ENCINITAS, Calif. – Thomas John Chippendale, M.D., Ph.D., 65, passed away from lung cancer Wednesday, April 2, 2014, at his home, surrounded by his family.
He was born Jan. 14, 1949, in Long Beach, Calif., to Vassar and Cora Chippendale. He was a gentle soul with a brilliant mind. He was a thoughtful man, a good listener, kind and compassionate. He is beloved by his family, friends, colleagues and patients.
He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, and had a distinguished academic career. This included a bachelor of arts degree in literature (1971, University of California Irvine), master’s degrees in pharmacology and therapeutics (1972, UCI) and psychology (1974, Princeton), a Ph.D. in neuroscience (1977, Princeton), and a doctor of medicine degree (1980, UCI).
He completed his internship in medicine in 1981 and his residency in neurology in 1984, both at at the Univerity of California San Diego. He was board certified in neurology, psychiatry, and integrative holistic medicine. In 1984, he joined The Neurology Center in Encinitas, where he practiced for nearly 30 years before retiring in July 2013. Dr. Chippendale served on the medical staffs at Tri-City Medical Center and at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas from 1985 to 2013. He also served as chief of staff at Tri-City Medical Center from 1996 to 1997.
At Scripps, he held many leadership roles, including medicine department chairman, vice chief of staff, chief of staff, utilization review committee chairman, and stroke medical director. He assisted in establishing the Multiple Sclerosis Evaluation and Treatment Program at Scripps Rehabilitation Center in Encinitas. He also served as chair of the Scripps neurosciences steering committee and as the systemwide stroke medical director. His expertise and leadership were critical in certifying Scripps hospitals as primary stroke centers and in moving Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla to its Comprehensive Stroke Center status. He is recognized by his colleagues for his dedication to neurosciences and rehabilitation services, transparent communication style, commitment to his patients and community, and passion for mindfulness based teaching.
He married the former Julie Lawrence in 1981, and together they had three children. He and his wife created a longstanding Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course at Scripps Encinitas, which served many community members for almost 20 years. He enjoyed many pursuits, and had a love of the Sierras. He completed two full treks on the John Muir Trail. He loved the mountains and the sea, and was a longtime surfer. He also loved poetry. He was a devoted father, partner and friend.
He is survived by his wife, Julie; daughters, Ivy and Jane; son, Thomas; and sisters, Deborah and Susan.
A celebration of his life was April 16 at San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas.
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