Dr. Thomas E. Spicer, M.D. (July 4, 1948 – June 15, 2024)


Dr. Thomas E. Spicer, M.D. passed away on June 15th, 2024 after living a full and enormous life.

Tom was born on Independence Day, July 4, 1948 in Rock Springs, Wyoming, the son of Eldon and Beverly Spicer. He grew up splitting his time between the family home on Virginia Street in Rock Springs and the family sheep ranch north of Farson. He had two sisters and two brothers. 

He graduated from the old Rock Springs High School in 1966 and attended the University of Wyoming where he was a proud member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. Tom married his soulmate, Debbe (Harrell) Spicer in June 1969 and they started their life together in married student housing in Laramie. He graduated from the University in 1970 with honors.

Tom was accepted to the University of Washington Medical School and the married couple began a new adventure in Seattle where their son Justin was born. He graduated from Washington with his M.D. in 1974 and began an internal medicine internship at the University of Kansas. He later moved to Salt Lake City to begin a general surgery residency. In 1976, the family welcomed their daughter Sarah in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

In 1979, the family moved to Dallas, Texas for Tom to begin a plastic surgery residency at Texas Southwestern University at Parkland. He became an renowned plastic and reconstructive surgeon and was Chief Resident during his time there. He was a professor while also in private practice. One of his favorite causes became repairing children’s cleft palates; there are hundreds of his former patients whose lives were enriched by his exceptional skills and bedside manner. He also treated burn patients, as well as those with catastrophic hand injuries. 

In 1985, their youngest daughter Emily was born in Dallas. Later that year, Tom and Debbe took a leap of faith and moved their family back to Rock Springs where he opened his own practice. 

Dr. Tom quickly became a fixture of the Sweetwater County medical community. He served the hospital as Chief of Staff, and later after his retirement, he was appointed as a member of the hospital’s board of trustees. He loved being a surgeon, partly because of the rigor and skill required and partly because he got all the juicy Rock Springs gossip from his patients. He was loved at the hospital and in his practice and he made a difference in the health of his patients. He learned, then retold, dozens of terrible and inappropriate jokes that came up during surgery.

Tom served his community well and in many capacities. He was a member of the county planning and zoning board, airport board, the Wyoming Centennial Commission, The UW Foundation, and the UW Alumni Association.

In 1997, then-Gov. Geringer appointed him to the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees, and he discovered a new passion. Tom loved the university and everything about it. He served as president of the trustees for two years, and was re-appointed to the board by Gov. Freudenthal. He completed his second term on the board in 2009. He relished the honor of presenting his daughters Sarah and Emily their bachelors’ degrees. He always treasured his connection to the university and its mission around the state.

Dr. Tom retired from his plastic surgery practice in 2013 and immediately found more boards and committees to join. He served on the WWCC board of trustees, the Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County board, as well as the state Blue Cross/Blue Shield board of directors.

Tom was a history buff and loved Wyoming. He explored Wyoming and the world on his bike. He rode many, many miles on roads and trails all over the world accompanied by his very brave siblings. There are more than a few riders who saw nothing but his rapidly disappearing taillights as he passed them going uphill.

Dr. Tom was a Wyoming guy, through and through. He loved the state, its university, its history, and its people. He had a huge map of the state in his office and knew virtually every back road and trail. He took many photographs around the state which can still be found framed and displayed at the hospital and airport. 

Above all, he loved his wife and his family. He was fiercely protective of them. He attempted to be in the delivery room for several of his grandchildren but was rebuffed by the labor nurses. He became “Poppy” and for a while, he had an unprofitable pediatric practice devoted solely to his grandchildren. He constantly had to be told to behave himself at family meals and was usually the catalyst for everyone getting in trouble. 

Tom is survived by his wife Debbe, his son Justin (Maggie), his daughters Sarah Mailloux (Alan) and Emily Guier (Zach), and ten grandchildren: Sophie, Hannah, Bella, Mia, Aubrey, Tyler, Ted, Eli, Elsie, and Hedley. Additionally, he is survived by his brothers Bob (Debbie) and Paul (Kathy), and sisters Sue (Charles) and Marci (Fritz), and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Eldon and Beverly Spicer, and sister-in-law, Cathy Spicer. 

Cremation has taken place; a Celebration of Life will be conducted at 11:00 A.M. Sunday, June 23, 2024 at the Sweetwater Events Complex, 3320 Yellowstone Road, Rock Springs, Wyoming.

Condolences may be left at www.vasefuneralhomes.com.