The word “fixture,” doesn't seem right when describing a human being, but Daryl Catledge has been an integral part of the Radiology team at Orchard Hospital for 27 years, always putting patients at ease and always offering a smile walking down the hallways.
Catledge seems torn between being excited to be retired, able to spend more time on his wood working projects to the thought of how he is missing not only the people he worked with who are like family but also the many patients.
Growing up in Gridley, Catledge moved to Live Oak when he was in the fifth grade and graduated from Live Oak High in 1972. His family home was on Larkin Road near Manzanita School and now, many years later he and his wife Susan live on Gilstrap Avenue, not far from where he grew up.
Moving back to Gridley after a short stint in Yuba City when they first married 32 years ago, the Catledge's have lived in Gridley ever since raising their two children Aaron and Amanda.
Aaron is a Chemist for Ampac in Rancho Cordova where he works many hours and Amanda and her husband Brent are living in Virginia where Brent is stationed with the Air Force, soon to transfer to the Pentagon. Amanda and her husband have a three-year-old son, a 20 month old daughter and a two week old son who their grandparents are anxious to see next month.
Catledge attended Sacramento City College in the early 1970's before graduating from Yuba College with an Associates Degree in Science, attending their Radiology School.
Working as a Radiology Technologist at our local hospital means Catledge has made many friends as he performed CT scans, X-rays and ultrasounds over the years.
For those who may have been nervous about having these tests done, they had to feel secure and reassured with Catledge's calm demeanor, I know I did the first time he performed an ultrasound for me. Orchard Hospital is fortunate to have so many wonderful employees but it is the longtime employees who have gained the trust over the years that help bring patients back over and over, knowing the kind of care they will receive.
Catledge reflected on the many changes he has seen over the years between personnel and the building changes themselves.
Besides being there for many remodelings, Catledge mentioned the amount of equipment he has seen change over the years, all for the benefit of the patients.
“There are many more changes coming which is always good for the community,” he stated.
It is exciting for the employees when they receive new equipment such as the new CT, new MRI and digital X-ray machines.
“It is amazing what we can do with the digital X-ray machine,” he stated.
He remembers practicing in college with a portable X-ray machine from the Vietnam War while at Yuba. He completed six-and-a-half months internship at Enloe Medical Center before finishing the remainder of his one year internship at Biggs-Gridley Memorial Hospital where he stayed 27 years.
For many years, Catledge worked at Willows Hospital primarily on-call. He would work in Gridley all week and report to Willows Friday nights to return Monday mornings for work at Biggs-Gridley.
He kept this pace up for nine years before deciding he was getting too old for that kind of schedule.
Working “on-call,” at Gridley's hospital wasn't too difficult because he lived so close by but once the hospital was able to hire more staff Catledge was able to give up the on-call shifts.
Switching to three shifts with more employees became necessary with the addition of CT scans and MRI's.
Back when it was just he and Barbara Stohlman sharing the “on-call” shifts he would be on call every other night and every other weekend.
Catledge says it seems strange to not have to go to work each morning but he homes that his projects around the house will keep him busy enough.
“I am going to miss the people I worked with and the patients I've seen for so many years. They are like family,” he stated.
His fellow employees at Orchard Hospital were already missing him the next week and hoping to see him soon.