Thomas Arthur Matlock, age 87, passed away Dec. 13, 2018 after a long battle with cancer. He was born in Champagne, Ill., and moved to Tucson when he was three months old. He must have enjoyed the trip because Arizona became his home state for the rest of his life.
He graduated from the University of Arizona in 1952 with distinction and an undying love of the U of A and its athletic teams. He served in the Air Force in Korea as an air craft controller, and after discharge he married Vera Stipp. The two of them moved to Chicago Ill., in 1955 where Tom attended Northwestern Medical School. After graduation and internship in Evanston, Ill, they moved to Kalispell, Mont., to start his family practice. They missed Arizona and after four years of what was unbearable weather, they gathered up their two adopted children and moved back home.
In Flagstaff, a doctor and good friend from early days invited him to open a practice in his garage and that was the beginning of 14 years of community service, and a practice that garnered respect and love from patients all over Northern Arizona.
Their elderly parents were living in Sedona so a decision to move his practice again was made with the same success.
Retirement did not rest easily in Tom’s mind so after their final move to Wickenburg, still following the sun, he opened up Wickenburg Health Care Alliance with the idea of developing innovations in health care delivery in small rural communities. His sister Judith Creighton and brother W. Gerald Matlock wrote a Health Education Primer in English and Spanish and Tom modified it to appeal to young children. The Congress School principal became enthusiastic and Congress Health Council was started. Tom was instrumental in being the guiding light and “doctor” in their health fairs. The kids loved it.
His loving care of children, his compassion for his elderly patients and devotion to his medical practice was in the basic fabric of his life. He will be missed.
He is survived by his wife Vera and son Stephen, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
No public services are planned and donations in his name can be made to Hospice of the Valley.
Arrangements under the direction of Wickenburg Funeral Home & Crematory.