Though prominent Elizabethtown dentist Robert Clagett was a Hosparus Central Kentucky patient for only a short time in April 2016, the care he received in his final days made a big impact on his family.
His sons Dan Ray, Terry and Bill Clagett say their dad’s illness came on quickly. Still active well into his 90s, Robert suddenly wasn’t feeling well. He was admitted to the hospital, but after about a week, it became clear that he wasn’t going to recover. Hosparus made it possible for Robert to come home and spend precious time with his family at the end of his life.
The Clagetts say they were very pleased with the care their father received at Hardin Memorial Hospital, and that quality care continued from the minute they called Hosparus. When Robert arrived home, his hospital bed was already in place, as well as his needed medications and other equipment. The Clagetts said they “didn’t have to worry,” as Hosparus staff gave them the guidance they needed on what to do and what to expect.
Hosparus offered Robert a peaceful ending to a life well lived. A veteran of both the U.S. Army and Navy, he moved to Elizabethtown from Leitchfield, KY, in 1947 to open his dental practice, where he worked until he retired in 1993 at age 70. According to his sons, “It was never his objective, but just his nature to help others.” Dan Ray and Bill followed in their father’s footsteps to become dentists, and still work in his practice today.
Robert was known throughout the community for his generosity. “He never turned anybody away from his dental practice, even if they couldn’t pay,” recalled his sons. However, he didn’t like to be recognized for it. The Clagetts describe their dad as a “very low-key man, behind the scenes who didn’t step out for the credit.”
His spirit of service extended beyond his practice to the community as well. He was active in the Coca-Cola Art Festival Art Contest, the local Boy Scout troop and Elizabethtown High School sports. “He had a lot of impact in many ways,” the Clagetts said.
Later in life, he became renowned for his talent as an artist. His sons said their father loved art from a young age, and he was always “doodling” when they were small. As they got older, Robert grew more serious about it; a painter’s easel became a fixture in their house. In addition to painting, he created three-dimensional wood carvings that looked incredibly realistic.
This October, the Clagetts decided to honor both their dad’s art and his legacy of service by donating several of his pieces to the 6th Annual Hosparus Central Kentucky Evening of Tasting event. All proceeds from the auctioned artwork benefit patients and families. (See story above.)
The family’s support of Hosparus’ mission won’t stop there, they said. Dan Ray Clagett’s wife Barbara serves on the Hosparus Central Kentucky Community Board. And the brothers said they will not hesitate to spread the word about their positive experience with Hosparus.