Norwich - Thomas J. Masterson, M.D., 92, died Wednesday, July 10, 2013.|
He was born on Oct. 18, 1920, in Worchester, Mass., to Dr. James and Teresa (Wiesner) Masterson. He graduated from Worcester High School in 1938 and the University of Rhode Island in 1942. From there, he enrolled in Tufts Medical School in Boston, Mass. under an accelerated army special program, graduating and completing his internship at Worcester City Hospital in 1945.
Dr. Masterson served in the U.S. Army as a physician stationed in occupied Japan during the Korean conflict from 1945 to 1951. Upon returning to the states, he completed a residency in orthopedics at the VA Hospital in Boston, Mass. His interest in orthopedics was peaked while working at Fort Devens in Massachusetts treating soldiers who had been injured in jump training.
Dr. Masterson opened his practice in 1955 in a one room office in the Shannon Building. In 1957, he was joined by Christopher C. Glenney, M.D. and they formed the Norwich Orthopedic Group (NOG). Dr. Masterson was very active in the medical community. In the early days of NOG, he also spent several days a month providing services at Day Kimball Hospital, the Newington Children's Hospital, the Norwich State Hospital and Uncas-on-Thames. He was active in the New London County Medical Society, and in 1992, was named Physician of the Year. In 1995, he left full-time medical practice, but remained active doing independent medical examinations for lawyers and insurance companies and served as a physician for involuntary commitments for the Norwich and New London Probate Courts. He served on the board of the Uncas Health District until his death
Dr. Masterson was a firm believer in community service, having been quoted as saying if one did not give back, they were just passing through. He never refused to treat a patient because of their inability to pay. Any member of clergy, despite denomination, was never charged. He was a member of the Republican town committee and served on the Board of Education for fifteen years. He served as the NFA football team doctor for 25 years and was made an honorary member of the varsity N club. He was active in the impaired physicians program, recognizing addiction was a disease and did what he could to help. He was a founding member of Pautipaug County Club, refusing to join unless all minority groups were allowed. In 1999, he became a member of the Norwich Rotary Club and remained one until his death.
Dr. Masterson was a communicant at Saint Patrick's Cathedral. Prior to her death, he and his wife, Adelaide (Tete), held pre cana classes for those seeking to marry in the church. They were also Eucharistic ministers who would bring communion to those who were hospitalized. Dr. Masterson continued to act as Eucharistic minister, lecturer, and usher at St. Patrick's and was involved in the annual White Mass, given for those in the medical field.
Dr. Masterson is survived by three daughters, Lisa Kropp (Ralph) of Miami Springs, Fla., Anne Masterson, of Norwich , with whom he made his home and Moira Lettiere (Christopher) of Fort Walton Beach, Fla. He is further survived by two grandchildren, Lauren and Peter Lettiere of Fort Walton Beach; his sister, Judith Prunier of Oxford, Mass.; and his beloved bulldog and companion, Clancy.
He was predeceased by his parents; his first wife, Mary (Harrington) Masterson in 1960; and his second wife, Adelaide (Drew) Masterson in 1998; two children, Deidre and Thomas Jr.; siblings, James Masterson, M.D., Esther McCabe, PhD, Steven Masterson and Miriam Cofsky.
Calling hours will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, July 15, 2013, at the Cummings-Gagne Funeral home, 82 Cliff St., Norwich. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 16, 2013, at Saint Patrick's Cathedral. Interment will be private at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen or to Hospice of Southeastern Connecticut.
Published in The Day on July 13, 2013