William R. Thompson, 84, of Warwick, RI, died January 15, 2014.
Bill, a clinical professor of surgery emeritus at Alpert Medical School, grew up in the logging and paper mill town of Livermore Falls, ME. In 1951, he earned a bachelor of science from the University of Maine. He earned his medical degree from Cornell University Medical College in 1955 and began his surgical training at Rhode Island Hospital. Two years later, Bill joined the US Navy Reserve, serving as an activeflight surgeon first in Pensacola, FL, then Quonset, RI, attaining the rank of lieutenant commander. Upon leaving the Navy, Bill joined the staff of Rhode Island Hospital and Women & Infants Hospital. He was the chair of the Brown Department of Surgery and twice was the acting surgeon-in-chief of Rhode Island Hospital. In the early 1960s he helped to form Surgical Group Inc., one of the first organized medical groups in the state.
Bill held numerous committee and association assignments, served on many boards and commissions, and earned awards for services performed for his profession, patients, and the community. In recognition of his 34 years of dedication, University Surgical Associates established an endowment upon his retirement supporting the William R. Thompson, MD, Annual Lectureship in Esophagogastric Surgery, The Thompson Library at Rhode Island Hospital, and various resources for residents, including the annual sponsorship of a resident for surgical training in Africa. Over the past two decades, Bill indulged his love for Maine at his rustic camp on a wooded point of land at Kennebago Lake, where he went fly-fishing, observed moose and other wildlife, and welcomed a steady flow of friends and family. He is survived by his wife, Diane; his stepson, Daniel Brouillard; his children, Mary, John, Kathryn, Norma, and Bill; several grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter. Donations in his memory may be made to the USA William R. Thompson Fund, PO Box 16149, Rumford, RI 02916.