Cover photo for Thomas Walker Messervy, MD's Obituary

Thomas Walker Messervy, MD

April 12, 1941 — January 6, 2023

Charleston, SC

Thomas Walker Messervy, MD



Dr. Thomas Walker Messervy went to join his Heavenly Father and beloved wife, Jill, on January 6th, 2023. Dr. Messervy was a larger-than-life man who touched the hearts of everyone he met, offering a dash of his special brand of humor. Throughout the course of his remarkable life, he never met a stranger, and you were guaranteed to laugh aloud while in his presence. Dr. Messervy is preceded in death by his beautiful wife, Sallie Jill, his parents, Thomas and Elizabeth, and his brother, Jim. Dr. Messervy is survived by his two children, Katherine Walker Jenkins (Bobby) and Thomas Sinclair Messervy (Stephanie) and his beautiful grandchildren, Lucy Sinclair Jenkins, Thomas William Messervy, and Walker Philip Messervy. His grandchildren were the light of his life. His Labradoodle, Jackson, was most often found by his side and being offered whatever Dr. Messervy was eating. He loved the Lord and was deeply involved in the churches he attended during his lifetime.

Born in Charleston, SC at St. Francis Hospital, Dr. Messervy spent his formative years in Summerville, SC, a town he loved. He graduated from Summerville High School in 1959. One of his proudest accomplishments was being a cadet at The Citadel and serving as a member of The Honor Committee. He graduated in 1963 with a degree in Chemistry. Dr. Messervy attended medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina and graduated in 1967. He completed his surgical internship at MUSC in 1968 and then began his surgical residency at Spartanburg General Hospital.

Dr. Messervy then went on to join the United States Air Force in 1969 and served as Chief of Aeromedical Service, 12th United States Air Force Hospital in Phu Cat, Vietnam, and at Hamilton Air Force Base in California. Dr. Messervy was honorably discharged from the Air Force in 1971. He went on to join the South Carolina Air National Guard as Commander, 169th United States Air Force Clinic, McEntire Air National Guard Base until 1980. Dr. Messervy served as the South Carolina State Air Surgeon from 1970 until his retirement from the Guard in 1989. Dr. Messervy loved being both a fighter pilot and a doctor in Vietnam as well as in the National Guard. Dr. Messervy was awarded numerous medals and honors during his military service including the Air Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster. He retired as a Brigadier General from the Air National Guard.

While serving his country in Vietnam, Dr. Messervy discovered his love of all things cerebral. Upon his return from active duty, he enrolled at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill to transition from Surgery to Psychiatry. While in training, he enjoyed serving as Chief Resident and incorporating multiple medical disciplines to psychiatric medicine well ahead of his time. Later, using his many talents, he opened one of the first Medical Psychiatric units in the United States housed in Columbia, SC. Dr. Messervy also graduated from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill with a Masters in Public Health. Dr. Messervy served as the President of the South Carolina Psychiatric Association and was a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He served his community as a member of multiple medical boards including the South Carolina Professional Standards Review Organization and the Federal Aeronautics Administration as a Senior Aviation Medical Examiner. Dr. Messervy was Medical Director at Charter Rivers Hospital in Lexington, SC, President of the Lexington Medical Association and Medical Director of Medical Psychiatry at Richland Memorial Hospital in Columbia, SC.

In addition to his love of medicine, Dr. Messervy had a true passion for teaching, serving as Adjunct Professor at the School of Public Health and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at The Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Dr. Messervy authored several medical publications and enjoyed public speaking giving many professional presentations throughout his distinguished career, both on camera and from the podium.

Dr. Messervy loved his family and spent much of his free time traveling with his wife, children, and friends. He was actively involved in his children’s education, including serving on the Board of Trustees at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School. He prioritized attending his kids and grandkids sporting and social events.

During the last several years, Dr. Messervy enjoyed living at Bishop Gadsden in Charleston, SC and spending his summers with his many friends at his home at Burlingame, his beloved mountain community in Sapphire, NC.

Services will be held at the Chapel at Bishop Gadsden at Noon on Saturday, January 28th, 2023, in Charleston, SC. A reception to greet family and friends will immediately follow the service. In Lieu of Flowers, donations can be made to the Thomas W. Messervy, '63 Family Football Memorial Scholarship at The Citadel Brigadier Foundation, 171 Moultrie St, Charleston, SC 29409 or by calling The Citadel Brigadier Foundation at 843-953-5277.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to McAlister-Smith Funeral and Cremation - James Island, 347 Folly Rd, Charleston, SC 29412, 843-614-8494.


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Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, January 28, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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