Zirkle, Leading Adventist Surgeon
and Medical Missionary Dies
Was Also a Health Ministries Associate Director
r. Thomas Zirkle, 71, a Seventh-day Adventist surgeon, medical missionary and an associate director for the world church's department of Health Ministries, died January 11 in Loma Linda, California from an unrelated medical event a week after he underwent bypass surgery.
DR. THOMAS ZIRKLE:
Zirkle served in the Loma Linda area as senior vice president of Loma Linda University Medical Center, assistant dean of the Loma Linda University School of Medicine and special assistant to the university's president. A fellow of the American College of Surgeons who completed his residency at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, Zirkle specialized in cleft palate repair, hand and cosmetic surgery, burn and trauma care and emergency medicine.
He kept appointments at a number of area hospitals and taught and practiced worldwide as a medical missionary. During his more than 70 trips to China, Zirkle oversaw the establishment and upkeep of the Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital in Hangzhou, which is an affiliate of Loma Linda University.
Also active in his local community, Zirkle launched an emergency medical service program at the Loma Linda fire department, where he served as deputy chief. He learned radio and television production so hospital patients could watch church events from their hospital beds, an effort that led to the Loma Linda Broadcasting Network.
He was a pilot, gardener, avid reader, musician and active church member. His wife, Carol, and three children survive. A memorial service was planned for Saturday, February 2, at the Loma Linda University Adventist Church.
— Adventist News Network