Dr. Thomas Neal Ivey

1935- February 13, 2021
Thursday, February 25, 2021
Dr. Thomas Neal Ivey

Dr. Thomas Neal Ivey, 85, died peacefully on February 13, 2021 in Big Timber, Montana. Tom was born in Hickory, North Carolina in 1935 to the late Leon and Kathryn Ivey.

Tom was educated at Asheville School for boys as well as Duke University. He then finished medical studies at Bowman Gray School (now Wake Forest School of Medicine) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Following his internship and residency in Kansas City, he entered the Coast Guard as a lieutenant commander and served in Baltimore, Maryland. He was later transferred to the Cheyenne Indian Reservation and spent two years with the Indian Health Services in Lame Deer, Montana.

Tom moved to Big Timber in 1966 to join the practice of Dr. Standish. Tom was a dedicated physician and worked tirelessly until he retired in 1988. Tom was Big Timber’s only doctor for eight years and was on call 24 hours a day during that time. In addition, Tom made innumerable house calls and received patients at his house at all hours of the day and night, never turning anyone away. His non-traditional bedside manner delighted patients.

Tom was a beloved member of his community and took part in many talent shows and plays. He was a fixture at Frye’s Cafe for meals and for coffee at Cole Drug. His love of music was legendary. Tom built an orchestrian consisting of a handmade xylophone, organ pipes made to sound like violin and cello, drum set, and player piano in his basement powered by vacuum motors. The orchestrian played tunes from rolls that Tom hand cut. Many a Big Timber grade school class took their field trips to Tom’s basement to listen to his “ding-a-ling.”

In 1989 he took part in the Great Montana Cattle Drive and arrived unscathed in Billings, Montana at the end with many stories to tell. Tom also took part in seven ocean research expeditions off the coast of Central and South America as a ship’s doctor.

Tom spent his last years as a resident of the Pioneer Medical Center in Big Timber. He was a favorite of the staff and was incredibly well cared for during his time there. Always generous, Tom invited them all to stay at his treasured cabin on the West Boulder. He could always be counted on to sing a favorite ditty or poem when requested, although not all were G-rated.

Tom is survived by his beloved North Carolina family - sisters, Barbara O’Neal and Adelyn Dodd of Raleigh, North Carolina, as well as three nieces and one nephew. Tom is also survived by his adopted Montana family - Rick Jarrett, Jay Jarrett (Kristi), Jami Jarrett Moody (Harv), Jordan Moody and Jess Moody.

Graveside services will be held 3:00 P.M. Friday February 26, 2021 at Mountain View Cemetery in Big Timber.

Memorials in Tom’s name may be given to the Sweet Grass Community Foundation or the charity of your choice.

To leave condolences for the family, please visit www. stenbergfuneralhome.com

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