By CHRIS MORRIS
NEW ALBANY —
Dr. Everett Bickers Jr. was the first physician to open an office in Floyds Knobs. He is also remembered as a man who loved horses and the outdoors.
But most of all, he loved his patients, according to registered nurse Ruth Heideman, executive director of the Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services Foundation.
“He was from a breed of doctors who were in medicine for all the right reasons,” she said. “His patients came first. He was dedicated to them. He was a great physician who was loyal to Floyd Memorial. His focus was always on what could be done to improve the hospital.”
Bickers, 79, died Saturday at his home in Greenville.
Bickers was a graduate of the University of Louisville and opened his practice in Floyds Knobs in 1961. He served as president of the medical staff at Floyd Memorial and as a delegate for the state of Indiana to the American Medical Association. He served as Floyd County health officer from 1973 to 2002.
“He was a good doctor,” said Dr. Dan Cannon, who practiced medicine in New Albany for 62 years. “He was a very nice man who was devoted to his family. He took care of his patients very faithfully.”
Bickers was one of the last Floyd County doctors to still make house calls according to Heideman. She said he was also “an avid” supporter of the foundation, donating $50,000 several years ago for the naming rights to the cardiovascular waiting room which is named after his late wife, Dorothy. Two of his sons, Rex and Mark, followed in their father’s footsteps and became doctors. Bickers is also survived by a third son John, and daughter Julie, 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
“He truly knew his patients. He had several generations of families. He was no-nonsense but very compassionate,” Heideman said. “He brought a lot of doctors into the area and did a lot for this hospital.”
Heideman remembers being an emergency room nurse at Floyd Memorial in the 1970s when Bickers always helped out if he was available.
“That was before there were emergency room doctors and we knew if we needed someone, Dr. Bickers was always there,” she said.
Besides his passion for medicine and his family, Bickers loved the outdoors. He was a supporter of the Old Capitol Saddle Club in Corydon and was a regular participant in the club’s annual four-day, 100-mile trail ride.
He also championed programs for youth through the Floyd County 4-H, athletics and academics at Floyd Central High School. Along with his wife, he provided support for public education, establishing the Dorothy Bickers Memorial Scholarship Fund at Indiana University Southeast in 1999. He was awarded the IUS Chancellor’s Medallion in 2003.
His visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. Friday at Kraft Funeral Service, Charlestown Road Chapel, New Albany. His funeral will be at 12 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home.