The sad news came to me early on the morning of April 23, 1980, Dr. John 0. Thomson had died peacefully in his sleep. He had suffered with a number of chronic illnesses during the last few years of his life. I had attempted to prepare myself many times prior to the actual occurrence, yet after the phone call, I was shocked. I immediately felt the loss of a good friend and a remarkable gentleman.
My husband, Richard, and I met Dr. Thomson in January, 1978. He and his wife, Bea, consented to board our two Newfs while we were waiting to move into our home just south of Syracuse. The Thomsons opened their kennels to our dogs and their home to us. Dr. Thomson was personally responsible for our involvement in the NCA.
During our frequent visits Dr. Thomson delighted in relating fascinating stories from his almost thirty years' experience with the breed. We recognized that he was a storehouse of knowledge on Newfoundlands, and he possessed an incredible sense of humor.
At that time there were still five full-grown Newfoundlands in their kennels. However, Dr. Thomson could no longer participate in point shows or obedience trials. His hobbies kept him busy. He enjoyed gardening, and he was an avid reader.
In the early 1950's the Thomsons joined the Newfoundland Club of America, Dr. Thomson served on the Board of Directors and was trophy chairman for the Syracuse and Eastern Regional Specialty in 1968. Also, in the 1950's the Thomsons joined the Onondaga Kennel Association, Dr. Thomson served in many capacities through the years including President, Show Chairman, member of the Board of Directors, and representative to the American Kennel Club. In January 1980, both Dr. and Mrs. Thomson were awarded the first honorary memberships in the Onondaga Kennel Association. The November 9, 1980 All Breed Show and Obedience Trial was justly dedicated to his memory.
The Thomsons purchased their first Newfoundland from Little Bear Kennels in 1951. Their first champion, Little Bear's Black Sambo, went on to win Best of Breed at the Specialty Show in San Francisco, California, in 1956, By 1959, Kwasind Kennels, Reg, boasted four champions with many more to come.
In their years of showing and breeding Newfoundlands, Kwasind Kennels, Reg. list of champions and obedience titleholders grew to fourteen. A special favorite of Dr. Thomson was Ch. Little Bear's Tippo, who won many group placements. The breeding of Tippo to Ch. Little Bear's Toa of Kwasind produced Ch. Kwasind's Kokomo, CD, shown by Dr. Thomson himself in the obedience ring at the "Spirit of '76" Newfoundland National Specialty Show.
Dr. Thomson's medical career began in 1934, He graduated cum laude from Syracuse University Medical School. He began general practice but in 1939 was called into active duty in the Army Medical Corps. His thirty-nine month tour of duty included Hawaii, the Philippine Islands, and Makin Island. Dr. Thomson retired as a Major and was awarded the Bronze Star with three oak leaf clusters.
After returning to civilian life he attended the University of Pennsylvania, studying anesthesiology. He was a member of the American College of Anesthesiologists, the American Medical Association, and the Onondaga County Medical Society. Dr. Thomson practiced at Syracuse Memorial Hospital and University Hospital until 1953. After that time he became the first Director of Anesthesiology at the Syracuse Veterans Administration Hospital. He was also a senior attending anesthesiologist at Community General Hospital.
In the late 1960's Dr. Thomson unfortunately suffered several heart attacks. In June of 1971 he underwent open heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. He was able to return to his work until his formal retirement in 1973.
Dr. Thomson was unique, a helpful, caring and tolerant individual. He was an active member of the Cedarvale United Methodist Church. He was also a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and many of his adult years were spent helping others afflicted with the same disease.
Dr. John 0. Thomson is survived by his wife of 52 years, Beatrice N. Thomson, a daughter, Mrs, Robert L. House of Camillus, New York, a son, John, of Syracuse, a brother, Duncan, of Terre Haute, Indiana, seven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, a niece, and many friends who loved and respected him and will miss him deeply.