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Celebrating the life of
Dr. Theodora L. Gongaware
Passed away on January 09, 2018
Services under the direction of:
Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel
912-352-7200
  • Memorial Service
  • 1:00pm - Saturday, January 13, 2018
  • Christ Church Episcopal on Johnson Square
  • 28 Bull Street (Map)
    Savannah, Georgia 31401

  • 912-236-2500

T and I went to Rosemary Hall together. I so enjoyed meeting T for lunch a few years ago in Bluffton, SC, and catching up on our lives. I so wish that she had more time with us all. Fondly, Jessica Loring

Jessica Loring, Napa, CA

Elegant woman with a heart as bid as the sun. My thoughts and feelings are with the wonderful family aunt T leaves behind.

, ,

Hartford, Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family. Your Mom was a great lady. Jim & Emmaline Routon

Jim & Emmaline Routon, Savannah, GA

I work in the Medical Staff Office at Memorial Hospital. I talked with your mother many times, and specifically, more so the past few months. She was a very sweet lady. I enjoyed talking with her and helping her. She came to the hospital around October to fill out an application and left her jacket. She and I were supposed to meet up so I can give it back to her. Please email me at byrdst1@memorialhealth.com,so I can send to you. Praying for strength and peace for the family in Jesus Name. Sincerely, Stephanie Byrd

Stephanie Byrd, Savannah, GA

Alice, I am sorry for your loss.You are in my prayers and on my Mind. Hugs, Diane Goldman

Diane Goldman, Savannah, GA.

Alice, I am very sorry to learn the death of your sister. My prayers and sympathy for you and your family.

Linda Myers Harn, Richmond Hill , Ga

Hartford, Andrew, Teddy..what a wonderful Mom you have had. Gone too soon. A treasure of Grace lost..deepest condolences

The Dardens, Savannah,

So I wrote to you all, Lippitts, Gongawares...I spell checked, and didn't sign my condolence. Also, I was a lowly 4th former - not a lovely 4th former! I hope this give you a giggle. My love for T and my love for you all are expressed below. Love to all, Sunie

Sunie. Stanton, Clayton, , NC

When I was a lovely, homesick, 4th former, T always had time to comfort me talk to me, and her kindness was immeasurable. She was so busy as a 6th former,so beautiful with that amazing smile of hers, but she always had time for me. I loved her and after reading her obituary, I know she never changed her gift of giving. I hope she is with Bob now in Heaven. My heart goes out to you all as you say goodbye to her. But I want you to know how special and important she was in my life when I was 14 years old at Rosemary Hall. I was lost and she found me. God bless you all and God bless T.

, Clayton, NC

We are parents of Teddy's classmate, Emilie Miller Templeton. T was a real renaissance woman - a myriad of talents shared with so many. Our condolences and prayers go to the family.

Drs. Mary and Larry Miller, Savannah, GA

A wonderful woman, wonderful family, and a life well lived!

Constance Riggins , Richmond Hill, Ga

Over fifty years have passed since T and I walked down the aisle and graduated fromRosemary Hall in Greenwich, CT. We went on to college, marry and raise families. T had a community dedication and a love of gardening as do I. Job well done my wonderful classmate and friend. Rest In Peace.

Lucy/Cins Calcagni (new Finlayson), Rye Brook, NY

All of our thoughts and prayers to the family at this very difficult time. Love to all.

David and jean varney, Littleton, NC

Alice and Lynn - Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your Family as you go through this difficult time.

Lem and Anna Highsmith, Savannah, GA

We are so sorry for your loss of such an amazing woman. May you find peace in the memories you cherish. Sending love and light Sarah, Tony & Asher

Tony, Sarah & Asher Will, Marysville , Ohio

When all is quiet and your mind is clear to reflect, we hope that the most loving and happy memories of your mom flood your mind. We wish that for you all your life as I’m sure there are enough memories to carry you through. Sincere condolences to Teddy, CJ, and all who loved her. Love always. Ben + Susan

Susan Pliska + Ben Gregory, Huntersville, NC

To alice and all the Lippitts-my heart felt thoughts and prayers are with you . I am so glad I got to visit a little last year with T when I came to see Alice. I know what a close family you all are and I can only imagine your sadness. May you all find solace in the years you had together with T and may there be peace . Davyne

Davyne Verstandig , Washington , CT

Deborah and I were so honored to have the opportunity to get to know and work with T this past year. We knew she was battling cancer, but her strong will and zest for life was a great inspiration. Even though she is not from Savannah she was really a true Southern Lady and will be greatly missed. We take comfort in the fact that she is at home with our Lord and Savior, as well as Dr. Bob and is no longer suffering. God Bless each of you during this time and always.

Deborah & Shane Sullivan, Savannah, Ga

Theodora Lippitt Gongaware, M.D., F.A.C.P.

Dr. Theodora Lippitt Gongaware died peacefully at age 74 on the morning of January 9, 2018. T, as she was known, was a physician, horticulturalist, Episcopalian, sister, mother, dear friend, and an activist in the community of Savannah in which she lived for most of her life.

T was born in Baltimore on June 8, 1943, and moved with her family to Savannah in 1951. She attended Charles Ellis Elementary School, Savannah Country Day School, and Rosemary Hall in Connecticut. In true Lippitt fashion, her parents, both doctors, brought everyone, including the family duck on a leash, north to celebrate her high school graduation. She went on to attend Goucher College and graduated from the University of North Carolina Medical School at Chapel Hill in 1968.

Dr. Lippitt continued her medical training in internal medicine and infectious diseases at Presbyterian Hospital in New York, where she met the love of her life. Dr. Robert David “Bob” Gongaware was the Chief Resident, who was at liberty to organize the call schedule. He used that opportunity to orchestrate a whirlwind courtship. Bob and T were engaged within three months and married on March 8, 1969, in T’s hometown of Savannah.

T spent fifty years as a leading member of the medical community of Savannah. As Medical Director of the Outpatient Department at Memorial Hospital from 1972-1995, she dedicated her career to improving access to and raising the standard of care for Savannah’s indigent population. A member of the Department of Internal Medicine at Memorial Medical Center, T served on numerous committees and in a variety of roles at the hospital, including Associate Professor of Internal Medicine for Mercer University School of Medicine and Memorial University Medical Center. In addition to her role as a medical practitioner, T was a natural caregiver who lovingly and belovedly contributed decades as a Board member and medical volunteer at Hospice Savannah.

T was an avid and gifted gardener who was both a member of The Garden Club of America and served as its Vice President. She was also a devoted member of the Trustees’ Garden Club, serving as President and receiving special recognition for her work on The Garden Guide to The Lower South. T received numerous awards for her mentorship, creative leadership and role as a horticultural judge.

T’s beloved flower beds were always populated with snapdragons, Lenten roses, native plants, and bees and butterflies where there had been none. Her greenhouse on 51st Street was home year-round to an exotic collection of orchids, but, an enthusiastic entertainer, T converted the greenhouse each Christmas to a festive parlor of twinkling lights — her potting table transformed as a bar and pouring forth endless flutes of champagne.

T was a lifelong communicant of Christ Church in Savannah where she served on the vestry and as Chair of the Flower Guild. She served on the Hospice Savannah and Stewart Palliative Care Center Boards of Directors, was a member and served as Chair of the Board of Trustees at Savannah Country Day School, and was actively involved in preserving the city that she loved, serving in recent years on the Board of Directors of the Savannah Development & Renewal Authority. T was also a member of the Savannah Foundation, the National Society of the Colonial Dames, the Chatham Club, the Misquamicut Club and the Watch Hill Yacht Club in Westerly, Rhode Island, where she maintained another elaborate garden.

T is survived by two sons, Hartford Gongaware of Savannah and Westerly, Rhode Island, Andrew Gongaware and his wife, Margot Weil, of New York City; a daughter, Theodora Martin and her husband, Charlie, of Nashville; her grandsons Finn and Tucker Gongaware; her sisters Joan Varney of Sherwood Forest, Maryland and Alice Steyaart of Richmond Hill in Georgia; her two brothers, B Lippitt and his wife, Liz Van Volkenburgh, of Seattle, Washington and Nathaniel Lippitt and his wife, Betty, of Talbotton, Georgia; and many beloved nieces, nephews and grand-nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at Christ Church on Johnson Square in Savannah at 1:00 PM on Saturday, January 13, 2018. Burial will take place at River Bend Cemetery in Westerly, Rhode Island in late spring.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that remembrances be sent to Christ Church, 18 Abercorn St., Savannah, GA 31401 or to Hospice Savannah, Inc. P.O. Box 13190, Savannah, GA, 31416.

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” - Matthew 11:28-30

 

 

 

SHARE YOUR CONDOLENCES

  

GUEST BOOK

T and I went to Rosemary Hall together. I so enjoyed meeting T for lunch a few years ago in Bluffton, SC, and catching up on our lives. I so wish that she had more time with us all. Fondly, Jessica Loring

Jessica Loring, Napa, CA

Elegant woman with a heart as bid as the sun. My thoughts and feelings are with the wonderful family aunt T leaves behind.

, ,

Hartford, Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family. Your Mom was a great lady. Jim & Emmaline Routon

Jim & Emmaline Routon, Savannah, GA

I work in the Medical Staff Office at Memorial Hospital. I talked with your mother many times, and specifically, more so the past few months. She was a very sweet lady. I enjoyed talking with her and helping her. She came to the hospital around October to fill out an application and left her jacket. She and I were supposed to meet up so I can give it back to her. Please email me at byrdst1@memorialhealth.com,so I can send to you. Praying for strength and peace for the family in Jesus Name. Sincerely, Stephanie Byrd

Stephanie Byrd, Savannah, GA

Alice, I am sorry for your loss.You are in my prayers and on my Mind. Hugs, Diane Goldman

Diane Goldman, Savannah, GA.

Alice, I am very sorry to learn the death of your sister. My prayers and sympathy for you and your family.

Linda Myers Harn, Richmond Hill , Ga

Candle tribute lit by Lysa Dixon — Georgia

Candle tribute lit by Therese K. Sheehan RN — Georgia

Hartford, Andrew, Teddy..what a wonderful Mom you have had. Gone too soon. A treasure of Grace lost..deepest condolences

The Dardens, Savannah,

Candle tribute lit by Mary Pietan — Florida

Candle tribute lit by Donna & Fulton Love — Georgia

So I wrote to you all, Lippitts, Gongawares...I spell checked, and didn't sign my condolence. Also, I was a lowly 4th former - not a lovely 4th former! I hope this give you a giggle. My love for T and my love for you all are expressed below. Love to all, Sunie

Sunie. Stanton, Clayton, , NC

When I was a lovely, homesick, 4th former, T always had time to comfort me talk to me, and her kindness was immeasurable. She was so busy as a 6th former,so beautiful with that amazing smile of hers, but she always had time for me. I loved her and after reading her obituary, I know she never changed her gift of giving. I hope she is with Bob now in Heaven. My heart goes out to you all as you say goodbye to her. But I want you to know how special and important she was in my life when I was 14 years old at Rosemary Hall. I was lost and she found me. God bless you all and God bless T.

, Clayton, NC

We are parents of Teddy's classmate, Emilie Miller Templeton. T was a real renaissance woman - a myriad of talents shared with so many. Our condolences and prayers go to the family.

Drs. Mary and Larry Miller, Savannah, GA

A wonderful woman, wonderful family, and a life well lived!

Constance Riggins , Richmond Hill, Ga

Over fifty years have passed since T and I walked down the aisle and graduated fromRosemary Hall in Greenwich, CT. We went on to college, marry and raise families. T had a community dedication and a love of gardening as do I. Job well done my wonderful classmate and friend. Rest In Peace.

Lucy/Cins Calcagni (new Finlayson), Rye Brook, NY

All of our thoughts and prayers to the family at this very difficult time. Love to all.

David and jean varney, Littleton, NC

Alice and Lynn - Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your Family as you go through this difficult time.

Lem and Anna Highsmith, Savannah, GA

Candle tribute lit by Anna B Highsmith — Georgia

We are so sorry for your loss of such an amazing woman. May you find peace in the memories you cherish. Sending love and light Sarah, Tony & Asher

Tony, Sarah & Asher Will, Marysville , Ohio

When all is quiet and your mind is clear to reflect, we hope that the most loving and happy memories of your mom flood your mind. We wish that for you all your life as I’m sure there are enough memories to carry you through. Sincere condolences to Teddy, CJ, and all who loved her. Love always. Ben + Susan

Susan Pliska + Ben Gregory, Huntersville, NC

To alice and all the Lippitts-my heart felt thoughts and prayers are with you . I am so glad I got to visit a little last year with T when I came to see Alice. I know what a close family you all are and I can only imagine your sadness. May you all find solace in the years you had together with T and may there be peace . Davyne

Davyne Verstandig , Washington , CT

Deborah and I were so honored to have the opportunity to get to know and work with T this past year. We knew she was battling cancer, but her strong will and zest for life was a great inspiration. Even though she is not from Savannah she was really a true Southern Lady and will be greatly missed. We take comfort in the fact that she is at home with our Lord and Savior, as well as Dr. Bob and is no longer suffering. God Bless each of you during this time and always.

Deborah & Shane Sullivan, Savannah, Ga


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