I am a habitual reader of obituaries and was struck today by a familiar name of a local doctor who just passed away. Part of the obituary fascination, that I’m sure I share with many others, is looking at the age of the deceased. It’s either really sad they died so young, it’s great that they had such a long life, or oh my God, he’s my age!
Doctor Tim Carroll is a familiar name, I remember him from Northfield Mount Hermon School, he was a year ahead of me, and he was a student leader in East Hall when I lived there. He was one of the older students who kept us new kids in line, in exchange for their larger quarters in the old dormitory.
Tim was a true renaissance man…the story told his interesting path from NMH to MIT for a BS in physics, then to UMass for Ph.D. in theoretical astrophysics, and then many years later he went to the Medical College of Virginia to get an MD. At the time of his sudden death at age 53 he worked at the same hospital as my daughter Kate, Baystate Franklin, where he was a radiologist.
What an interesting man he was. An astrophysicist in Oxford, England. Then a stint as a naval operations analyst in Washington DC, then when he turned 40, he became a doctor in the community where he grew up. He came home to live his life among family and old friends. “When Tim’s dad Patrick died, he became a father figure for the extended family, so his passing is much like losing dad as losing a son or a brother.” said the obituary.
The sudden death of a man with such a vital life is tragic, and only makes the obvious more important. We have no time to waste.