A Life Well Lived: Thomas Newlin Hastings M.D. CdeP 1934

On January 4, 2009, well over 100 friends and family of Thomas Newlin Hastings M.D. CdeP 1934 gathered at Thacher's Outdoor Chapel to celebrate a life well lived.
On January 4, 2009, well over 100 friends and family of Thomas Newlin Hastings M.D. CdeP 1934 gathered at Thacher's Outdoor Chapel to celebrate a life well lived. The memorial service, backed by a sweeping view of the Ojai Valley, was a true celebration, where tears were balanced by laughter as several members of Newlin's family honored the husband, brother, father, and grandfather, who had provided them with so much encouragement, care, and humor.

Newlin was born in Los Angeles on April 5, 1916, to Hill Hastings M.D. and Helen Newlin Hastings. He was a fourth generation native of Los Angeles whose grandparents had settled in Whittier. 

He arrived at The Thacher School in 1929. During his four years at Thacher, “Snooks” was a scholar/athlete: A-level Camper; varsity baseball, tennis, and soccer athlete; top-five gymkhana rider; and member of Sherman Day Thacher's version of student council, the Cabinet.

From Thacher, Newlin studied at Harvard, graduating in 1938, and earning his medical degree from Columbia University in 1943. It was at Columbia that he met his wife and partner for more than six decades, Betsy. Shortly after they were married, Newlin enlisted in the Army Medical Corps as a battalion surgeon in the 8th Armored Division. After the war, he completed his surgical residency in Virginia before going into private practice at the Hospital of the Good Samaritan and Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. His successful career as a general surgeon also included teaching positions on the staffs of UCLA and USC, and a term as the president of the Pacific Coast Surgical Society.  

Newlin was an avid outdoorsman and horseman. He and his family spent countless summers waterskiing at Lake Arrowhead and packing in the High Sierra. His love of horses, and the companionship that accompanied his membership in the Saddle and Sirloin Club and Los Rancheros Visitadores, kept drawing him back to the saddle until after his 90th birthday. He was well into his 80s when he made his final trip to the John Muir Wilderness.

Few alumni or alumnae are as loyal and enthusiastic about their schools as Newlin was about Thacher. He gave his wisdom and time to Thacher through his service as a member of the Board of Trustees, a class representative, and a Dorm Campaign volunteer. He also seemed to attend every possible event connected to Thacher, rarely missing a Thacher gathering, Reunion, or grandchild’s graduation. Thacher is thankful for his long and generous legacy with the School, and will certainly miss his presence.

Newlin leaves behind his beloved wife Betsy; their two sons, Hill Hastings CdeP 1966 and Newie Hastings CdeP 1970; two daughters, Anne Perkins and Kathryn Bradford; and grandchildren, Laurel CdeP 2001, Peiper, Shannon CdeP 1999, Jamie Hastings CdeP 2002; C. Elliott CdeP 1993, Kathryn CdeP 1995, and Sarah Perkins CdeP 1997; and Betsy CdeP 2002 and Kay Bradford CdeP 2005.

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