A life in medicine

In Memoriam: Nov. 1, 2023

View the names of recently deceased osteopathic physicians.


The following list of recently deceased osteopathic physicians includes links to obituaries and online memorials if they’re available. Readers can notify the AOA of their deceased colleagues by sending an email to memberservice@osteopathic.org. You may also view a list of past In Memoriam columns.

Thomas Wesley Allen, DO, 85 (MWU/CCOM 1964), of Stillwater, Oklahoma, died in October 2023.

Lindsey Browning Barnes, DO, 78 (OSU-COM 1990), of Bristow, Oklahoma, died Oct. 21.

Robert Chatfield, DO, 71 (KCU-COM 1973), of Swartz Creek, Michigan, died Oct. 2, 2019.

Erin Dariano, DO, 41 (OU-HCOM 2008), of Oxford, Florida, died July 8.

Angela Marie Sally, DO, 39 (VCOM 2013), of Pittsboro, North Carolina, died Oct. 14.

Barclay J. Sappington, DO, 86 (KCU-COM 1965), of Tulsa, Oklahoma, died Oct. 28.

Tero John (TJ) Walker, DO, 72 (KCU-COM 1980), of Beverly Hills, Florida, died June 21.

Editor’s note: If you’d like to honor a colleague with a memorial contribution to the American Osteopathic Foundation, you can do so online.


  1. Michael. E Fitzgerald, former AOA director of publications

    Thomas Wesley Allen, DO, is best known for his 10.5 years as the American Osteopathic Association’s editor in chief. While holding that position from 1987 to 1998, Dr Allen greatly enhanced the peer-review process for “JAOA–The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association,” which is now the “Journal of Osteopathic Medicine.”

    Among the chief issues he championed as editor in chief was the AOA’s 1960 position statement designating “osteopathic medicine” and “osteopathic physician” to be the profession’s preferred terms in place of “osteopathy” and “osteopath,” respectively. Consequently, during Dr Allen’s tenure as editor, the AOA’s publications were careful to refer to the profession as the “osteopathic medical profession,” not the “osteopathic profession.”

    An an educator, researcher, and politician, Dr Allen accomplished a great deal for osteopathic medicine beyond serving as the AOA’s editor. Here are just a few of his achievements:

    –Dr Allen served on the faculty of three osteopathic medical colleges and one MD college. Most notably, he served as the dean and vice president for academic affairs at the Midwestern University/Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and the dean and vice president for health affairs at the Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

    –He chaired the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine’s Council of Deans in 1980.

    —-He was the American College of Osteopathic Internists’ 1986-1987 president.

  2. Ross Sciara DO

    Dr. Philip Todaro of Georgia passed away a few months ago. I did not see it in your list of deceased doctors. He was in the class of 71 KCU

  3. Tyler Cymet

    We wouldn’t be osteopathic medicine without Tom W Allen, or TWA as he was known. TWA bridged old school osteopathy and osteopathic medicine with a passion. As the AOA’s first scientific advisor and George Northups quality control reviewer, he enforced the AOA standing on solid scientific ground.
    An internist and pulmonologist who trained at Northwestern University he pursued education and administration Deaning at CCOM, UMDNJ (Rowan), and OSU. He was also the Chair of the AACOM Board of Deans. He edited the JAOA for years paying close attention to the soundness of the articles he published without yielding to “Family pressure” to put relationships over quality.
    During my research fellowship at CCOM, TWA was ready to help any student ‘sharpen their questions” and rethink their thoughts.
    He demanded respect for the profession while pushing the profession to maintain standards that earned respect from ourselves.
    He was a marathoner who enjoyed singing and performing, He was a workaholic who didn’t know how to say no to any request for help or request from the profession to contribute.
    And as editor of the JAOA, he demanded we use the terms osteopathic medicine and not osteopathy.
    The profession owes Dr Allen respect and appreciation for all he did.

  4. Karen J. Nichols, DO

    Dr. Allen was a true leader of our profession. He showed us how it’s done, with excellence in every thing he did. An exemplary role model! He will be sorely missed.

  5. Felix J. Rogers, DO, MACOI, FACC

    Dr. Tom Allen made remarkable contributions to osteopathic medicine. As a specialist in internal medicine with subspecialty expertise in pulmonology, he advanced osteopathic medical education. His service as president to the American College of Osteopathic Internists advanced the professional standing of that organization and contributed to the growth of training programs nationally. He is probably best remembered as the editor in chief of the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. Following the inaugural editorship of George W. Northup, DO, Dr. Allen strengthened the academic standing of the JAOA and broadened its range of clinical publications. He used the JAOA as a forum to promote basic science and clinical research in the profession; he stimulated the participation of students and young physicians and supported the publication of expert opinion and clinical studies that would advance the distinctive role of osteopathic medicine. His clinical acumen, research and editorial skills combined with a positive and supportive personal approach that allowed him to be a mentor to young doctors and established physicians alike. Above all, he demonstrated an enthusiasm and love of life that was infectious and permeated all his work.

    1. Alexa Matthews

      Good afternoon! We are working on a standalone piece to highlight Dr. Allen — would it be okay if we included this comment? Thanks!

  6. John B. Crosby, JD, AOA Executive Director 1997-2013

    The recent passing of Tom Allen, DO leaves a resounding legacy for all members and staff of the American Osteopathic Association and the osteopathic medical profession. When I assumed the position of Executive Director of the AOA in 1997, I was profoundly fortunate to inherit a strong publications program because of Dr. Allen’s leadership of The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association and The DO between 1987 and 1998. His high editorial principles and constant pursuit of excellence added to the greatness of the AOA and unified the profession’s reputation of devotion to its heritage and the patients for whom we provided care.

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