Thomas Edward Matheson was born to Sue and Tom Matheson in Vinita, Oklahoma. He attended school in Tulsa, Okla., graduating in 1954 from Central High School. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Science in 1958 and then Baylor Medical School, completing his doctorate in medicine in 1962. He worked at Methodist hospital in Houston, Texas, and Charity Hospital in New Orleans, La., before he took his first practice position on The San Carlos Indian Reservation in Arizona under the Indian Health Service of the United States under the branch of the U.S. Coast Guard. He then moved to Miami/Globe, Arizona, and worked as the company physician of the Miami Inspiration Copper Company until he and his family moved to Prineville, Oregon, in 1971. He was in private practice at Prineville Medical Clinic and Pioneer Health Care and continued to work as a part-time hospitalist at Pioneer Memorial Hospital until 2012 when he retired from the community after 41 years of practice.
He married Kay Doran Matheson on December 26, 1959, in Claremore Oklahoma, and they had two children, Blair Matheson and Kimberly (Matheson) Crofcheck, and a foster son, Jim Oliver. Tom and Kay were married until 2008 when Kay lost a long battle with ovarian cancer.
His greatest love was doing yardwork, reading, spending time with family, raising bird dogs and was an avid upland bird hunter. He spent time every fall traveling to North Dakota and Arizona hunting pheasant and quail. He loved sports and enjoyed watching his grandchildren, Sarah, Erin, Morgan and Brady, in all of their athletic, extracurricular and academic activities.
He was a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and took pride in documenting and sharing his historical knowledge with the state of Oklahoma and had donated a plot of family land to the state of Oklahoma as a historical site for the Cherokee Nation.
He served on the Pioneer Memorial Hospital Foundation Board of Directors, was a member of the American Academic of Family Physicians, and was a founding member of the American Association of Indian Physicians. He was on the advisory board for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon and was considered a mentor to many of the medical personnel in Prineville throughout his long and prosperous career as a family practice physician.
He volunteered his time to the Indian National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, serving as one of the attending physicians along with his son Blair. He was honored by the rodeo in November of 2017 for his contributions.
He married Joyce (Hensley) Matheson on June 26, 2010, and moved to Irrigon, Oregon. He enjoyed their multiple trips to South America, growing tomatoes and flowers, and sitting on their back porch. He and Joyce took many trips around the United States and getting to know Joyce’s extended family. He continued to practice medicine part-time at St. Anthony’s urgent care in Pendleton, Oregon, until October of 2017.
He lost this last battle to cancer although he conquered non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1989 and again in 1996.
He is survived by his wife Joyce Matheson (Irrigon, Ore.) and her many family members; his son Dr. Blair Matheson and grandchildren Morgan and Brady Matheson (North Dakota); his daughter Kimberly (Matheson) Crofcheck, his son-in-law Dan Crofcheck, and his granddaughters Sarah (Crofcheck) Shinkle and her husband Jake Shinkle, (Prineville), and Erin Crofcheck and her significant other Adam Mackie, (Bend, Ore.); and his foster son Jim Oliver and his family from Madras Oregon. He is also survived by his sister Suzanne (John) Burgess of Tyler, Texas, and their daughter Rebecca and family.
He is preceded in death by his first wife, Kay Matheson, his mother Sue Apperson, and his father Tom Blair Matheson.
He would like to thank his family, friends, patients, staff and colleagues for the many years of support while practicing medicine and enjoyed living and contributing to the communities of Prineville, Pendleton and Irrigon.
Please come celebrate Tom Matheson’s life at 11:00 a.m. at the Crook County High School auditorium on Saturday, October 13 with a gathering to follow at Prineville Golf Club. A second service will be held Saturday, Sept. 15 at 2 p.m. at Columbia View Community Church in Irrigon, with a luncheon following in the main room downstairs.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the American Academy of Indian Physicians (aaip.com) or St. Charles Hospice of Prineville, 446 N.E. Third St., Prineville, OR 97754 (www.stcharleshealthcare.org/Our-Services/Hospice-Care).