Thomas W. Williams, M.D., obituary

Posted:  Friday, May 19, 2017 - 1:45pm

SPRUCE HEAD: Thomas W. Williams, M.D., 93, of Clark Island, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loved ones on May 10, 2017.

Dr. Williams was a highly respected physician known for his fierce integrity, kindness, sharp intellect, and his white coat flapping behind as he charged down the hospital corridors. He was an exceptional diagnostician, able to connect the dots and arrive at the proper treatment quickly.

Initially, he practiced at the Knox County General Hospital with a small but mighty group of internists and was proud of being a founding physician member of the Pen Bay Medical Center. He kept up with the latest developments in medicine, but also made house calls. Dr. Williams also served as a medical examiner for 43 years, coordinating with the local law enforcement, state police, District Attorney’s offices, and funeral directors. He relished the boat trips with the state police and DA in the wee hours when there was an unattended death on the islands. In addition, Dr. Williams was the medical examiner in charge with the herculean task of handling the tragic 1979 Downeast Airlines crash in Owls Head.

Educated at Hotchkiss School, then Yale University, he completed his degree in 2½ years to join the U.S. Navy. After his service, the GI Bill paid for medical school at the University of Vermont. Dr. Williams completed a second tour in the Navy, and on the day the Korean War was declared, he was a deck officer on the Battleship Missouri, the “Mighty Mo.” After his service, he completed a pathology residency at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston where Tom met his lovely bride, Virginia M. Heggie. They traipsed off to Cooperstown, N.Y., where he did his residency in internal medicine at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital.

Their search for the perfect town and practice took them to Amherst, Mass., then Ellsworth, and then through public health as Acting Director of Public Health for the City of Brookline, Massachusetts. It ended in Camden, a place all six children called home.

An avid reader of history and whodunits, upon his retirement, he banged nails for Habitat for Humanity and built many, many shelves for his children. His question was always, “How can I help?”

He loved sports and never turned down an opportunity to watch football or hockey games. Dr. Williams also enjoyed being outdoors and liked nothing more than heading out on Penobscot Bay in his Downeast cruiser, Driftwood. Sitting in a cove with Ginny’s steak au poivre and some white lightening, he was in bliss.

He taught all six of his children to fly fish and worked hard to attend to his children’s’ music and sports events for years. 

Predeceased by his son, Thomas W. Williams, Jr., surviving is his beloved wife of 64 years, Virginia; his sister, Louise; niece, Laura, and her husband, Eric Evans; his children, Betsy and her husband John Stivers; David and his wife, Kathleen Gilbert; Peter and his partner, Ann Moody; Kathi; and Martha and her husband, Bill Flint.

He was blessed with grandchildren, including Taylor and Haley Williams; Margaret and Caroline Keefe; Alice and David Flint; and Harry and Marny Stivers; and nieces and nephews. Dr. Williams will be remembered and loved by close family friends, Kelly Williams, Beverly Boivin, and his wonderful loving PALS care providers, Bonnie, James and Mary.

A celebration of his life followed by a reception will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 27, 2017 at the Rockport Opera House.

Memorial Donations may be made to Habitat for Humanity, 799 West Street, Rockport, ME 04856. Private interment will be held at the convenience of the family in Seaview Cemetery in Rockport. Condolences may be shared with the family at Arrangements are with the Long Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 9 Mountain Street, Camden.