Dr. Lowell Thomas “Tom” Mouser passed away January 29, 2020, at Hospice House in Spokane, Washington.
He was born in the West Virginia backcountry on October 15 or 16, 1934. The doctor finally arrived at the house to certify his birth on October 17, making this his official birthday. He was the second of four sons born to the late schoolteachers Fred and Naomi Mouser.
Tom’s Depression and WWII childhood was a happy one, he thought he was in the greatest place on earth. Early chores included hiking to the schoolhouse to start the fire in the stove before his mom arrived to teach. He spent his youth barefoot and fly fishing the mountain streams with his much-admired older brother Fred Jr.
Tom graduated Valedictorian from Buckhannon High School in 1951 at the age of 16.
Tom entered the United States Air Force in 1952 before his 18th birthday. The Air Force recognized his genius and sent him to Syracuse University to learn the Russian language. He completed four years of college Russian in one year. His main duty station was Trabzon, Turkey, on the Black Sea. There he listened to and decoded Soviet radio transmissions as they developed their space and weapons program. He also spent his enlistment sharpening his poker skills.
Honorable discharge with a National Defense Ribbon brought Tom home to West Virginia. He completed a bachelor’s degree from WVU in 1960. But the most important item from this period was the sweet girl at the Tastee Freeze in Marlinton, who made his ice cream cones much bigger than anyone else’s. He married Shirley Defibaugh September 10, 1959, the couple recently celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.
Tom next enrolled in the School of Medicine at WVU, graduating first in his class in 1963. He was in the 99th percentile on the National Board of Medical Examiners exam among new doctors that year. Internal Medicine Residency followed.
The family moved to Spokane in 1967 where Tom practiced at the VA Medical Center until 1970. Then a return to Morgantown in 1970, where Tom did Fellowship work in Cardiology at WVU.
Tom and the family returned to Spokane in 1973 where he established his Cardiology practice at the Rockwood Clinic. He was accepted as a Fellow in the American College of Cardiology in 1974. His many innovations included bringing Cardiac Echo and Angioplasty to Spokane and co-authoring the landmark Dewood NEJM acute MI article in 1980.
Over the years, Tom and his hunting partners established an annual spike camp elk hunt in the Idaho wilderness. These trips were epic and often included their sons as well as other friends and colleagues. Deer, turkey hunting and fishing trips involved many adventures, with the grandkids often going along. Tom’s other hobby of low-stakes poker was engaged at various tables around town.
After retirement in 2000, Tom and Shirley moved to Otis Orchards. Annual elk, deer and turkey hunts continued. Tom grew a big vegetable garden each year and Tom and Shirley enjoyed many trips to Northern Quest Casino for fun.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers, Fred Jr., Keith and Joe.
Tom is survived by his wife, Shirley; and children, Bill, (Elizabeth), Winston, (Theresa), and Jessica; as well as grandchildren, Ana, Jake, Nicholas and Joe; and great-grandchildren, Jack and Kasia. Many valued nieces and nephews also survive.
Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association, Hospice of Spokane or a charity of your choice.
A celebration of life will be planned for a later date.