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Dr. William J. "Jerry" Baggs, 74, of Carlsbad, passed away Friday, August 9th at Covenant Hospital in Lubbock, TX. Dr. Baggs was a skilled surgeon and generous father who lived an extraordinary life.
Dr. Baggs was born June 26, 1945 in Modesto, CA, and from the age of 5 was raised in Reston, VA. He and his brother Raymond grew up working on the family farm, and he cultivated a work ethic that served both him and his community well. In 1963, he graduated from Fairfax High School in Fairfax, VA, excelling in both academics and football.
He went on to earn a BA in pre-medicine from Duke University in 1966, and graduated with honors from Duke Medical School as a Doctor of Medicine in 1970. Thereafter, Dr. Baggs served the US Army at Nobel Army Hospital in Alabama, achieving the rank of Captain. He then went on to complete his orthopedic residency at the University of Illinois from 1973-1977.
Dr. Baggs moved to Carlsbad, NM in 1977, and quickly became a key member of southeastern New Mexico's medical community. His love of learning and dedication to excellence made him an invaluable resource for patients and fellow doctors alike. Dr. Baggs was an accomplished and renowned Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon, as well as a Hand Specialist and a Diplomat of the National Board of Medical Examiners.
Dr. Baggs loved swimming, gardening, fishing, reading, and hiking in the desert. He also loved to travel: he spent many summers exploring the Alaskan wilderness, as well as accompanying his children on adventures around the world. He was a lifelong fan of football and basketball, and especially of his beloved Duke Blue Devils, Chicago Bulls, and Chicago Bears. He was a brilliant man who lived, loved, and worked at full blast until the very end.
He was dearly loved by his family, friends, patients, patients' families, colleagues and all who came to know the warm, caring, and generous man that he was. He will be deeply mourned and greatly missed.
Dr. Baggs was preceded in death by his mother Evelyn Billie Baggs and father Chester Raymond Baggs. He is survived by his brother Raymond Baggs, his children Natalie Miller, Kelly Allebach, Ben Baggs, and Liam Baggs, and his stepsons Austin Evanovich and Cameron Evanovich.
A memorial service will be held for him Sunday, August 18, from 4-6pm, in the Carousel House at Pecos River Village Conference Center.
Donations may be made to Operation Rainbow, a nonprofit organization dedicated to performing free orthopedic surgery for children and young adults in developing countries worldwide who do not have access to related medical procedures or equipment. Operation Rainbow, Inc., 4200 Park Blvd PMB 157, Oakland, CA 94602
Condolences may be expressed at dentonwood.com