A memorial service for Dr. Pat Thomas is set for 10 a.m. Saturday at Marvin United Methodist Church, 300 W. Erwin St.
Thomas, who played a critical role in the founding of Trinity Mother Frances hospitals and clinics, died Saturday. He was 85.
Dr. Doug Baker is set to preside at the memorial service. After the service, the family will receive friends in the church’s Pirtle Hall.
During the Vietnam War, Thomas, a native of Vernon, was a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps. As chief of surgery in the 8th Field Hospital in Nha Trang, Vietnam, he operated on soldiers who suffered injuries during battle, according to newspaper archives.
The Army awarded him the Bronze Star for heroism and exemplary service in a combat zone.
After the war, Thomas and his wife, Mary Dale, moved to Tyler, where he co-founded and served as the chief administrator of Trinity Clinic. He later played a role in the merger of Trinity Clinic and Mother Frances Hospital.
In 1995, he became president and chief medical officer of Trinity Mother Frances Health System and served as a chief of surgery at Mother Frances Hospital and East Texas Medical Center. In the latter portion of his career, Thomas was the senior development officer for Christus Trinity Mother Frances Foundation.
The Patrick R. Thomas, M.D., Therapy Garden is at Christus Mother Frances Hospital. Located on the fourth floor of Ornelas Tower, the garden features plants, flowers, vegetables and spices designed to awaken the senses of patients.
Thomas’ professional affiliations included Texas Surgical Society, Southern Society of Clinical Surgeons and American College of Surgeons North Texas Chapter, all in which he served a term as president. In 2001, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston presented Thomas its Ashbel-Smith Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Thomas’ life was marked by community service. For about 30 years, he was on Tyler Junior College Board of Trustees. At times he was president of East Texas Symphony Orchestra and local boards of the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society and the East Texas Symphony Orchestra.
The Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce in 1969 presented Thomas with its Windsor Award for outstanding community service.
He attended Marvin United Methodist Church and its Seekers Sunday school class.
Survivors include daughter, Susan Thomas Rippy and husband Reed; son, Kevin Scott Thomas and wife Belle, all of Tyler; a sister, Ann Thomas Williams of Lubbock; and grandchildren, Morgan Elizabeth Rippy of Houston, James Patrick Rippy of Washington, D.C., and Stella Caroline Thomas and Turner Reese Thomas of Tyler.
The family requests memorials be made in his name to Christus Trinity Mother Frances Foundation, 100 E. Ferguson St., Suite 800, Tyler, TX 75702; Marvin United Methodist Church Music Ministry, 300 W. Erwin St., Tyler, 75702; The Hospice of East Texas Foundation, 4111 University Blvd., Tyler; or a favorite charity.