylvania County became the first in the state to give the polio vaccine to young students. He was also the physician for the Schenck Job Corp for 25 years and was instrumental in getting Hospice and the Free Clinic, now Blue Ridge Health, into Transylvania County. He was always working on medical programs for this community.
He was an elder for many years at Brevard-Davidson River Presbyterian Church. He became active in the community almost immediately upon arrival, joining the Jaycees and various committees and organizations through the years. He served his community in a variety of ways beyond medicine, being elected to the Transylvania County Board of Education and serving as a Transylvania County Commissioner.
Some favorite family memories include sharing his knowledge of history, which he loved, with his children and grandchildren and he enjoyed telling his stories. He loved playing chess and taught it to his grandchildren. Family vacations were about seeing and appreciating the wonderful things of this country.
He was a generous, caring, loving, intelligent and honest gentleman. He taught his family the importance of a work ethic and the importance of integrity.
There was always time for church on Sunday morning. He often taught an adult Sunday School class and he was always interested in talking about church doctrine and history with his children and grandchildren.
He would greet family with a huge smile and a tight hug. He loved silly and corny jokes. He would say, “Can I squeeze you as much as I love you?” Then he’d give you barely a squeeze followed by a bear hug.
He loved making wassail for all to share at Christmas time and Greek salad for gatherings of family and friends. He also wanted to share his licorice, pickles and buttermilk, but with less success.
He loved showing the same “magic tricks” over and over and the grandkids would just laugh because he was just so genuine and happy. He loved showing the family how he could breathe out of just one lung and how he could remove his thumb and then reattach it.
His family loved him very much.
He is survived by his wife, Hilda; children, Lydia Schleifer, of Clemson, S.C., Sydney Folger, of Brevard, Grady Folger, of Brevard and Earle Folger, of Summerville, S.C.; as well as 13 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. His son, Captain John Russell Folger III, passed away in 2005.
He was loved and respected by his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, by his whole family. He will be greatly missed.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests remembrances be be sent to: The Pisgah Health Foundation, which improves the health and welfare of Transylvania County, at P.O. Box 2440, Brevard, NC 28712, or to The Cindy Platt Boys and Girls Club, which is in the building where Dr. Folger first began his medical practice in Brevard, at 11 Gallimore Road, Brevard, NC 28712, or to Four Seasons Hospice, 571 S. Allen Road, Flat Rock, NC 28731.
To leave a condolence for the family of Dr. John Folger, visit “Tributes” at www.mooreblanchard.com.
Moore-Blanchard Funerals & Cremations is honored to be caring for the family.