Dr. Michael Scott Hertzog, beloved child of God, finished his earthly race and went home to his Lord and Savior on Sunday, April 14, 2019.
Born June 7, 1955, in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Mike was the second of three children born to Irmgard Seeanner and Frank Sherman Hertzog. The son of an active duty Army Officer, he grew up near Army bases in the U.S. and Europe until his dad retired in Huntsville, Alabama, where Mike graduated as the valedictorian of Butler High School, class of ‘73. Mike’s passion for public service took shape during high school, and he earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 1971 and an Army Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship in 1973.
High school chemistry and a medical internship spurred Mike toward a career in medicine, and he enrolled at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he pursued a commission in the Army Medical Corps. Upon graduation in 1977, he enrolled in the medical school of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).
Mike first met his future wife Mary Anne in 1972 while Mike, then a high school junior, coached the Army Post swim team, of which Mary Anne was a member. (She balanced time between sunbathing and perfecting her strokes under Mike’s disciplined tutelage.) The two reconnected in 1977 and married in 1980 as Mary Anne graduated from UAB’s nursing school. Mike graduated from medical school in 1981, was commissioned, and received his first assignment to Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, as a medical resident. Mike and Mary Anne celebrated the births of their daughter Emily in 1983 and son Michael in 1984. Mike completed his residency in 1985 and received an assignment to Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia, where their son Nathan was born in 1986. After attaining the rank of Major, and in order to be closer to their parents who resided in Huntsville, Mike and Mary Anne separated from the Army and transitioned to private practice in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1989. Over the course of the next 25 years, Mike practiced radiology at Parkridge, Oak Ridge, and Erlanger Medical Centers.
In early 2010, Mike experienced cramping in his thigh while on a run with Mary Anne. Over the course of the next four years, symptoms of a neurological condition became increasingly prevalent and culminated with a diagnosis of ALS in 2014. Mike medically retired in 2015 amidst progressive decline in his health.
Mike came to know Jesus as his Savior during high school through the ministry of Officers Christian Fellowship. He lived his life as the Lord’s, serving as a member and deacon at Wayside and Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Churches and as an elder at Northshore Fellowship and Mountain Fellowship in Chattanooga. Mike had a passion for supporting the most vulnerable in his community and around the world. He and Mary Anne considered it a privilege to foster parent with Bethany Christian Services, caring for over twenty children through a decade. Mike found true joy in both financially and prayerfully promoting the Gospel whenever and however he could through the end of his life.
Mike’s greatest earthly priority was his family, whom he cherished and loved so well. He will be remembered by them always for his passion for and stewardship of God’s creation. From the grandeur of the mountains to the simple beauty of the birds outside his windows, Mike loved sharing these gifts that deeply fed his soul. Growing up in a musical family, Mike found great delight in singing, playing his guitar, and listening to a wide variety of music. Long after losing his ability to play, sing, and even speak, he was deeply encouraged by the beauty of both lyric and song.
He was preceded in death by his parents Col. Frank and Irmgard Hertzog; parents-in-law Col. Dean and Carolyn Bekken; and his brother Lt. Col. Frank Allen. He is survived by his wife, daughter Emily Shuler (Capt. Conrad), son Maj. Michael (Katrina), son Nathan (Mary Morrow), sister Linda Jernigan (Randy), sister-in-law Debbie Hertzog, six grandchildren, and twenty nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to thank Hospice of Chattanooga and the many caregivers who served Mike over the years. Special thanks go to his long-time caregiver Crystal Holt and nurse Mark Mollenkof. In addition, the family is eternally grateful for their countless friends who have provided physical, emotional, and spiritual support to the family, especially over the course of the past nine years.
A celebration of Mike’s life will be held on Monday, April 22, 2019 at North Shore Fellowship, with visitation from 10:00-11:30 a.m. followed by a memorial service at noon in the Sanctuary. An internment service at the Chattanooga National Cemetery will follow at 2:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Launch Chattanooga or Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis.
Arrangements are by Heritage Funeral Home and Cremation Services, E. Brainerd Chapel (423) 894-2010.
Please share your memories, stories, and photos at https://www.heritagechattanooga.com/.