Tom Howard Piatt, BHS ’49, passed away quietly at home on Feb. 1, 2016 in Orinda, CA. He was 83. Tom was born in Ottawa, Ohio May 30, 1932. He attended Bexley High School where he played football and golf, then Ohio State University where he was on the football team, a member of Zeta Beta Tau fraternity and graduated with a BA in 1952. He married his sweetheart Liz in 1953.
He attended Ohio State Medical School where he received his MD degree in 1956, subsequently entering the military for 3 years during which he did his internship at Tripler US Army Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii and a 2 year service in Fort Huachuca, Arizona before a residency at UCSF where he obtained his radiology degree. He moved his young family from San Francisco to Orinda in 1960 where he spent the next 56 years.
Tom worked at Samuel Merritt Hospital in Oakland from 1962-1974 followed by over 40 years as an active staff member after he started his private practice in Orinda. With offices in Orinda and Oakland, his professional career was centered around the community. Tom was a second generation radiologist, a highly ethical physician whose patients loved his charismatic touch. Tom was a member of multiple medical organizations, serving as president for the East Bay Radiological Society and as a national delegate for the California Radiological Society. He was also a common site on the sidelines of Miramonte football from 1972-1982 where he served as team physician.
With a firm but caring touch, Tom shaped many young lives over a decade as a Boy Scout leader for Orinda Troop 303 which met in “the old scout hut.” As a head timer, he was intimately involved in helping the Orinda Park Pool where his kids swam, and he coached several MOL football teams in the leagues’ first years.
Tom Piatt loved his wife and family dearly, and annual family trips to Hawaii, Yosemite and Carmel were highlights of his life. Spending anniversaries in Yosemite surrounded by family and natural beauty was perhaps the peak. He was also a diehard Oakland Raiders fan, never missing a game while the Raiders were in Oakland, and once cutting through a chain link fence to the cheers of hundreds of fans whose path to the Coliseum the new fence blocked.
Tom was always a leader, rising to the top of whatever he was involved in, demonstrating calm and level-headed guidance. He believed “everything in moderation” and his life followed that mantra. He was generous, honest and fair—a man of character—and not a day will pass in which he is not missed dearly by his family.
He is survived by his loving wife Liz of 62 years, children Greg, Brad (and wife Trish), Sherry and Vince (and wife Michelle), grandchildren Spencer, Nick & Griffin, Raina & Clay, Austin, Dakota & Taylor; nieces, Leslie and Betsy and nephew Fred; and Grand-dog Rabbit. He is preceded in death by his sister, Mary Lou; his father and mother, Louis and Leah, and his son-in-law Dennis Divins.
Friends and family are invited to an open-house gathering in celebration of Tom Piatt’s life to be held at his residence at 100 El Toyonal in Orinda on Saturday March 5th at 2:00. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Save Mount Diablo (190 Olympic Blvd, Suite 320, Walnut Creek, CA 94596; www.savemountdiablo.org) or Yosemite Conservancy (101 Montgomery Street, Suite 1700 San Francisco, CA 94104; yosemiteconservancy.org).