Dr. Lumsden died Jan. 17, 2014.
Born May 20, 1925, in Nacoochee Valley, he was the son of Walter and Minnie Turk Lumsden.
He graduated as valedictorian from Nacoochee High School in 1942. In 1947, he married his wife of 66 years, India Dyer Lumsden, before graduating from Emory University School of Medicine in 1949. He interned at Atlanta’s Grady Hospital from 1949-50. From 1950-52, he served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps stationed at Regensburg, Germany, and was the assistant resident in general surgery at Atlanta’s VA Hospital from 1952 to 1953, before returning to his native North Georgia.
In 1953, “Dr. Tom” began a long career of caring for the people of Northeast Georgia. He opened an office for the practice of family medicine in Helen in 1953, and in 1955, he was an organizing partner of the Habersham Medical Group in Clarkesville. His general practice included surgery and obstetrics, and he delivered more than 4,000 babies throughout his 38 years on staff at Habersham County Medical Center. For more than 30 local families, Dr. Tom delivered either mother, father (or both) and then years later delivered their children.
Even after retiring from his practice in 1993, Dr. Lumsden continued his service, working part time as a medical staff member at the Lee Arrendale State Prison. During his 40 years of practicing medicine, Dr. Lumsden served as president of the Habersham County Medical Society, president of the Ninth District Medical Society, chairman of the Medical Association of Georgia’s Rural Health Committee and on the American Medical Association’s Council on Rural Health. He became a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Practice in 1972, and was named Physician of the Year by the Medical Association of Georgia. He was a charter member and Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Dr. Lumsden was also extremely active in the local community. He and his family joined First Presbyterian Church of Clarkesville in 1955, where he served as an Elder, Sunday school teacher and pastoral search committee member. He was mayor of Helen, councilman for the city of Clarkesville and assistant Scout master for Troop 5, Clarkesville. He helped form the first EMS service in Clarkesville and trained the first responders with the Clarkesville Fire Department.
Dr. Lumsden had an insatiable interest in the history of Northeast Georgia, especially the Nacoochee Valley area. He was an authority on local history and archeology, and in 1989, he published “Nacoochee Valley, Its Times and Its Places.” Throughout his life he amassed a large collection of local artifacts, which have become the nucleus of the Sautee-Nacoochee Valley History Museum at the Sautee-Nacoochee Arts and Community Center. He was instrumental in the work that placed Sautee-Nacoochee on the National Registry of Historic Places, and in the founding of the Sautee-Nacoochee Community Association.
Dr. Lumsden loved his family. His days off were spent gardening, building rock walls, hiking, canoeing, climbing mountains, taking historical trips and other adventures. He especially enjoyed working on the roads, pond and cutting firewood at “Glencomyn,” his mountain hideaway in Sautee-Nacoochee.
Dr. Lumsden is preceded in death by both parents; sister, Isabel Lumsden Couch; and brother Walter B. Lumsden Jr.
He is survived by wife, India; daughter and son-in-law, India (Bunny) and Dr. Steve Winter; daughter and son-in-law, Mary and Chris Geidel; son, Tom Lumsden Jr.; son and daughter-in-law, John and Kay Lumsden; grandchildren, Clint and Allyson Winter, Ben and Danielle Geidel, Lisa and Russ Schuchman, Sarah and Matt Summers, Jesse Lumsden and Avery Lumsden; great-grandchildren, Ty and Ruby Winter, Holden and Willa Geidel, Wes and Liz Summers.
A lifelong learner and teacher, Dr. Lumsden will continue to teach by donating his body to Emory University School of Medicine.
Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church of Clarkesville, the History Museum of the Sautee-Nacoochee Community Association or Hospice of Northeast Georgia Medical Center.
To share a memory of Dr. Lumsden or to send a condolence, please visit alexander-funeral.com.
Arrangements for Dr. Thomas N. Lumsden were in the care of Alexander Funeral Home of Cleveland.
The Northeast Georgian
Wednesday, January 22, 2014