Thomas L. Wachtel, 79
Thomas L. Wachtel, MD, passed away on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, in his home.
Dr. Wachtel was born on July 25, 1938, in Mansfield, Ohio. He received degrees from Case Western Reserve University, his medical degree from Saint Louis University, and his masters in medical management from Tulane University.
For more than 30 years, he was a senior trauma surgeon and medical director of trauma centers in San Diego (UCSD & Sharp), Denver, Phoenix, and Scottsdale. He has held prestigious leadership positions at medical organizations including the American Burn Association and the American Surgical Association. Dr. Wachtel was a Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Arizona, and a retired Captain (USN) who served two tours in Vietnam and spent a total of 37 years in the service. He was also a writer who published two novels, Melt My Wings and Vietnam, I Love You, 22 chapters in medical books, and more than 165 published papers on trauma, burns, nutrition, and surgical education.
In 2008, Dr. Wachtel was in a car crash which left him a quadriplegic, but he retained his wit and a dedication to the family members around him.
He is survived by his loving wife, Carolyn Coleman Wachtel; three children, John Wachtel DMD, David Wachtel and Julianne Wachtel-Bosch; three brothers, James, John, and Edward; and 10 grandchildren.
Relatives and friends will be celebrating Dr. Wachtel’s life at 11 a.m., Saturday, March 17 at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Arizona Spinal Cord Injury Association.
Woodhead Funeral Home, Falmouth, is assisting the family locally.