Dr. David W. Thomas Jr.

Dr. David Wesley Thomas Jr., 91, formerly a lifelong resident of Lock Haven, and a resident of Stuart, Fla., passed away peacefully on April 12, 2017, in Stuart, Fla.

Dr. Thomas was born in Lock Haven, July 4, 1925, to the late Dr. David W. Thomas Sr. and Grace Elizabeth Edwards Thomas. Sadly, he was preceded in death by his wife Shirley A. Thomas, his son Dean N. Thomas and his grandson David A. Peck as well as his siblings Jane Thomas, Christine Thomas Cook, Grace Mary Thomas Brickley, Margaret Anne Thomas Morrisette and John L. Thomas.

He was a 1942 graduate of Lock Haven High School where he lettered and excelled in golf and basketball. Graduating from Lock Haven at the age of 16, he attended the University of Pennsylvania, and from there the Thomas Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia where, in 1948, he received his medical degree. At Penn, he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.

Throughout the years, he maintained many friendships not only from high school, but from both Penn and Jefferson. He enjoyed staying in touch with his classmates and he was a loyal and generous friend. Dr. Thomas was also a dedicated supporter of his alma mater, The Thomas Jefferson Medical College.

Upon graduation from medical school, Dr. Thomas began his medical career in practice with his father, Dr. David W. Thomas Sr., a general surgeon in Lock Haven. During that early period, he also served in the Korean War from 1951-1953 first at Fort Knox, Ky., and then in Korea as a First Lieutenant with the 121st Evacuation Hospital and as a commanding officer in the 125th Medical Detachment. He was awarded a commendation ribbon and a medal for meritorious service. After completing his service, he again returned to practice with his father completing his residency in surgery in 1955.

Throughout his medical career, there was never a time where his patient’s welfare did not come first and foremost. He constantly strove to make all aspects of care for his patients better, and never slowed in his own learning as new procedures and advances were introduced. Often he would make house calls for patients that he knew would have a difficult time getting to his office. His obvious commitment to his profession and his diligent care of his patients led to a binding, deep trust and respect from patients and their families.

On May 12, 1950, Dr. Thomas married Shirley Arnold. They celebrated 65 years of marriage before her passing in 2015. Together they enjoyed a love of golf, snow skiing and attending Penn State football games for over 50 years with their family and many friends. Most of all, their shared love of flying and travel provided many years of fun filled and adventurous trips. Both David and Shirley were accomplished pilots, flying and owning several Piper aircraft through the years, and both were longtime golfers and members of Clinton Country Club. In addition, Dr. Thomas was a member of the Great Island Presbyterian Church, the Masons and several other community organizations, but always in the forefront was his passion for the practice of medicine.

Dr. Thomas served on the staff of the Lock Haven Hospital from 1956 until his retirement in 2000. During that time he was Chief of Surgery from 1958 -1972, was a member of the Lock Haven Hospital Board of Trustees from 1958 -1990, president of the medical staff from 1982-1986, was a member of the Executive Committee, as well as serving on the surgical staff of the Jersey Shore Hospital in Jersey Shore, Bucktail Medical Center in Renovo, and Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. He was also the founder of Thomas, Magre, and Lytle Association, which later became Clinton Association of Physicians and Surgeons (CAPS). CAPS was eventually acquired by Geisinger Medical Center in 1986. Following his retirement, he was a guest lecturer at Lock Haven University’s Physicians Assistants Master Degree Program.

In his later years, Dr. Thomas enjoyed travel with Shirley and spending time with family dividing his time between Lock Haven, North Carolina and Florida.

Dr. Thomas is survived by his children, Jane Thomas Peck (Alden), David W. Thomas III, Kimberly Thomas Levine (Ron) and daughter-in-law Susan Bressler Thomas. He leaves behind his beloved grandchildren, Dr. Rachel Peck Sabo (Michael), Sean Thomas, Ashley Levine Clayton (JP), Kelley Levine, Jordan Thomas (Ellie) and Deanna Thomas, and two great-grandchildren, Benjamin David Sabo and Hadley Grace Sabo.

He is also survived by his best and oldest friend from the age of 3, Robert Grossman, formerly of Lock Haven. Bob never failed to call him on each and every birthday and reminisce over all the years in Lock Haven and beyond.

For over 50 years, in serving the citizens of Lock Haven and Clinton County, Dr. Thomas devoted his life with singleness of purpose and rare devotion to the practice of medicine and to his patients. He was a dedicated professional who demonstrated throughout his life his compassion for others, his love of learning, his deep abiding love of family, and his optimism and passion for life that carried him through to the very end.

The family wishes to thank with deep appreciation the Stuart Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Stuart and the Council on Aging Kane Center for the wonderful care and compassion provided to their father. There is no doubt that the kindness, care and respect given to him enhanced his life these last few years.

A memorial service to celebrate his life will be announced at a later date.

Memorial contributions in Dr. Thomas’s memory may be made to Lock Haven Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship Fund, Lock Haven Hospital, 24 Cree Ave., Lock Haven, Pa. 17745 and the Kane Center, Council on Aging of Martin County, 900 SE Salerno Road, Stuart, Fla. 34997.

Arrangements by Treasure Coast Seawinds Funeral Home of Stuart, Fla. An online guest book will be available at www.treasurecoastseawinds.com.