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TROY >> David R. Tomlinson, M.D., 95, of Burdett Avenue died Friday, November 22, 2013, at Eddy Memorial Geriatric Center after a long illness.
Born in Troy, he was son of the late David A. Tomlinson and Agnes Ryland Tomlinson and husband of the late Ruth E. Smith Tomlinson. He had resided in Troy all his life.
He was born at Samaritan Hospital in 1918 and had been a longtime champion and supporter of the hospital's vision and growth. The Family Birth Center at Samaritan Hospital attributes much of its development to the dedication, leadership and generous support of Dr. Tomlinson and his wife, Ruth.
A graduate of Lansingburgh High School, he was editor-in-chief of the "Odyssey" and the Oracle, Dr. Tomlinson was awarded a bachelor's degree from Hamilton College and received his medical degree from Cornell Medical College. He completed a fellowship in gynecological pathology and taught a fellowship in gynecology, both at Harvard.
In 1946, Dr. Tomlinson joined Dr. VanAuken in his OB/GYN practice on Burdett Avenue. Between 1946 and 1984, the practice delivered almost 25,000 babies, primarily at Samaritan Hospital. He also served as chairman of the OB/GYN department at the hospital. He was one of the first physicians to use hypnosis in baby delivery.
During his illustrious career, Dr. Tomlinson served as president of the County Medical Society and president of Samaritan Hospital's medical staff. He has served on the boards of Samaritan Hospital, The Eddy and Northeast Health Acute Care Board. A past chairman of the advisory board for the Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing, he was also a trustee for the Belknap Trust, which has funded various programs at the hospital's School of Nursing. In 2000, he was awarded the first Northeast Health Founder's Award from Samaritan Hospital in recognition of his dedication and leadership at the hospital. He also has served on the board of directors of the Troy Chamber of Commerce and was a past president of the Country Club of Troy. He was on the board of directors of Vanderheyden Hall, a member of Apollo-King Solomon's Masonic Lodge in Troy, a communicant of St. John's Episcopal Church in Troy, chairman of the Greater Troy Chamber of Commerce Beautification Committee, Troy
He was a co-founder of the Northeast New York Orchid Society. Together, David and Ruth cultivated exotic orchids. They traveled worldwide, including up the Amazon River four times, in search of new orchid plants and he has a strain of orchid that he grew and named. They found raising orchids fascinating, challenging and relaxing. He donated land in upstate New York to protect orchids he grew.
Active in all aspects of medicine, he was chairman of the Board of Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing and taught ambulance and police personnel birthing classes. From 1944 to 1946, he served as a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in neurological and maternity services.
Survivors include four daughters, Faith Tomlinson, Chadds Ford of Pennsylvania, Pamela T. (John) Ernest of Temple, Maine, Lynn T. (late Dominic) Candella of Westwood, Mass., and Dale T. (late Jay) Ernest of Mifflintown, Pa.; his grandchildren, Kim Beeson, Todd Johnson, Nichole, Tiffany and Heather Ernest, Ashley and David Candella and Rylan Bargo; his great-grandchildren, Cali and Luke Beeson, Madeleine Jay and McKenna Gale Ernest-Rothert, Brody and Reed Tomlinson Johnson and Blair Kathryn Bargo; and two nieces and two nephews.
He was predeceased by a brother, Robert W. Tomlinson.
Relatives and friends may call at Bryce Funeral Home Inc. 276 Pawling Ave., Troy, from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, December 1, 2013.
A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, December 2, 2013, at St. John's Episcopal Church, 146 First St., Troy, with Rev. Stephen Schlossberg, rector of St. John's Episcopal Church, officiating.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of Dr. David R. Tomlinson to the Belknap Trust Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing, 2215 Burdett Ave., Troy, NY 12180; or to the Salvation Army Troy Corps, 410 River St., Troy, NY 12180.
For a private family guest book and service directions, visit
Published in The Record from Nov. 24 to Nov. 29, 2013
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"Dr. T. delivered me 60 years ago, and I didn't exactly come into the world willingly. He was a steadfast..."
- Betsy Smith-Eisenhauer
"I worked with Dr. Tomlinson in the late 70's, his caring, gentle demeanor was genuine and contagious......"
"To Dr. Tomlinson's Family, We are so very sorry for your loss of your wonderful Dad, he was my doctor..."
"very gentle man, he delivered my 2 children for which I will be forever grateful"
- Pat Cerniglia
"Dr. Tomlinson was my first OBGYN Doctor and I loved him. He delivered two of my three babies. May he..."
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