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Dr. William H. Thomas

THOMAS, Dr. William H. "Bill" A longtime resident of Brookline, Massachusetts, passed away Friday, November 18, 2011, after a short battle with cancer. Bill grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Lookout Mountain, the son of the late Dr. and Mrs. Charles Roberts Thomas. He attended McCallie School, The Choate School, Dartmouth College, Dartmouth Medical School, and Harvard Medical School. His academic career was punctuated by a departure from Dartmouth when he qualified for the Naval Aviation Cadet program at the start of his junior year. After four years of service as a dive bomber pilot and jet instrument instructor, he returned to Dartmouth with his sights set on becoming a physician. Bill's medical career spanned nearly 35 years, dedicated to orthopedic surgery, during which time he made numerous contributions to the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and the advancement of total joint replacement. He will be best remembered, not only for his skill as a surgeon but, for his kind and affable demeanor that had everything to do with making people feel better. He retired from the Brigham and Woman's Hospital and the Brigham Orthopedic Association in the late 90s, always holding a special place in his heart for his early years at The Robert Breck Brigham Hospital. He loved his work, never thinking of it as a job. In his spare time he enjoyed a wide variety of outdoor sports and the Thomas family have very fond memories of canoeing, fishing, hunting, camping, and skiing. In his retirement, Bill renewed his passion for flying, and was an active member of the SW Florida Civil Air patrol. He and his wife, Dickey, were also very committed to the environment and wildlife conservation. They divided their time between their home in the Boston Area and Southwest Florida. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Margaret "Dickey" Thomas, his daughters, Annie Williams and Susan Macleod, son-in-law, Morris Macleod, and his four grandchildren, Eddie Williams (16), Thomas Williams (13), Melanie Macleod (8), and William Macleod (6), who all regarded him fondly as "Papa Bill". A Memorial Service will be held at Church of The Redeemer, Chestnut Hill, MA, on Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 at 2:00pm. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations be made to The Nature Conservancy of Southest Florida, www.conservancy.org/. For guest book, please visit: www.lehmanreen.com Lehman Reen & McNamara Funeral Home Brighton 617-782-1000

Published in The Boston Globe on Nov. 27, 2011
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