Judith G. Tobin, M.D., 94, passed away peacefully in her home, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021.
“Dr. Judy” was born the second of four children to Stanley Lincoln, Esq., and Frances Marion Gedney, in East Orange, N.J. After attending The Beard School for Girls, Orange, N.J., she went on to college at Mount Holyoke, where she studied zoology. In 1948, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor of science degree. She went on to attend Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, N.Y., where she was admitted as one of just 12 women in a class of 120. She would finish first in her class upon graduation in 1952.
It was in medical school at Columbia where she met her husband, Richard W. Tobin (Dick). They were married after graduation and went on to do their respective residencies in pathology and general surgery at Dartmouth Medical Center in Hanover, N.H., and then onto St. Luke’s Hospital in New York. During their residencies, they would have five of their six children; Cynthia, twins Patricia and Pamela, Richard W. Jr. and John Clarke Walworth. From New York, they moved once more to Little Rock, Ark., so Dick could serve as chief resident in general surgery. Upon completion, they moved their young family to Seaford to begin private practice. They would have their youngest child here, Stanley Gedney.
Dr. Judy worked as a staff pathologist at the Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford and also served as deputy medical examiner for the Board of Post Mortem Examiners for Sussex County. In 1964, she became the assistant state medical examiner, overseeing Kent and Sussex counties, a position she held until her retirement in 2009, performing over 5,000 autopsies. Throughout her long career Dr. Judy was active in leadership positions within the community, as well as with local and state chapters of the American Cancer Society, serving as president of the Sussex County Chapter and board member of the Delaware Division. She helped found the Boys & Girls Club of Western Sussex County. Additionally, she served on the board of Children and Families First of Delaware and on the board of directors of the Blood Bank of Delaware.
She was the first woman to serve as president of the Nanticoke Hospital medical staff and the first woman to be inducted into the Nanticoke Hospital’s Physician Hall of Fame. She was appointed by the governor of the state to the Board of Medical Practice, and served on the board of the Delaware Institute of Medical Education and Research. Additionally, she was a leader within the community speaking at various career fairs, mentoring students, and staying involved in various civic groups. She volunteered her service to the American Association of University Women and to Soroptimist International. Over her career, she garnered numerous awards. In 1985, she was awarded the Distinguished Service Award for her professional contributions. In 2006, Dr. Judy was recognized for her leadership and contributions to the discipline of pathology when the Delaware Division of Health and Human Services named the Southern Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Building in her honor. In 2007, she was named by the Greater Seaford Chamber of Commerce the recipient of the Athena Award for Professional Excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in realizing their full potential. But, her most prized award came when she was named Delaware’s Mother of the Year by Gov. Pete DuPont in 1984.
Her professional achievements were equally matched to her personal life achievements. Her husband Dick died tragically in 1970, when she was left to raise their six children, then ages 9 to 15, while continuing to work as a forensic pathologist. Dr. Judy enjoyed gardening, puzzles, reading a good mystery novel, going to the beach, and spending time with her friends. She loved following football and especially loved the Baltimore Ravens. She took great pride in being a Delawarean. But, most of all, she adored being with her large family, which included six kids, 19 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Beloved and respected by all who knew her, she was known for her strength of character, her humor, her kindness, her integrity, and above all, her compassion.
In addition to her parents, Judy was preceded in death by her husband, Richard W. Tobin, M.D.; her brother Stanley L. Gedney III and her sister Joanne Gedney. Judy is survived by her daughter Cynthia Thomas and her husband Peter, of Castle Pines, Colo., and their children, daughter Katherine McCabe, her husband Andrew, and grandchildren Liam, Claire, and Brenna, and daughters Laura and Meghan; her daughter Patricia Dowd (Dick) of Loveland, Ohio, and their children Richard, Matthew, Andrew and Margaret; her daughter Pamela Kersting and her husband Michael of Wilmington, N.C., and their children; William and Jack; her son, Richard W. Tobin Jr M.D., of Salem, Ore., and his daughters Alexandra, Francesca and Savannah; her son J. Clarke W. Tobin, his wife Lisa, of Seaford and their daughter Christine, her husband Adam, and grandchildren Avery and Noah; son Clarke Jr. and daughter Julia, her husband Shane Miller, and grandson Tobin; and her son Stanley G. Tobin of Bradenton, Fla., and his son Richard, his wife Hikaru and grandchild Mari, and his son Zach, and his daughters Caroline and Natalie.
Due to the current pandemic, there will be a memorial celebration of her exceptional life for family and friends at a time to be determined.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to either the TidalHealth Nanticoke Scholarship Fund, Seaford, or to the Seaford library.
Online condolences may be sent by visiting www.melsonfuneralservices.com