Dr. Thomas W. Pobzeznik
Dr. Thomas W. Pobzeznik, 90, of Stuart, Fla., and Tiverton, R.I., passed away July 16, 2021 at Charlton Memorial Hospital. His wife of 69 years, Barbara M. (Smith) Pobzeznik, was by his side.
The son of the late Stephen Karol Pobzeznik and Lottie (Bronhard) Pobzeznik, he was a well-respected chiropractor who gently relieved the pain of several generations of patients. He had a storied practice in Fall River, Mass., for more than 60 years, and proudly held license number 16 in the State of Massachusetts. He was one of several pioneers in the profession who worked tirelessly to gain licensure in the state while juggling growing practices and young families.
Working hard was something he did from an early age when he delivered kielbasa for his uncles who owned the iconic Bronhard's meat market in Fall River, played organ at the Polish National Catholic Church in his youth, and later played piano for The Charlie Perry Band while in high school.
He was a graduate of B.M.C. Durfee High School, Class of 1949, and served on reunion committees until the final 60th class reunion in 2009.
A Navy veteran, he served on the U.S.S. Cecil and was a yeoman on the U.S.S. Yosemite during the Korean War, and in his later life attended many reunions around the country with the crew of the Yosemite. He was awarded a National Defense Service Medal and a Good Conduct Medal for his four years in the service.
Having suffered from headaches that were relieved by chiropractic adjustments, he decided to study chiropractic upon discharge from the Navy in 1955.
He enrolled in Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. He and his "bride" had two children in Davenport while he juggled a full-time job and full time schooling, and managed to be among the top achievers in his class when he graduated on June 1, 1958. He continued to master his adjusting techniques throughout his career through the Gonstead Clinic workshops in Wisconsin.
He worked tirelessly for decades, having office hours late into the night and going on house calls for those who were in too much pain to leave their homes. His practice, which he took over from Dr. John Anderson, was initially on South Main Street, located on the second floor of a building above Everett Motors. Patients who went to him prior to his move in 1980 never forgot the steep climb up more than 40 steps, sometimes done on their knees. When the building was sold and taken down for the expansion of St. Anne's Hospital, he moved to a building on Laurel Street that had an entrance with just four steps to the waiting room where every seat was often filled. He never advertised. Patients referred friends and family to him, saying he was the doctor with "the magic hands."
Many times he accepted payment in the form of produce and nursery stock from farmers, and seafood from his patients who were fishermen.
One of his greatest joys was flying. He had a private pilot's license for more than 40 years, taking to the skies every weekend and any day off, if the weather was fair, to get a bird's eye view of his properties, check on highways being built, and photograph landmarks from thousands of feet above. In his later years he'd often fly in his four-seat Cessna out of New Bedford Airport on Sunday mornings, along with other pilots in their planes, and meet up at breakfast spots at airports around New England. He did that into his early 80s, reluctantly stopping when health issues permanently grounded him.
He and his wife traveled extensively over the years, including trips to Poland, Peru, Italy, Germany, Aruba, Curacao, St. Thomas, Bermuda, Hawaii, the Straits of Gibraltar, numerous states around the country, and cruises to Alaska and through the Panama Canal.
He golfed in his younger years and also bowled for decades on Tuesday nights, belonging to leagues at the former Lincoln Park and later Westport bowling lanes.
An accomplished dancer, he and his wife dined and danced every Saturday night, often to the sounds of big bands or orchestras. Large groups of friends would be invited back to the house afterwards and they'd gather around his three-manual organ that had speakers that could raise the roof, and nearly often did.
A voracious reader until his eyesight began to fail, he often had three books going at once and read two newspapers a day, always keeping up on the latest news.
"The more you know, the more you realize how much you don't know," he'd say. He had a never-ending curiosity and unquenchable thirst for knowledge.
He was active in service organizations over the decades.
A member and past president of the Exchange Club of Fall River, he was also active in the Order of the Alhambra.
He was a member of the Massachusetts Chiropractic Society, the USS Yosemite Association, and the Tiverton Rod and Gun Club.
Besides his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Carol A. Ballon and Marcia Pobzeznik-Flynn (Sean); son-in-law Hector Ballon who was a constant companion and invaluable helper during his last years of life; four grandchildren, Malena Ballon Hoefling (Scott), Marliese E. Ballon, Sophie Carol Flynn and Matthew Thomas Flynn; two great-grandchildren, Xavier Charles Hoefling and Eden May Hoefling; nieces, cousins and many dear friends. He was pre-deceased by his two sons, Mark Thomas Pobzeznik and Stephen Eric Pobzeznik.
Donations in his memory may be made to the Palmer College of Chiropractic, Davenport Alumni Scholarship Fund, and mailed to Palmer College of Chiropractic, Advancement Office, 1000 Brady St., Davenport, Iowa, 52803, to help educate others in this drug-free healing art. Please write "Pobzeznik memorial" on the memo line. The link to donate online ishttps://www.givecampus.com/campaigns/11673/donations/new
. In the drop-down menu for "Designation" donors can select "Other", then type in "Davenport Alumni Endowed Scholarship, Pobzeznik memorial."
Due to the continuing pandemic and the emerging Delta variant, funeral arrangements, made with the help of Auclair Funeral Home, Fall River, were private. Online condolences at AuclairFuneralHome.com
Published by Newport Daily News from Jul. 29 to Jul. 31, 2021.