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Beyond the call of duty

Physician Applegate
leaves lasting impression,
say friends, patients

He has recently been slowed
by illness but continues to work

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

July 2008 Kentucky Edition Cover

July 2008 Kentucky
Edition Cover

(July 2008) – We’ve all been told that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But not so in the case of Dr. Steven Applegate of Pewee Valley, Ky.
After years of humbly giving of himself to his patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Applegate is getting his just reward. Applegate was chosen as this year’s Grand Marshal of the Oldham County Day Parade.
Fittingly, this year’s parade theme is “An Apple A Day.” On July 19, Applegate will be driven along the parade route, being recognized and attended to instead of doing so for others. This is a switch for Applegate, a humble man who said he hoped he represented someone who fits the category of Grand Marshal.
He need not worry that he exemplifies a high quality of personal standard that sets him apart from others. “He goes above and beyond the call of duty,” said Project Guild member and publicity chair Ann Brown. “He’s a fabulous family doctor.”
The Project Guild of La Grange has coordinated Oldham County Day for the last 37 years. Begun as an event to celebrate community pride, Oldham County Day has evolved into a sort of community reunion for all who attend.

Dr. Steven Applegate and wife, Stephanie

Photo by Helen E. McKinney

Dr. Steven Applegate and wife,
Stephanie, will appear in
the July 19 parade.

As part of this community pride, Applegate will be honored at the annual Grand Marshal Luncheon at noon July 12 at the John W. Black Community Center in Buckner.
Applegate will often begin his day by rising at 3 a.m. to visit patients in the hospital and nursing homes before working a full day’s schedule at his Pewee Valley and Middletown offices. He makes additional visits to nursing home patients again after hours, if necessary.
“He loves his patients,” said Sharon Eaves, who has worked for Applegate for 19 years. “He’s always generous, caring, kind and loves being a doctor.”
Applegate, 54, seemed destined to become a doctor at an early age. While growing up in Hardin County, Ky., his grandmother would take him on Sunday afternoons after church to visit shut-ins or individuals with no family.

Project Guild Logo

Oldham County Day
Entertainment Schedule

2nd Street Stage/Gazebo
• 9 a.m.-10 a.m.:
La Grange Assembly of God
• 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Phos Hilaron Rock & Praise Band
• 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.: Kentucky Gold Cloggers
• 2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m.: Revelation
• 4 p.m.-7 p.m.: City of La Grange’s Dancin’ in the Street with John Manning & The Thrillers

East Lawn Stage
• 11 a.m.-noon:
The Resurrectors
• Noon-1 p.m.: Brenda Rockwell
• 2 p.m.-3 p.m.: Will Kinberger & Centerfield Church Praise Band

East Courthouse Lawn
• 1 p.m.-2 p.m.:
Oldham County Community Band
• 3 p.m.-3:30 p.m.: American Pride Cloggers

Project Guild Gazebo
• 11:30 a.m.-noon:
Magician Gregg Lambert
Learn more about Gregg Lambert.

Oldham County Day
Festival Events Schedule

Tuesday, July 15
• Grand Marshal’s Luncheon
honoring Dr. Steven Applegate. Noon at the John W. Black Community Center, Buckner. Tickets $10 per person. (502)241-6586.
Friday-Saturday, July 18-19
• “Kentucky’s Abraham Lincoln.” A traveling exhibit will be parked at the Oldham County History Center throughout the weekend for visitors to tour this unique and free exhibit. The exhibit will be open from 4-8 p.m. Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday (See story, Page 12). Also, the Oldham County Singers will sing “Songs of Lincoln,” a concert they performed June 14 for the Juneteenth Celebration. The concert is scheduled for noon Saturday.

Friday, June 18:
• Annual 1M and 5K Races.
Coordinated by the Oldham County YMCA. Races begin at 7:15 p.m. at Covenant United Methodist Church, La Grange. Register by July 14. Entry is $15 or $20 after July 14. (502) 222-9358.
• “Dancing in the Street.” 5:30-11:30 p.m. at the Second Street Gazebo. Featuring Bobby and Diane Bramblett, and Todd Bodenheimer as an Elvis impersonator. Sponsored by the City of La Grange. Bring a lawn chair.
• German ethnic dancers will perform from 7-8 p.m. at the Oldham County History Center, 106 N. Second Ave. Free.

Saturday, July 19
• La Grange Rotary Club “All You Can Eat” Pancake Breakfast.
7:10 a.m. at the La Grange Community Center on West Jefferson St.
• Oldham County Day Parade. Line up for bands, bicycles and mini-floats at 9 a.m. at La Grange Elementary School and Jefferson Street. Line up at 9 a.m. for walkers, floats, motorized vehicles, horse and trailers at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church on Fifth Avenue. Parade begins at 10 a.m., heading east on Hwy. 146 past the courthouse, south to Main Street and west on Main Street.
• Dehaven Baptist Church offers cool air, water and local talent from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (502) 222-2535.
• Cornhole Tournament at La Grange Christian Church lawn, corner of First and Madison streets. Hosted by the South Oldham Rotary Club. Games by C.W. Peddler. Sponsored by the Farmers Bank of Milton. Cost is $50 per team. (502) 387-8194.
• Family Games. Noon - 2:30 p.m. on the Courthouse lawn. Starting at noon with 2-year-olds. Each group will follow in 20-30 minute intervals.
• Souvenirs For Sale: Oldham County Day 2008 pins are selling for $2 each and includes a coupon for food at Dairy Queen of La Grange. Purchase at the Project Guild Information Booth in the courthouse lawn gazebo. Oldham County Day T-shirts will be sold for $10 at the gazebo. Cat’s Meow pieces will be sold for $20. This year’s piece is St. James Episcopal Church in Pewee Valley. There is a limited number to be sold. All profits from Oldham County Day are put back into the community in some way.
• Note: Transportation to and from the festival will be provided all day. Pick up site is the Oldham 8 Theater to downtown La Grange festival site.
• Information: For more information about Oldham County Day, contact publicity chair Bettie Miller at (502) 222-2266 or visit www.ProjectGuildofLagrange.com or www.OldhamCountyDay.com.

The idea of taking care of others was one that stuck with Applegate. His grandmother instilled in him the principal of taking care of others who had less than he did. He still adheres to this ideal today.
Applegate attended the University of Louisville, afterward enrolling in the college’s medical program. He completed his residency at the University of Louisville and settled in Oldham County 23 years ago to practice internal medicine.
He was introduced to his future wife, Stephanie, by her roommate at the University of Louisville. Stephanie, originally from the Chicago area, was attending the college to earn a degree in social work.
In 23 years of marriage, “He’s never had a day where he got up and never wanted to go to work,” said Stephanie.
Whether it’s home visits or calls in the middle of the night, her husband is as devoted to his patients as he is to his own family.
Applegate inherited Dr. Burl Mack’s practice in Pewee Valley and Dr. Simon and Dr. Kidd’s practice in Middletown. He believes he works in a great profession where he can help those in need, even if patients have a terminal illness or no family to help take care of them.
“I was raised in a time when people took care of others; I’m blessed to be able to help others,” said Applegate. Even though he loves his profession, “It’s not so important as the people.”
Eaves said, “He lives for his patients. He doesn’t turn anybody down.” If a patient is too sick to get out of their car, he will go out to the parking lot to examine them or make a home visit if necessary, a concept that is a thing of the past for most physicians, she said.
Applegate said he doesn’t make as many house calls as he once did. But his heart is still with his patients around the clock. He definitely believes in going the extra mile for someone in need.
And there’s a bonus to his determined attitude. “If you do a little extra, put your heart in what you do, you’ll feel better about yourself,” he said.
Applegate has slowed down somewhat, due to a medical illness. One year ago he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He is considering hiring additional help for his offices, since he has had to cut back on his workload because of the illness.
Between his two practices, four children, wife, and countless home visits to patients, Applegate is not left with much spare time. His interests outside of the office include swimming, hiking, music and his activities at Southeast Christian Church. “I like to be active,” said Applegate.
He is also interested in history, living in a home that dates to the 1700s. His home in Pewee Valley, The Locust, appeared in Annie Fellows Johnston’s Little Colonel stories.
Located on a portion of a 4,000-acre land grant award to Samuel Beall in 1784, the home is one of the area’s oldest residences.
Applegate is proud of his home’s ties to the Little Colonel fame. In the novels, The Locust was home to the Little Colonel’s grandfather, the Old Colonel. Johnston often referred to the Locust’s tree-lined drive as the “Avenue of Trees.”
Such a quiet repose is where Applegate retires at the end of a very long day. His hope is that people will look at him and envision a caring attitude.
His fascination with history can be described in terms of his interest in “what people did, and made in the past. They respected what they had because of it. I want my patients to see me that way, too.”

• To purchase tickets for the Grand Marshal Luncheon, contact Lynne Jackson at (502) 241-6586. The $10 tickets can also be purchased through Oldham County Physical Therapy and the Oldham County History Center.

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