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County mourns loss of extraordinary citizen

By Karla Prudhomme
Freelance Writer

Known as ‘The World’s Fastest Doctor,’ Dr. Don Tarr was born in Nappa Valley, California. From 1967-1971, Dr. Don Tarr raced in 48 NASCAR Grand National Events in his signature ‘winged’ cars and had two top-10 finishes. Clocking speeds of over two hundred miles an hour during his NASCAR events earned him the title of ‘The World’s Fastest Doctor.’
The longtime Mountain City physician died Friday. January 21, 2022. He was 92.
Settling in Mountain City in mid-life, Dr. Don Tarr wasted no time getting involved in the community he called home.
Setting up his private practice, Dr. Tarr became a favored family doctor, intent on helping the people of Johnson County.
“Dr. Tarr was a wonderful and caring doctor and individual,” said longtime patient and Johnson County native Cliff Parsons. Dr. Tarr spent years advocating for good medical care and a local hospital for the people of Johnson County and was in large part responsible for improved healthcare access in the region.
“On behalf of Ballad Health and Johnson County Community Hospital, we would like to extend our sincerest sympathies to the family of Dr. Donald Tarr,” said Chastity Trivette, AVP, and administrator at Johnson County Community Hospital. “Dr. Tarr was a champion for health care in Johnson County and our region. Serving as the first chief of staff for the former Johnson County Community Hospital and on the executive council for Niswonger Children’s Hospital until his passing. We are thankful for his many years of service and will miss him greatly.”
Dr. Tarr took an interest in local high school students interested in medicine and continued providing an annual scholarship to a deserving high school senior.
“I would not be where I am today without Dr. Tarr,” said local Nurse Practitioner Mandy Reichenbach. “Dr. Tarr touched many lives.”
He was a globally recognized ‘Paul Harris Fellow’ Rotarian, a thirty-five-year sponsor of local T-Ball teams, a force in helping to bring ‘Imagination Library’ to Johnson County, an extraordinary philanthropist, and a wonderful physician.
But he was still best known locally for his memorable roles with the Johnson County Community Theatre.
“He was a scene-stealer when on stage,” said Community Theatre member Judy McGuire. “He always appeared on stage in his signature green socks and was an audience favorite- he will be missed.”