Dr. Ed Cutshaw Passes Away
By Will Johnson
GRAPELAND – In today’s world of medical specialization, the family doctor / general practitioner in rural America has become increasingly difficult to find. You have ear, nose and throat guys. You have podiatrists, allergists, endocrinologists, dermatologists and so forth and so on.
What you rarely see anymore is the one stop shop where a single doctor and his medical team know you as a person, a friend and a patient. Those physicians become legendary and for over 50 years, one of those rare gems was Dr. Edward G. Cutshaw in Grapeland.
Since the early 1960s, if you spent any amount of time in Grapeland and needed any type of medical attention, you probably had the privilege of meeting Dr. Cutshaw. He retired at the end of 2018 but his lofty status in the community never diminished.
Sadly, Dr. Cutshaw passed away on Thursday. He leaves behind a legacy that few can rival these days. Dr. Cutshaw helped bring so many people into this world and more than a handful of those same people were comforted by Dr. Cutshaw’s care as they prepared to leave.
So, what makes a good doctor? Is it the physician who cures the most diseases? Or, is it the one who makes the best diagnosis? Perhaps it’s the one who is the most compassionate and honest? Maybe, just maybe, a good doctor is the one who strives to attain all of these attributes. And – in the estimation of many of his colleagues and patients, Dr. Cutshaw embodied that ideal.
Shortly after graduating from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in 1958, he set up a medical practice in Grapeland. For years and years, he was the family doctor for countless families, performed physicals for the athletes of Grapeland ISD and helped run the old Grapeland Hospital.
He was an extremely compassionate man, but he could also be gruff if he thought you weren’t taking his medical advice seriously. Quit smoking. Lose weight. Lay off the late nights. Every doctor alive will tell you that, but Dr. Cutshaw would tell you these things not just because they’re sound medical advice. No, he would tell you these things because he cared about you as more than a patient.
On a personal note, one of Dr. Cutshaw’s great talents was making you feel important. It didn’t diminish the experience one bit that he made everyone feel important — when he was talking or looking at you – he always had you front and center in that big generous heart of his, and everyone else drifted away.
He had a quiet air of authority that was comforting to both young and old. He loved his community and his community loved him. Farewell and Godspeed Dr. Cutshaw. You will be missed.
Will Johnson may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.