In Memorium: Michael S. Thompson

The Owl was saddened to learn of the passing this weekend of the father of two wonderful young women, both of them former students of the Weston Public School system, one a good friend of an Owlet. Long-time Weston resident Michael Thompson, M.D., lived life at its fullest, and fought hard against the cancer that eventually took him. May he rest in peace. The Owl sends her heartfelt condolences to Michael’s extended family.


Michael Steven Thompson, M.D., beloved father, brother, and friend passed away Sunday, October 23, at his home in Weston, Massachusetts, following a years-long battle with cancer. He was 72 years old. His sense of humor, love of jazz, photography, golf, grilling, sailing, skiing, cars, hunting, and most importantly, his love for his family and friends were with him to the end.

Michael was born at home on August 13, 1950, in New York, New York, the son of Edna and Errol Thompson, M.D.; and younger brother of Karen Greene, Ph.D. and Arthur Thompson, M.D., both of whom survive him. The family moved to New Rochelle in the mid 1950s, where Michael had an active childhood of sports and playing with his brother Arthur, which resulted in numerous trips to the ER and many doctors’ offices, and an eventual love for medicine and orthopedics. Prior to pursing medicine, Michael earned his B.S. from Columbia University in 1973, before matriculating at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University, graduating in 1977. He remained in Syracuse for two years of general surgery residency with Arthur before accepting the prestigious offer to complete his residency training in orthopedics at Tufts New England Medical Center in Boston.

Michael embraced the challenges that orthopedic surgery presented, relishing the opportunity to alleviate his patients’ pain. Many facets of his personality contributed to him providing the best care to his patients and to being an outstanding surgeon, including his attention to detail and the standards to which he held himself and those around him. He also welcomed the role of resident doctor within his circle of friends, regardless of the hour, gladly sharing his knowledge and advising friends and family, when they inevitably had a medical concern they brought to him.

When he wasn’t in the operating room or seeing patients, Michael could be found on the golf course, rain (snow, freezing temperatures) or shine. He loved traveling to play on some of the best courses in the world. Other free time was occupied by skiing down the slopes of Sugarbush, cruising around on Trivial Pursuit (his sailboat), driving his beloved Porsche around a race track, or hunting. If he wasn’t doing one of those things (or even if he was), he had a camera in his hands, documenting important moments in the lives of family and friends or capturing breathtaking shots of waterfalls in Iceland or zebras in Tanzania. During his quieter moments, he could also often be found in front of one of his many grills, smoking his famous ribs or firing up a juicy steak.

Michael had a deep passion for technology; always researching the latest gadgets, whether for the operating room, his kitchen, or his photography. His legacy and enthusiasm for innovation lives on at Lahey Hospital, where he advocated and arranged for the funding of a surgical simulation center to train the next generation of orthopedic surgeons.

The greatest joy of Michael’s life was being father to Mikaela (25) and Isabelle (15). He took immense pride in their accomplishments and enjoyed being able to see them grow into young women and showcase their talents in the classroom, in the gym/pool and on the stage. Michael left this earth knowing that both girls are secure in their futures and comforted by many memories of laughter and love.

Shiva will be held at Michael’s former home, 4 Nolte Circle, Weston, MA, on Thursday, October 27, from 4 pm-7pm, Saturday, October 29, from 6pm-9pm, and Sunday, October 30, from 1pm-5pm.

The memorial service will be held at Temple Beth Elohim, 10 Bethel Road, Wellesley, on Monday, October 31, at 2pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in honor of Michael to the National Medical Fellowship. This is an organization that provides scholarships and support to students underrepresented in medicine. You can send a check to National Medical Fellowship at 1199 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 (write “Dr. Michael Steven Thompson” in the memo. Or visit the website: select “Other” under Designation, and put “Dr. Michael Steven Thompson” under Gift Designation Specification.

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