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Natural Awakenings San Diego

In Memoriam: Tom Chippendale

One of the reasons I was drawn to Encinitas years ago was the people. And it’s one of the main reasons I’ve stayed for 25 years—despite my insatiable wanderlust. I’ve never felt so at home in a community, a community filled with so many amazing people. My heart aches as I write this because our community just lost one of our most precious members—Tom Chippendale. Tom was truly one-of-a-kind. He was the kind of guy that made you feel better just by being in his presence. In his professional life, Tom was a renowned neurologist at Scripps Health in Encinitas. He was my most trusted doctor who diagnosed and healed me when no one else could. He was giving and gentle, the most honest man I’ve ever known. He was by your bedside even if you weren’t his patient.

When Tom wasn’t working, he could be found in the great outdoors. I surfed, paddled and camped with Tom on countless occasions. His calm demeanor was displayed in every environment imaginable. Even his adventurous side held an uncanny calmness.

hile searching for photos to contribute to this collage, I couldn’t find a single photo of Tom. Why? Because Tom took all the photos! It’s just another validation of his giving soul. He gave to many and asked for little while touching so many lives deeply—including mine. He is loved, cherished and honored forever. ~Elaine Russo, friend and patient of Tom Chippendale

A relaxed grin, a sparkle in the eyes flavored with just a pinch of mischief, a calm yet inquisitive voice, a thirst for adventure and the unpredictable—that’s what comes to mind when I think of Tom. Time spent around the campfire overlooking the bluffs of San Juanico, letting the conversations drift from the mundane to matters of worldly importance, gregarious dinners at Mexican “hole in the walls,” stitching up the wounds of rambunctious kids, a comforting touch in the ER after yet another mishap. But most remarkable was that time spent with Tom was without pretense, without ego, without judgment…just being…simply being… I will miss him. ~Olivier Kolpin, friend of Tom Chippendale

Gentle to the people, tender to the intimate, and in awe of his family, Tom Chippendale was a reputable figure whom, on top of it all, healed and devoted himself to numerous patients. Tom, like many other families involved in our yearly holiday gatherings, always tended to everyone in need to the best of his ability. No matter how long it’s been since our last acquaintance, it never halted the spread of admiring thoughts for those who surrounded you. It gives me pleasure to know that you were nothing short of love and a fulfilling lifestyle. You will be missed. ~Kathryn Hopkins

Calm. Centered. Clearheaded. Compassionate. Tom Chippendale was a close friend for decades. We first met in training, when I was a medical student, and he was a first year neurology resident. We became good friends and began to surf, study, bike and hang out together. He joined the neurology practice in 1984, and I followed him by one year. He was my close friend, mentor and centering point. He leaves behind an empty space. Many people’s lives were enriched. He is deeply loved and sorely missed! ~Jack Schim, MD, friend and colleague of Tom Chippendale

Tom Chippendale