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Thomas David Kirksey M.D.

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Thomas David Kirksey M.D. Obituary
Thomas David Kirksey, M.D. Thomas David Kirksey, M.D., died a peaceful death at home in Austin, Texas on March 17, 2013 surrounded by his loving wife and family. Tom led a devoted life of service to his family, to the field of medicine and to the love of sports. His accomplishments and contributions were many, including a demanding cardiovascular and thoracic surgical career that spanned 30 years, a life dedicated to servant-centered leadership of organized medicine and a faithful steward to medical education, patient safety and client care. He saved many lives. He was deeply loved, respected and admired by his family, friends and community, and will be greatly missed. Tom received his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and six-year residency at the UTMB. He served in the US Army from 1966-1968 at the Surgical Research Unit at Brook General Hospital, where he helped design the burn patient evacuation system from Vietnam, and on the U.S.S. Hope in 1971. In 1969, he moved to Austin to establish the first cardiothoracic and vascular surgery practice in the area. In 1972, a year after he joined Brackenridge Hospital as director of medical education, Tom developed a community-based university-affiliated graduate medical program which enabled Brackenridge to continue medical education and enabled TCMS to establish the Central Texas Medical Foundation to supervise residency programs. An active advocate for indigent care, he helped change the nature of medical services by establishing the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) in the 1970s. His life-long love of Brackenridge hospital led him later in his career to serve as Medical Director of Seton Healthcare Network. Tom was President of the Travis Medical Society in 1984-1985, having served as delegate from 1979. He served on the TMA Board of Councilors and the Committee on Student Scholarships. He chaired the American College of Surgeons' Credentials Committee throughout much of the 90s. He was a former President of the Central Texas Medical Foundation and was on the Board of Directors for the Travis County Heart Association. In 1999, the Travis County Medical Society awarded him the distinguished honor of Physician of the Year. Tom was appointed to the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners by Governor George Bush in 1995 where he served for six years, after which, he was elected to the Board of Directors and then served as President to the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States. A serious golfer and trained PGA Rules Official, Tom was an avid Longhorn fan who served on the President's Council of the University of Texas and a Texas Track Official for 27 years. Generous with his time, effort and friend to all, he participated in many other organizations including the Vestry at the Church of the Good Shepherd. Tom was passionate about his family. He adored his wife Gene of 54 years, and their four daughters, Elizabeth Kirksey Terry, Jeanne Kirksey Perez, Susannah Dampier Kirksey, and Caroline Kirksey-Munger. His grandchildren are Christopher Simons, Louisa Kirksey, Max Perez, Isabella Daily Perez, Jeffery Thomas ("J.T.") Munger, and his great-grand daughter Penelope Simons. He was born in Teinsin China in 1932 to Colonel Oscar Thweatt Kirksey and Susan Iola Dailey with brothers Oscar and Bill who preceded him in death, and is survived by his sister, Fran Deaton. Tom's life will be celebrated with funeral services held at the Good Shepherd at 1pm on Friday, March 22, 2013 with a reception afterward in the Parish Hall. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Thomas David Kirksey Fund for the Enrichment of Medical Education. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank location payable to Thomas David Kirksey M.D., c/o Jeanne Kirksey Perez. Obituary and guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Mar. 20 to Mar. 21, 2013
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