Thomas G. Pautler, MD, passed away Wednesday, Jan 5 after a long illness due to Agent Orange exposure during the Vietnam War. He served in the US Navy from 1966 to 1972, rising to the rank of Lt. Commander. Tom was the medical officer aboard the USS Sacramento, a supply ship traveling between Vietnam and the Philippines.
Dr. Pautler was kind, empathetic and generous by nature. He loved people and loved getting their stories. Foremost, Tom enjoyed helping others and making them laugh, whether his patients, family or friends. He was very generous and put great care into each gift he gave. He had a wide range of interests and talents. He enjoyed writing, watching movies, fishing, buying and selling used books, playing handball and tennis, creating stone work, visiting art galleries, attending live theater, playing Italian folk music on his accordion, singing along with Elvis, Leonard Cohen and others, and enjoying fine food with good company. He charmed friends as a raconteur, but was also a deep thinker who relished quiet, thoughtful conversations. Most of all, he loved his family.
Tom co-authored a textbook, Theory and Practice of Medical Psychotherapy. In 1999 his play, Ice Cure, was staged in Eugene. He traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, Africa, Mexico, Central and South America and the United States. He donated medical supplies to and volunteered at a Catholic mission in Guatemala. He also served Native American patients in Arizona and New Mexico.
Tom was born May 7, 1942 in Walla Walls where he was graduated from DeSales High School. He worked summers in the Walla Walla onion fields along with his Italian relatives to pay for an accelerated three year pre-med degree from Gonzaga University. Tom earned his medical degree from Creighton University Medical School and interned at Balboa Naval Medical Center, San Diego. He supported his wife and young family during medical school by participating in the US Navy Health Professions Scholarship Program. He was a board certified family practice physician in Seattle and Everett for nearly 40 years. He cared deeply for his patients.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Francis A. and Matilda Paietta Pautler, and his brother, Philip. He is survived by his wife, Nedra A. Floyd (Langley High 1966), with whom he shared 32 years; three daughters from his former marriage, Kim Kessell (Bill), Bremerton; Laura F. Pautler, Seattle, and Angela C. Pautler, Renton; a sister, Kathleen Laubach (Vince), Reno; two brothers, Msgr. Mark Pautler, Spokane, and James Pautler (Barbara), Mountlake Terrace; two granddaughters, a great granddaughter, a great grandson, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life will be held in the spring. He will be interned at Tahoma National Cemetery, Kent. Memorials may be made to Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, 565 Camano Ave., Langley, WA 98260 or a charity of your choice. Acacia Memorial Park & Funeral Home, 14951 Bothell Way, WA.