Dr. Thomas J. Sebo Passes Away at 61

| March 7, 2016

Tom, along with Bernd Scheithauer and Joe Parisi, both of whom I knew from AFIP connections, was a mentor to me while I was at Mayo Clinic. From my first days there, Tom was constantly asking me if I needed anything to get oriented and took the walk with me to get coffee across the street at the Mayo Building to tell me “how the place works”.  In later months he introduced me to the frozen section practice mentioned in the obituary below where his excitement for the unique practice Mayo was evident in Tom’s regards for the frozen section laboratory, those who worked in the lab and the importance of patient care at the highest levels.  Given our shared Illinois roots, we commiserated over many Chicago Cubs and Bears losses.  He claimed to be a Minnesota Wild fan but I know also secretly pulled for the Blackhawks unless it conflicted directly with the Wild.

Perhaps most of all, Tom was always available to help you review a case or deal with a problem.  Once he gave you his opinion or solution, you weren’t probably going to leave his office without a personal story about his own professional missteps in practice and difficult cases and problems he could remember and share his lessons learned from to help those junior to him. And those experiences and lessons learned is what I will remember most.  

Courtesy of Post-Bulletin, Rochester, MN:

tjsThomas Joseph Sebo, 61, of Rochester, passed away on March 3, 2016, at home, surrounded by his loving family, following a brief illness. His passing will leave an indelible mark on his family and friends.

Tom was born on March 23, 1954, to Walter and Doris (Schuette) Sebo in Canton, Ill. He often said his childhood was idyllic; his hometown education was exceptional; and he credited his love of sports to his many coaches who stressed teamwork (a basic philosophy during his career). Upon graduation from college, where he played baseball for Eckerd College in Florida, and received a bachelor’s degree in biology, he married Pamela Courtney (his hometown sweetheart) on Jan. 8, 1977. He earned his Ph.D. in molecular biology from Southern Illinois University in 1982 as well as his master’s degree from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in 1987.

Following a residency in Anatomical and Clinical Pathology and a fellowship in Surgical Pathology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Tom was asked to join Mayo’s Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology in 1993 as a consultant/physician. Known for his humor and humility, Tom never flaunted his numerous career accomplishments, preferring instead to make others laugh through his many practical jokes. However, his dedication to his career was evident. He was passionate about the Frozen Section practice, a method developed at Mayo Clinic by his predecessors that provided the utmost pathology care to patients undergoing surgery. His priority was always, first and foremost, the patient.

God, family, friends, laughter, good food, sports and old movies were the source of Tom’s constant and memorable smile. Tom enjoyed nothing more than spending time with his immediate and extended family. He was a role model to his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, who loved him dearly.

Tom is survived by his wife, Pamela Sebo of Rochester; his daughter, Courtney Sebo of Minneapolis, his son, Thomas Roy (Christa) Sebo of Stillwater; his grandchildren, Lauren Adele, Ellie Kate, and another baby girl due in April; and his beloved Lucy the Lab. He is also survived by his sister, Adele (John) Mullins of Crown Point, Ind.; nephews Von Hofstetter of Chicago and Thomas Mullins of Crown Point; and niece Natalie Mullins of Chicago. Also surviving are his mother-in-law, Beverly Courtney of Canton, Ill., his brother-in-law, Roy (Kathy) Courtney and their children Heidi (Mike) Meyer, Clinton (Courtney) Courtney, and Rachel (Mike) Engelmeyer, as well as 11 great-nieces/nephews, all of Troy, Mo.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Doris Sebo; his sister, Renee Hofstetter; and his father-in-law, Vernon Courtney.

The family is grateful to Mayo Hospice for their tremendous care to Tom during his illness as well as the incredible support provided to the family.

The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 12, at Autumn Ridge Church, with the Rev. John Steer and the Rev. William Englund presiding. Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, March 11, at Ranfranz & Vine Funeral Homes and one hour prior to the service on Saturday.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center. Checks should be made payable to NPDPSC.

Online condolences may be sent to www.ranfranzandvinefh.com.

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