Donald's Story

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Donald "Doc" Landers Cohagan, M.D., 82, of Bentonville, Ark., passed away on March 16, 2017, surrounded by his loving family at their home in Bentonville.
Don was born on August 6, 1934, in Kirksville, Mo., to Claire Garvin Cohagan, D.O., and Eva Aletha Landers. When Don was two, the family moved to Joplin, Mo., where his father opened a solo practice of medicine in the field of "eye, ear, nose and throat."
Don graduated from Joplin Senior High School in 1952. He played Little League and Babe Ruth Baseball as a pitcher, playing in the final All Star Game at Miner's Park. He played basketball as a forward through the ninth grade. Don played the sousaphone, the tuba in the orchestra, sang in the choir, and was the Captain of the Band Company in ROTC. He belonged to the Boy Scouts, the DeMolay, was first President of the Joplin Junior Humane Society, and was inducted into the National Honor Society. Don also worked after school and on Saturday's selling women's shoes and mowing lawns.
After graduation, he entered the University of Missouri at Columbia in the College of Arts and Science, hoping someday to enter medical school and become a family physician. Donald was on the Dean's Honor Roll.
While home for the summer in 1955, he met his soul mate, Wylene Waggener, daughter of Arline and Earl Waggener. He graduated with a degree in Arts and Science in June, 1956. Shortly after, he was accepted into the University of Missouri School of Medicine.
Don and Wylene were married on August 19, 1956, at the First Methodist Church in Joplin. They moved to Columbia, Mo., as he began medical school. Their daughter, Kathleen Janette Cohagan, was born on October 3, 1957.
Don received a Doctor of Medicine, in June, 1960. He did his one-year internship at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, Fla. At the end of this experience, Don received a commission as a Captain in the Medical Corps of the United States Air Force Reserves. He received his first choice of assignment to Denver, Colo.
Beginning in July, 1961, Don served two years as Chief of Air Force Clinics, 3415th. USAF Clinics/Dispensary, Lowry Air Force Base, Colorado. While in Denver, they welcomed their second child, Eva Michelle Cohagan, on October 16, 1962. Don received an Honorable Discharge from the USAF Reserves in June, 1963, and they moved to Bentonville to establish a family practice.
Don began his career in the private practice of family medicine in Bentonville on September 1, 1963, and the Cohagan Family began a storied life in their new community. He practiced, for 45 years, near Bates Memorial Hospital on Walton Blvd. Their son, Samuel Donald Cohagan, was born there on August 2, 1965.
His expertise was utilized in the fields of internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, geriatrics, and emergency and preventive medicine. He delivered over 300 babies and made house calls during his career, and was fortunate to be caring for the fifth generation of some families he had cared for throughout their lives. He retired on January 1, 2005.
He loved history, science, nature, writing poetry, photography, music, fishing, hunting, motorcycles, volunteering at Helping Hands, hanging out with his brothers in Emmaus, and developing Legacy Village.
Don is survived by his wife, Wylene, of the home; a sister, Luanne Lindsey and husband, Richard, of Rogers, Ark.; a brother-in-law, Richard Earl Waggener, of Carthage, Mo.; three children, Kathi Garrett, of Bentonville, Michelle Senn and husband, Bill, of Gravette, Ark., and Sam Cohagan and wife, Debbi, of Bentonville; grandchildren, Alyssa Karel and fiancé, Brandon Williams, Lauren Garrett, Nicholas Garrett, Ryan Karel, Ashley Reid and husband, Jake, and Casey and Tanner Cohagan; great grandchildren, Camden Reid, Ryder and Nash Williams; and many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church, 201 NW Second Street, Bentonville, today, March 18, from 3 to 5 p.m. A celebration of life service will be held in the same location on Sunday, March 19, at 3 p.m. Rev. Kurt Bogan and Rev. Rex Dickey will officiate, followed by a private family burial service.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First United Methodist Church Building Fund, 201 NW Second Street, Bentonville, AR, 72712, or to Circle of Life Hospice, 901 Jones Road, Springdale, AR, 72762.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Stockdale-Moody Funeral Services of Rogers.
Published on March 18, 2017
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