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Dr. Thomas S. Wilson
Dr. Thomas S. Wilson (Baltimore Sun)

Dr. Thomas Scott Wilson, a physician who directed palliative care at Medstar Good Samaritan and Union Memorial hospitals, died in his sleep of cardiac arrest June 14 at his Roland Park home. He was 63.

Born in Manson, Iowa, he was the son of Dr. Charles R. Wilson and his wife, Viola. He played high school football for the Manson Eagles and earned a bachelor's degree at Dartmouth College. There he met his future wife, Dr. Dorothy Snow, who works in internal medicine. They divorced in 1991 but remained life companions and never separated.

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He received a doctorate in pathology from the University of Maryland, where he also received his medical degree.

"He was everything an older brother could be. He was big, handsome and a truly kind individual," said his brother, Dr. Daniel R. Wilson, the dean and vice president of the University of Florida College of Medicine at Jacksonville. "He wasted few words. His comments were perceptive. He had a laconic and ironic sense of humor. His integrity was unmatched. He was a man of great character. He loved medicine and was a terrific physician. He also loved his wife and daughter very much."

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After completing his residency in internal medicine at University of Maryland Medical Center, he began working at Good Samaritan Hospital as a member of the internal medicine teaching faculty in 1990. He worked under Dr. John Rogers.

Family members said Dr. Wilson enjoyed practicing primary care medicine and knew many of his patients for more than 20 years.

"He deeply cared about patients and their families, and they knew it," said his medical partner, Dr. Christopher Kearney. "If something was not right, he would say so. He put in long hours and would stay with a patient as long as it took."

"One day we were at a small restaurant on Harford Road. It seemed as if everyone who came through the door said, 'Hi Tom,'" said Rene Mayo, a social worker and colleague. "He was an old-fashioned doctor people wanted to be friendly with and talk to. They claimed him as a part of their community."

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Dr. Kearney said his colleague moved into the field of geriatrics and palliative medicine and worked with colleagues at Good Samaritan to plan, develop and implement a palliative care service for patients at the end of their lives. He said the care service was an outgrowth of Dr. Wilson's many years spent working in Northeast Baltimore.

"He was a role model for the medical residents and junior faculty members," said Dr. Rosemarie Maraj, a physician at Good Samaritan. "He also helped families make end-of-life decisions."

Dr. Wilson enjoyed watching the Orioles and Ravens. He read and enjoyed listening to country music. He also worked on the family's farm near Damascus, where he walked in the woods and recently taught himself how to make maple syrup. He had recently been baling hay, family members said.

"My dad was a role model for me as a physician and a person. I always turned to him for advice on ethical questions involving patients," said his daughter, Dr. Grace E. Snow, a resident in the department of otorhinolaryngology at the University of Maryland Medical Center. "He was a very good listener and was a kind and gentle man."

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Ruck Towson Funeral Home, 1050 York Road.

In addition to his life companion, daughter and brother, survivors include two other brothers, James N. Wilson and Edward M. Wilson, both of Des Moines, Iowa; and three sisters, Anne Wilson Olson of Columbia, S.C., Deborah Wilson Nerness of Fort Dodge, Iowa, and Nancy W. Lundblad of Hilo, Hawaii.

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