Dr. Tom Morgan
Winfrey Thomas Morgan, Jr., M.D. (Tom) was born Jan. 29, 1935, in Lebanon, Mo., to Winfrey Thomas Morgan (W.T.) and Leroyna Wyatt Morgan. He died Nov. 29, 2018, in Columbia, Mo. at the age of 83 due to complications of dementia, diabetes and renal failure. His family moved to Thayer, Mo. when Tom was young and he attended elementary and high school there where he became a lifelong Bobcat. Tom played all sports in high school including quarterbacking the football team at 5’6” and 120 pounds without the benefit of glasses or contacts. He was never afraid to tackle anything.
He attended undergraduate at the University of Missouri where he was Phi Beta Kappa graduating in 1957. He then attended medical school at the university where he graduated in 1961 and was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, a medical honor society. Tom decided early on that he wanted to be a country doctor and since there were no family practice residencies at that time, he went to Kansas City General Hospital for a one year internship. He liked to tell people that he never saw anything new after that one year which was only a slight exaggeration. After internship, he entered the United States Army and was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood. As a captain, he managed the outpatient clinics at Fort Wood.
On July 6, 1957, Tom married Sondra Bryan in Thayer and by the end of medical school and internship they managed to have three children. After his service, Tom moved his family back to southern Missouri and did family practice in West Plains. In the 20 years he was there, he delivered over 2,000 babies in addition to handling a very busy general practice. He saw patients from a wide area of south central Missouri including several from his home town of Thayer who always asked for Tommy. Since West Plains was 100 miles from the nearest hospital, Tom and his practice partner Dr. Marvin Fowler were forced to deal with many illnesses and injuries on their own. West Plains was able to start a small hospital while Tom practiced there and he took care of many patients there. Tom took the first Family Practice board exam offered and kept up that certification until the time he retired. When asked what kind of doctor he was, he always was quick to answer, really good.
In 1984, Tom followed Sondra back to Columbia where she was in school getting a delayed education. Tom and Rollie and Nancy Lohmar started a convenience clinic called Mediquick. It was a first for Columbia and considering the number of doctors already in Columbia, they were not sure how it would do. They soon found there was a market for such a facility, however, and Tom liked to say that in the 20 years he practiced there, he saw everyone in Columbia from the mayor on down to the trash workers. Again this was only a slight exaggeration. At first, there was some suspicion and disdain for this doc in a box facility in the medical community. But Tom soon gained a reputation as an excellent diagnostician and the specialists and surgeons found that when Tom referred a patient to them with a suspected diagnosis he was usually right. Tom retired from Mediquick in 2005 due to a bad back which did not allow him to keep up the pace he had set for himself.
Tom is survived by Sondra his wife of 61 years as well as by three children and their families: Stephanie (Bob Boehm), Christopher (Dr. Anita Tesh) and Melanie (David Dennis). He has eight grandchildren: Rob Boehm (Natalie), Sarah Devero (Jeff), Anna Perdue (Warren), Emily Kinsman (Fox), Laura Morgan (Dylan McKnight), Claire Anich, Sam Anich and Mary Grace Anich. Also six great-grandchildren: Quin and Banyan Perdue, Louise and Jack Boehm and Charlie and Josephine Devero.
Tom is also survived by one brother Michael L. Morgan (Ann) of Ormond Beach, Fla. His parents and his beloved Grandmother B Wyatt predeceased him.
With his two degrees from Mizzou, Tom was a Tiger through and through. He tried to be philosophical about Mizzou’s many disappointing losses by saying it was hard to be a Tiger fan. Tom loved to watch the Tigers play, but one of the benefits, if you could call it that, of his dementia was that he did not remember the losses after the game was over and did not have to fret over their missed chances.
Tom and Sondra were always drawn back to the hills and clear streams of south Missouri and north Arkansas where they grew up. They bought a houseboat on Lake Norfork in northern Arkansas where he spent many happy times with his family. Tom was able to enjoy time with his grandchildren that he never had with his own children because of the demands of his practice. Grandpa Tom with all of his eccentricities will be fondly remembered by his grandchildren.
Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2 at Carter Funeral Home in Thayer. Interment was in Thayer Cemetery in Thayer with services under the direction of Carter Funeral Home, Inc. in Thayer.