Thayer Mills Mackenzie
STILLWATER, Minn. -- Thayer Mills Mackenzie, of Stillwater, Minn., passed away on Sunday, June 24, 2012.
He was born on Jan. 19, 1922, in New York City, to Dr. George M. Mackenzie, a physician at Columbia University Hospital and Eleanor Hobson, a nurse. His father organized the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown. Bassett Hospital is still cited, together with the Mayo Clinic, as a model of health care based on salaried rather than fee-for-service payment.
He graduated from Milton Academy, Harvard College and the medical school of Johns Hopkins University, where he received his MD in 1947 and began a long advocacy for universal heath care. He interned at Bellevue Hospital in New York City and married Carolyn Surratt in 1953, who survives him. He served as a physician in the U.S. Public Health Service in Fort Worth, Texas from 1953 to 57, then spent his career in Washington, D.C. with a practice in psychiatry, including more than 45 years of service at the District of Columbia methadone clinic, Gallaudet University for the Deaf, St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Sibley Hospital, Deaf Reach, the State Department and the Peace Corps.
After retiring in 2007, he moved to Stillwater to be close to his two surviving daughters, Elizabeth Hobson Bruvold and Susan Mackenzie Runge and his four grandchildren, Lynn, Colleen, Elizabeth (Liz) and Carlisle (Carl). He was preceded in death by his daughter, Louise Thayer Mackenzie. He had one great-grandchild, Lily. He is remembered as a proud, accomplished and compassionate physician, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
In lieu of flowers, memorials should be made to Doctors Without Borders and/or Bassett Health Care of Cooperstown.