William “Doc” Fuqua -- Rochester

August 12, 2018

William Robert “Doc” Fuqua, 58, of Rochester, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018.

Doc was born June 23, 1960,in Orlando, Fla., to William and Shirley Fuqua Sr. Doc graduated from Daviess County High School in Owensboro, Ky. He joined the U.S. Navy and enjoyed a rewarding 21-year career as both a corpsman and deep-sea diver and instructor. He was passionate about serving his country and the men and women he cared for and took full advantage of the adventure the military provides, meeting people and exploring new sites at every chance.

On April 24, 1993, he married Kathy Wahlberg in Decorah, Iowa. They had two children, Nicholas and Jackson. The family moved to Decorah upon Doc’s retirement from the Navy, and Doc earned his bachelor of science degree in nursing with the highest honors/distinction from the University of Iowa. Doc’s nursing career led him to Mayo Clinic in Rochester where his talent and background in hyperbaric medicine helped establish the Hyperbaric and Altitude Medicine Program. He was most recently an RN at the Federal Medical Center in Rochester.

Doc loved like no other: his life, his family and friends, his faith, his work and his country. He had a unique ability to light up any room he entered with his big smile and genuine wish to meet or talk with you. He was truly content when he could help someone else — stranger or friend, patient or colleague. Anyone who knew Doc has a funny story to go along with it, and he was best known for his antics and zest for life. Doc was always up for any adventure — you just had to say the word and he would join you with a smile. Doc’s passion for helping others was evident throughout his professional career. He enjoyed challenges he could work to solve and sought ways to make improvements, always with a positive attitude that was infectious.

Doc is survived by his loving wife, Kathy; sons, Nicholas and Jackson; mother, Shirley Fuqua; sisters, Bunny (Howard) Frum, Audrey (David) Price, Kim (Ross) Cotton and Nancy (Sam) Wilson; mother in-law, Marilyn Wahlberg; brothers in-law, Randy, Bradley (Rhonda), Tom (Beth) and John; many nieces and nephews; and a host of other family and friends.

Doc was preceded in death by his father, William, and his father-in-law, Raymond Wahlberg.

A memorial to celebrate Doc’s life will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 1212 12th Ave. NW in Rochester with the Rev. David Berg officiating. Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17, 2018 at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes, 5421 Royal Place NW in Rochester, and one hour prior to the service at the church. Inurnment will be held on Monday, Aug. 20, 2018, at The Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Preston.

In lieu of flowers, the family will be directing memorials to a ministry that provides programming for youth.

To share a special memory or condolence, please visit www.ranfranzandvinefh.com.

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