Griggsby Thomas Cowart, MD

griggsby cowart, md

August 19, 1919 ~ July 13, 2010

Resided in: Atlanta, GA

Griggsby Thomas Cowart, MD
August 19, 1919 – July 13, 2010

A man of deep passions and keen loyalties, G. Thomas Tommy Cowart, MD, retired Atlanta urologist, passed away peacefully Tuesday afternoon after a lengthy illness. He was a month shy of his 91st birthday when he died in his beloved hometown Atlanta. He was fiercely devoted to Anne his wife of 66 years, his immediate and extended family, Georgia Tech, the Atlanta Braves and anything else that symbolized Atlanta. Coca-Cola products were the only soft drinks he ever wanted.

Born Aug. 19, 1919, the son of Georgia natives—Griggsby Thomas Cowart and Gilley Pearl Johnson—he lived his youth at 961 Highland View in the Virginia Highlands section of Depression-era Atlanta, the youngest child and only boy of five children. He developed his lifelong love of Georgia Tech when a professor at the college moved next door and gave the eager young boy tickets to see Georgia Tech play football. This began a remarkable streak of supporter loyalty. Until recently, he attended every home game, missing only those when he was off serving in the Army.

A 1937 graduate of Boys High in Atlanta, he declined a full scholarship to the University of Virginia to remain in Atlanta and attend Emory University so he could continue going to Georgia Tech football games. He earned his way through college and, later, medical school by working each summer in New York City, where stayed with one of his sisters and her husband. It was during one of those summers that he briefly met Eddie Cantor, an entertainer he had greatly admired since seeing the movie Whoopee! He remained a fan for the rest of his life and joined the Eddie Cantor Appreciation Society.

After earning a bachelor’s degree from Emory University in 1940, he attended Emory School of Medicine, where he met his future wife, Anne Henderson of Brooks, who was enrolled in the Emory School of Nursing. They were married March 4, 1944. That same year he graduated from medical school and started his internship at Emory, where he remain an additional year as assistant resident of surgery from 1945-1946. Following a two-year stint as a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, he returned to Georgia as resident of surgery at Larson VA Hospital in Chamblee 1948-51 and then chief of urology of the Atlanta VA Hospital 1951-54. He entered private practice in 1954 with offices at the Medical Arts Building in Atlanta. He also was a clinical assistant professor of surgery at Emory from 1964 on and contributed articles to assorted professional journals. Dr. Cowart retired in 1986. He was a Diplomate American board of Urology and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He held memberships in the AMA, the Southern Medical Association, various urological associations, Sigma Nu fraternity, and Phi Beta Kappa. He also served on the board of the Southern Federal Savings and Loan Association for more than 10 years.

His love of the Atlanta Braves began with his enjoyment of baseball, especially the great old players—making the thrill something special when Ty Cobb became one of his patients. He was an enthusiastic follower of the Atlanta Crackers; when the Braves arrived in Atlanta, they inherited his loyalty. He regularly served as the stadium doctor at the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, a volunteer position he truly loved. Among his fondest memories were catching a Hank Aaron foul ball barehanded Aaron later signed it and seeing Aaron hit number home run #715 on April 8, 1974. The Braves organization presented Dr. Cowart with a plaque to commemorate the occasion.

He is survived by his wife Anne Henderson Cowart, children Dorothy Anne Cowart of Roswell and Griggsby Thomas Cowart Jr. of Forsyth county, grandchildren U.S. Marine Gunnery Sergeant Griggsby Thomas Cowart III and his wife Katie Cowart currently stationed in Newburgh, N.Y., and Toby Mitchell Cowart of Carrollton, great grandson Griggsby Thomas Cowart IV 2 years old, and numerous nieces and nephews and their children.

He was a long-time member of Peachtree Presbyterian Church. Services will be held at a later date.

Memorial donations may be made to the Georgia Tech Athletic Association Dr. G. Thomas Cowart Memorial, Alexander-Tharpe Fund, 150 Bobby Dodd Way, Atlanta, GA 30332-0455 or to the charity of your choice.

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