Children will benefit from Dr. Good’s legacy | NevadaAppeal.com

Children will benefit from Dr. Good’s legacy

by Kurt Hildebrand

The life and good works of Dr. Thomas Good will be remembered at the Eagle Valley Children’s Home, where he served as medical director for 20 years.

After 1 p.m. Sunday services for the doctor, who died June 24 at age 77 at his Dayton home, friends and family will gather at the Children’s Home, according to wife Bobbi Good.

“He never sought publicity,” she said. “He didn’t become a doctor for the money; all he wanted to do is make children well.”

Born in 1925 in Minnesota the youngest of four boys, Good was a year old when his father died of cancer. His mother, a school teacher, raised the boys herself.

When he first attended school, officials thought he was retarded, but it turned out he had nerve damage in both ears and couldn’t hear.

“He never learned sign language,” Bobbi Good said. “He learned to read lips, and later on he had a hearing aid.”

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As a boy, he delivered papers and sold magazine subscriptions to earn money to help the family.

Good received two bachelor’s degrees in 1948 and his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Dr. Good taught and conducted research at the University of Utah Medical School, University of Maryland Medical School and the Medical College of Wisconsin.

He spent 25 years in academic medicine and 20 years in private practice.

“He was an amazing speaker,” she said. “He would not read from notes or a book. He would get his slides arranged in the projector and would give his presentation. They were long lectures, so he would tell jokes in the middle of them. No one wanted to miss his lectures.”

Dr. Good was married twice. He met Bobbi Good when he was a professor and she was working in a research lab.

“He asked how come I didn’t come over to the lab, and I told him I didn’t love him.”

She clearly overcame her disinterest.

“We got married by a judge on a Monday in Miami, Fla.,” Bobbi said. “He was the best man at a friend’s wedding. We got married and then went to meet my parents in Kissimmee.”

The couple arrived in Nevada in 1976, when Dr. Good went to work for Reno Pediatric Group. The next year he went to work for Carson Children’s Clinic in Carson City. He became medical director of the children’s home in 1977. The couple moved to Dayton in 1979.

“He used everything in his brain to help the complex cases,” she said. “We had a lot of friends — that’s what we would call our patients, because they were friends.”

She says Dr. Good could fix engines and tame animals. He won many awards with two horses he caught at a water hole and gentled.

“He trained the horses, did his own shoeing,” she said.

He was also an award-winning rower.

Dr. Good retired in 1997 after 20 years.

“Tommy took care of a lot of unusual children that most people don’t know anything about,” she said. “He just thought they’re great and he would fight hard for them.”