Dr. Thomas K. Weber, surgeon, scientist, mentor, and public health advocate, died from Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma on September 15, 2019 at home with his family. He was 64 years old. Tom was born in New York City on September 19, 1954. He began to develop his lifelong interests in history, science, music, and literature from an early age in Pearl River, NY. Tom had a loving childhood thanks to his parents Kenneth and Viola, younger sister Jeannie, and beloved dog Skipper.
After graduating from Pearl River High School in 1971, Tom began his studies at McGill University and then completed his undergraduate degree and medical training at University College Hospital London, his General Surgery Residency at Albany Medical Center of Union University, and two consecutive Surgical Oncology fellowships, the first at Harvard Medical School and second at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. His inspiring career included roles as Chief of Surgery at the Einstein Division of Montefiore Medical Center in NYC, Chief of Surgical Services at the Brooklyn VA Medical Center, and culminated with his role as a Director of Surgical Oncology for Northwell Health in Westchester, NY. Tom was held in high esteem by his students and colleagues through his professorships at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, SUNY Downstate, and the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. As a scientist, he led research funded by the American Cancer Society, National Institutes of Health, and private foundations to advance the understanding of the genetic predisposition to colorectal cancer and to increase colorectal cancer screening. Tom authored or co-authored over 80 scientific papers on the surgical management, genetic characterization, and screening for colorectal cancer.
Tom was active in organizations focused on surgical oncology, genetics, and cancer awareness including the Society of Surgical Oncology, Human Variome Project, International Society for Gastrointestinal Hereditary Tumours, National Colorectal Cancer Round Table, and the New York City Department of Health Colon Cancer Control Coalition.
Tom organized New York City’s first colorectal cancer event in 2003 and went on to found the Colon Cancer Foundation. The Foundation raises awareness of the disease and the importance of timely colon cancer screenings, supports young investigators and their colorectal cancer research, and advocates globally for policies that advance the mission of A World Without Colorectal Cancer. The Foundation gives a voice to thousands of survivors and families who have lost loved ones to colorectal cancer. The Foundation continues to galvanize the scientific community to focus on the increasing incidences of colorectal cancer in young people through the Early-Age Onset Colorectal Cancer Summit.
Tom dedicated his life to helping others. His optimism, intellectual curiosity, determination, and compassion permeated all his professional activities and personal relationships. Tom developed enduring friendships at all the places he lived and worked. He enjoyed vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard, listening to classical music or rock n’ roll, reading, running, and spending time with his family. He is survived by his wife Clare Oswald Weber, his boys Luke and Nick, his sister Jeannie Weber Aplin and her husband David Aplin, many nieces and nephews, and a large loving extended family who he cherished.
A Memorial Visitation will take place from 4:30PM – 7:30PM on Wednesday, September 25 at Beecher Flooks Funeral Home, 418 Bedford Road, Pleasantville, NY 10570. A Funeral Service will begin at 11 AM, Thursday, September 26 at the First Congregational Church of Chappaqua, 210 Orchard Ridge Road, Chappaqua, NY 10514. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Colon Cancer Foundation (www.coloncancerfoundation.org) to support the fulfillment of Tom’s vision for A World Without Colorectal Cancer, talk to your doctor about getting a colonoscopy, or donate blood in Tom’s memory to support lymphoma patients.