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Thomas H. Caine M.D.


1931 - 2018 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Thomas H. Caine M.D. Obituary
1931 ~ 2018
Thomas H. Caine, MD - husband, father, grandfather and physician - passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on October 6, 2018 following an extended illness. Tom died as he lived-with patience, faith and dignity.
Tom was born January 20, 1931 in Pocatello, Idaho, the youngest of four children born to Gladys Wright Smith and Arthur Hugh Caine. Two years later, the family moved to Boise where Tom enjoyed a happy childhood. He admired and cherished his older siblings and their spouses, Helen (Schlofman), Barbara (Scowcroft) and Dixon. He remained close to them and their families throughout his life.
Tom attended the University of Utah from 1949-1953, graduating with a degree in Economics. While at the U, he joined the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, serving as chapter president and forming lifelong friendships. As an ROTC graduate, he went on to serve as an officer in the Air Force from 1954-1956.
After returning to the U to complete his medical school prerequisites, mutual friends introduced him to Mary Ellen Barnes of Washington, DC. The two married on July 27, 1959 in the Logan, Utah Temple and moved into a little home on University Street. Tom began medical school at the University of Utah that fall.
Following an internship at the University of Oklahoma and residency at the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Caine was recruited back to the University of Utah, where he served first as Assistant Dean for Student Affairs of the Medical School and then as Chief of the newly formed Division of General Internal Medicine. Dr. Caine spent his entire 46-year career at the University, caring for patients and helping to mentor the next generation of physicians.
Tom was one of the lucky few who discovered his strengths, developed a passion around those strengths, and then put them to work for the betterment of others. He exemplified the ideal found in a favorite quote by Dr. Francis Peabody: "The secret of the care of the patient is in caring for the patient." As a physician, he was known for his compassionate bedside manor, providing the same level of care to every one of his patients. Dr. Caine loved practicing in a university setting and never ceased being a curious student of medicine. In the evenings and on weekends, he could often be found highlighting articles in medical journals and ripping out articles for future reference.
He was well respected both in the community and among his peers in the medical profession. He was an active member of the Salt Lake Rotary Club and enjoyed his association with the broader professional and philanthropic community. As a physician, he received numerous awards and recognitions, including three presidential endowed chairs, one professorship, and two lectureships at the University. He served in leadership positions in both the Utah Medical Association and the Salt Lake County Medical Society. He was elected President of the medical staff at the University and received a Distinguished Service Award from the Utah Medical Association. In 2015, he was honored as a Master in the American College of Physicians.
A lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he was a man of great faith and devotion. Tom poured his heart into every calling or assignment he was given. While serving as a bishop in 1987, he was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. During his extensive chemotherapy treatment, he never missed a day of work or his Sunday church meetings. He felt tremendously blessed to have survived his illness, and to have been able to maintain his energy and activity level during that time of his life.
Outside of his life as a physician, Tom spent most of his time with his devoted wife, Mary Ellen. Together they raised six children-two daughters and four sons. While Tom's medical career took him away from home for most of the week and much of the weekend, he was known for swooping in just in time for daddy-daughter parties, writing comprehensive letters to his missionary sons, and instructing the children in the virtues of yard work, good table manners, and defensive driving.
As his children grew older, he became their most important sounding board as they navigated their educational paths, weighed career decisions, and learned about the joys and challenges of family life. He was a patient and engaged listener who had an insightful and inspired response to every important question-often infused with his subtle sense of humor. We will miss his wisdom and steadying influence in our lives.
Dr. Caine is survived by his wife of 59 years, Mary Ellen, and their six children and their spouses: William (Margit) Caine, Catherine (Stan) Christensen, Stephen (Pamela) Caine, David (Kimberlee) Caine, Thomas (Sarah) Caine, and Marianne (Gavin) Van Wagoner; and 24 grandchildren.
The Caine family would like to thank the numerous doctors from the University and the compassionate caregivers from Touching Hearts and Rocky Mountain Hospice who enabled Tom to remain in his home these past few years, enjoying time with family and dear friends.
Services will be held Friday, October 12th at 12:00 noon in the Monument Park Stake Center, 1320 Wasatch Drive in Salt Lake City. Friends may call Thursday evening from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Stake Center or Friday before the funeral from 10:30-11:30. Interment at Larkin Sunset Lawn, 2350 East 1300 South.
In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to donate to the Thomas H. Caine, MD Award for Clinical Excellence at the University of Utah (801-587-7903).
Published in Salt Lake Tribune from Oct. 9 to Oct. 11, 2018
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