John Brown Thomison Sr.

April 17, 1921April 21, 2013

Thomison, John Brown, Sr. M.D. born April 17, 1921, died April 21, 2013 Preceded in death by parents Mary Brown and John Greer Thomison; wife of 59 years, Elva Hollins Thomison and brother, Robert Locke Thomison. Survived by sons John Brown Thomison, jr. M.D. (Rena) and Robert Hollins Thomison both of Nashville, TN; daughters Mary Ann Zink (Gene), Indianapolis, IN; Elva Hollins Palmer (Craig), St. Louis, MO; Grandchildren John Brown Thomison, III, M.D. (Katherine), Memphis, TN; Andrew Lee Thomison, Houston, TX; Elizabeth Zink Donahue (Joe), Seattle, WA; William Darell Zink (Alison), New Orleans, LA; Alan Craig Palmer, St. Louis, MO; Leslie Palmer Garcia (David), Chicago, IL; Great-grandchildren Madeleine Thomison, William Patrick and Elizabeth Hollins Donahue, Seattle, WA; Evelyn Patricia Thomison, Memphis, TN. Born and raised on Lookout Mountain, TN Dr. Thomison graduated from Baylor School. He received a BA in 1942 and an M.D. in 1944 from Vanderbilt University where he was a member of SAE fraternity and Phi Chi medical fraternity. He served his medical internship at the Ohio State University Hospital. 1945-47 he served in the U.S. Army Air Force as Medical Officer overseas in France and Germany attaining the rank of Captain. After military service he was Assistant Resident, Surgery at Erlanger Hospital, Chattanooga, TN, then returning to Nashville was first Assistant Resident then Resident, Pathology at Vanderbilt Hospital. In 1952 he became a member of the Faculty of Vanderbilt University Medical School teaching Pathology and later Infectious Diseases. While at Vanderbilt in the Department of Pathology he is credited with developing standards and procedures and laboratory technologist training programs for diagnostic practices in clinical cervical cytology that were used in the field for decades. In 1999 he was named Clinical Professor of Pathology, Emeritus. In 1966 Dr. Thomison went into private practice joining Dr. Harry Browne to found Associated Pathologists and International Clinical Laboratories, pioneers in the delivery of standardized medical diagnostic services. He was Pathologist for Parkview Hospital later to become Centennial Medical Center. A member of the Tennessee Medical Association he served 30 years as the editor of the Journal of the TMA and was awarded the title of Editor Emeritus. He was also President 1988-89 and was a Tennessee delegate to the American Medical Association House of Delegates 1982-95. In 1997 he was given the TMA Outstanding Physician Award. As a member of the Southern Medical Association he was the editor of the Southern Medical Journal for 16 years and in 1992 was awarded the title Editor Emeritus. He served on the Committees of Continuing Medical Education for both the TMA and AMA. He served as President of the Nashville Academy of Medicine, President of the Tennessee Society of Pathologists, President of the Vanderbilt Medical Alumni Association, and was a Fellow of the College of American Pathologists and American Society of Clinical Pathologists, a member of the U.S.-Canadian Academy of Pathology and International Academy of Pathology. He was a member of the Canby Robinson Society and also active with the American Cancer Society. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church where he had served as a Sunday school teacher, choir member, Deacon and Elder. He was also a member of the Exchange Club of Nashville, the Belle Meade Country Club, and Cheekwood Botanical Gardens. A lifetime supporter of The Nashville Symphony he was a past board member and past member of the Nashville Symphony Chorus. A lover of opera he was on the Board of the Nashville Opera and a patron of the Metropolitan Opera. Dr. Thomison loved History, especially Native American and Tennessee medical, and was a member of the Tennessee Historical Society. He was a Biblical scholar, and enjoyed literature, photography, art, music, traveling and food. It was once said by a friend that the best meal John Thomison had ever eaten was always the one he had just eaten. A memorial service will be held Saturday May 4 at First Presbyterian Church at 11:00 with a visitation at 9:30 in Courtney Hall. There will be a private interment at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Youth Programs at First Presbyterian Church or a charity of one’s choice.


John Brown Thomison Sr.

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Stroud Thomison

May 6, 2013

Uncle John was the best friend I ever had; I'll miss him forever

Larry Smith . MD

May 4, 2013

Dr. Thomison was a ready source of information and an invaluable supporter during my years in the chairs at Southern Medical Association

Suzanne and Billy Christopher

May 3, 2013

We were so fortunate to visit with Dr. Thomison at Evie's 1st birthday party in October. His footprint will be highly regarded for the Thomison family and all that of the lives he touched.

Betty Leslie Warner

May 2, 2013

I had the true honor and privilege to work as Dr. Thomison's assistant for several years in the early 1980s. He was truly inspirational in so many ways and taught me so much. I loved working on his editorials and continued to read them in the TMA and SMA Journals for many years after I left my position at AP. A great man who will be truly missed!

Russ Miller

April 25, 2013

Dr. Thomison was the true leader within the Tennessee Medical Association. Not only did he produce our TMA Journal for decades, but he served as its president and represented Tennessee at the national level. He directly influenced the spirit and thoughts of Tennessee physicians through his editorials for so many years. The mark he left on Tennessee medicine is permanent, respected and will always be remembered. TMA will miss him dearly and will be forever mindful of the contributions he made to the profession. RIP JBT.