Thomas Clark Putnam, obituary

Posted:  Wednesday, January 17, 2018 - 8:00pm

CAMDEN – Thomas Clark Putnam, M.D., 87, husband of Barbara Biltz Putnam, died surrounded by his family, Monday, January 15, 2018, at Quarry Hill in Camden.  

Born in Berkeley, California, December 13, 1930, he was the son of Thomas W. and Charlotte M. Chatfield Putnam.  His parents ultimately moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where Tom attended local schools and met Barbara in the second grade.  He graduated from the University of Cincinnati, where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta, in 1952 and was a 1956 graduate of the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine where he was a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society.  During medical school, Tom and Barbara were married on August 22, 1953 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

He began his training at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio.   That residency was interrupted by two years of service with the U.S. Air Force as a pediatrician at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, Colorado.   Tom completed his training in pediatric surgery at the Boston Children’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

He settled with his family in Pittsford, New York, where from 1966 until his retirement in 1993, he was in private practice in Rochester, New York.  Teaching was important to Tom and, during this time, he was a Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of Rochester School of Medicine.

Since moving permanently to Rockland in 1996, Tom was actively involved in the community.  For several years he served with the Rockland Public Library Endowment Association, ensuring permanence of this important community resource for future generations.  In addition, he served as Senior Warden at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Rockland, was a past President and Development Director with the Camden Conference, was on the Board of Directors of Bay Chamber Concerts, and was a member of the Pen Bay Medical Center Board of Directors where he served as an Incorporator and was a member of the Policy Facility Committee.

Tom enjoyed sailing, gardening, crossword puzzles and sharing his musings in the local newspaper column he authored, ‘Tom’s Take’.  With his wife, he enjoyed extensive travel both in the United States and abroad.

Besides his beloved wife of 64 years, Barbara of Camden, Tom is survived by his children, Tracy Putnam and his wife, Nina Strnad, of Lake Forest, Illinois; Elizabeth Putnam Belden and her husband, Douglas, of Cranford, New Jersey; his grandchildren, Laura, Thomas and Sarah Belden and Nicholas and Samuel Putnam; his sister, Patricia Putnam Benacquista of Fairfield, California; his brother-in-law and wife, Carl Nicholas and Diann Biltz of McMinnville, Oregon, and nephews.

A funeral service will be held on Sunday, January 21, 2018, at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 11 White Street, Rockland.  The Reverend Lael Sorensen will officiate.  Satellite parking with shuttle service will be available at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Rockland Public Library Endowment Association (R-PLEA), P. O. Box 18, Rockland, ME 04841, or St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 11 White Street, Rockland, ME 04841.  To share a memory or story with Tom’s family, please visit their online Book of Memories at