Cover photo for Thomas R Seifert's Obituary
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1934 Thomas 2021

Thomas R Seifert

November 18, 1934 — February 27, 2021

Late on the evening of February 27, 2021, Thomas Robert Seifert passed away peacefully, age 86, in the loving company of his wife Gretchen.

Remembered for his deep intelligence, quick wit, quiet generosity and a twinkling light in his eyes, Tom led a life of both accomplishment and service. Following a feral boyhood on the shore of Puget Sound’s Three Tree Point, Tom graduated from Highline High School, then enrolled at the University of Washington where he played baseball and pledged to Delta Upsilon fraternity. He served in both active duty and as a reserve in the U.S. Navy, was founding director of the UW Alumni Fund, then received graduate degrees in Business and Health Care Administration from the University of California, Berkeley. Tom developed a passion for public health, and he founded or led a number of iconic institutions in the Pacific Northwest that included (among many others) the King County Medical Society, the Northwest Kidney Center and the Seattle Community Crisis Clinic. A member of the UW’s School of Public Health faculty, he came upon his calling while working as the associate administrator for the University of Washington Hospitals. The capstone of his career came in California’s Silicon Valley, where he served as administrator of Kaiser Permanente Medical Centers for over 25 years, mentoring countless women and men who have since gone on to make profound contributions to the health care field.

Unable to resist the native’s call, Tom coerced Gretchen to return with him to Puget Sound to retire on Bainbridge Island. Together they immersed themselves in their island community, investing deeply in friendships old and new, as Tom gracefully adapted his vibrant leadership skills to advance local causes with kindness, patience and gentle humor. He stepped onto the board of the Bainbridge Community Foundation, and the couple traveled the world while enjoying the proximity of a rapidly expanding family that includes children Tim (Sonya), Mike (Anne) and Nancy (Scott); seven grandchildren (Madeline, Samantha, Matthew, Scott, Catherine, Grace and Eva); and a succession of beloved Rhodesian Ridgeback companions (Luke, Remy, Syrah, Tilly and puppy Nya). But among his considerable life accomplishments, make no mistake: Tom’s most treasured achievement was his relationship with Gretchen, his best friend and wife of 40 years. It was she who stood by his side, holding his hand, as he quietly passed away.

No services are planned at this time, but to honor Tom’s memory the family humbly suggests a donation to one or more of the many organizations he supported, including Bainbridge Island Foundation, IslandWood, Bainbridge Island Land Trust, Island Volunteer Caregivers, and Morris Animal Foundation.

Arrangements entrusted to Cook Family Funeral Home on Bainbridge Island, WA

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