Remembering AAIP Member Thomas Edward Matheson

September 7, 2018
Posted by Jamie McDaniel on 09/07/2018

Thomas Edward Matheson

March 27, 1936 – September 5, 2018


Thomas Edward Matheson was born to Sue and Tom Matheson in Vinita, Oklahoma.  He attended school in Tulsa, OK graduating in 1954 from Central High School.   He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelors of Science in 1958 and then Baylor Medical School completing his Doctorate in Medicine in 1962 and worked in at Methodist hospital in Houston, Texas and Charity Hospital in New Orleans, LA before he took his first practice position on The San Carlos Indian Reservation in Arizona under the Indian Health Service of the United States under the branch of the U.S. Coast Guard.  He then moved to Miami/Globe, Arizona and worked as the company physician of the Miami Inspiration Copper Company until he and his family moved to Prineville, Oregon in 1971.  He was in private practice at Prineville Medical Clinic and Pioneer Health Care and continued to work as a part-time hospitalist at Pioneer Memorial Hospital until 2012 when he retired from the community after 41 years of practice.

He married Kay Doran Matheson on December 26, 1959 in Claremore Oklahoma and they had two children Blair Matheson and Kimberly (Matheson) Crofcheck, and a foster son Jim Oliver. Tom and Kay were married until 2008 when Kay lost a long battle with ovarian cancer. 

His greatest love was doing yardwork, reading, spending time with family, raising bird dogs and was an avid upland bird hunter.  He spent time every fall traveling to North Dakota and Arizona hunting pheasant and quail.   He loved sports and enjoyed watching his grandchildren, Sarah, Erin, Morgan and Brady in all of their athletic, extracurricular and academic activities. 

He was a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and took pride in documenting and sharing his historical knowledge with the state of Oklahoma and had donated a plot of family land to the State of Oklahoma as a historical site for the Cherokee Nation.   

He served on the Pioneer Memorial Hospital Foundation Board of Directors, was a member of the American Academic of Family Physicians, and was a member of the Association of American Indian Physicians.    He was on the advisory board for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon and was considered a mentor to many of the medical personnel in Prineville throughout his long and prosperous career as a Family Practice physician. 

He volunteered his time to the Indian National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas serving as one of the attending physicians along with his son Blair. He was honored by the rodeo in November of 2017 for his contributions.

He married Joyce (Hensley) Matheson on June 26, 2010 and moved to Irrigon, Oregon. He enjoyed their multiple trips to South America, growing tomatoes and flowers, and sitting on their back porch. He and Joyce took many trips around the United States and getting to know Joyce’s extended family.  He continued to practice medicine part time at St. Anthony’s urgent care in Pendleton, Oregon until October of 2017.

He lost this last battle to cancer although he conquered non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1989 and again in 1996.

He is survived by his wife Joyce Matheson (Irrigon, OR) and her many family members, his son Dr. Blair Matheson and grandchildren Morgan and Brady Matheson (North Dakota), and his daughter Kimberly (Matheson) Crofcheck, his son in law Dan Crofcheck and his granddaughters Sarah (Crofcheck)

Shinkle, her husband Jake Shinkle, (Prineville), his granddaughter Erin Crofcheck and her significant other Adam Mackie, (Bend, OR) and his foster son Jim Oliver and his family from Madras Oregon. He is also survived by his sister Suzanne (John) Burgess of Tyler, Texas and their daughter Rebecca and family.   

He is preceded in death by his first wife, Kay Matheson, his mother Sue Apperson, and his father Tom Blair Matheson.

He would like to thank his family, friends, patients, staff and colleagues for the many years of support while practicing medicine and enjoyed living and contributing to the communities of Prineville, Pendleton, and Irrigon.

Please come celebrate Tom Matheson’s life at 11:00 am at the Crook County High School auditorium on Saturday, October 13th with a gathering to follow at Prineville Golf Club.  In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Association of American Indian Physicians ( or St. Charles Hospice of Prineville, 446 NE 3rd Street, Prineville, OR (