Dr. Thomas Edward Condron
Dr. Thomas Edward Condron, loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, dentist and lifelong Mountaineer, passed away peacefully on March 22, 2023, at United Hospital Center. He was 76.
He is survived by his dear wife of 52 years Ellen Marie, their three children and five grandchildren: Marie Louise, her husband Joel Rice and baby boy Axel Condron Rice; Todd Edward, his wife Melanie and daughters Beatrice Mae and Serena Marie; and Rebecca Ellen, her husband Nicholas Wissler and their daughters Laine Elizabeth and Eloise Marie, as well as his beloved twin sister Nancy, brother Timothy and his wife Connie.
Tom opened his dental practice in Clarksburg in 1975. For more than 48 years, his practice was a source of pride and joy, and he considered his patients and staff his family. He didn’t want to imagine retiring and never did.
He was born on June 18, 1946, in Keyser, West Virginia. His father, Carl Wade Condron, Jr., was a railroader and his mother Mary Elizabeth Craver Condron worked at Allegany Ballistics as a part of the war effort. Mary passed away when Tom was 6 years old, and he was then raised by his aunt Anna Louise (Condron) Mobley and Ernest Mobley. They preceded him in death along with his father and stepmother Delphia Condron, maternal grandparents Joseph Craver and Dora (Burrell) Craver, and paternal grandparents Carl Wade Condron and Dorothy (Troy) Condron.
Tom was a member of the Keyser High School Athletic Hall of Fame and the Ed Kelley Society. He lettered with the Golden Tornadoes in basketball, baseball, track and football, where he was co-captain of the team. He was the 1963 Kelley Award winner as the most outstanding student-athlete at Keyser High School, a defensive back and quarterback for Keyser High’s 1962 State Championship football team, and a three-year starter for Keyser basketball. He was a member of the Senior Council and National Honor Society, delegate to Rhododendron Boys State, and was voted Emperor of the Roman Banquet, “Most Athletic,” and “Outstanding Senior Boy.” He went on to start for two years as a guard on Potomac State College’s Catamount basketball team, once scoring a school-record 39 points in a game at Kutztown, PA. He was commander of the 1966 ROTC unit, member of the Circle K club and baseball team.
Tom transferred to West Virginia University his junior year on a scholarship, where he walked on to the basketball team. He played for the Mountaineers briefly before being accepted to WVU’s School of Medicine for dentistry his senior year. Thus began two lifelong passions–practicing dentistry and WVU sports.
Tom played in the first-ever basketball game at the WVU Coliseum–an intramural scrimmage between the School of Dentistry and the School of Engineering. Tom decided to play for the engineers because he “thought they were much better.”
Tom’s most consequential moment in Morgantown was the time he asked out the WVU cheerleader he met on a bus ride to campus. Her name was Ellen and she became the love of his life. On one of their first dates, Tom hitchhiked from Morgantown to Clarksburg just to see Ellen and meet her parents. He was in love. He graduated as a doctor of dental surgery in 1971, and married Ellen that summer.
He served on the WVU faculty from 1972-1975, progressing from instructor to assistant professor. After the birth of his daughter, he and Ellen moved to Bridgeport and opened his dental practice in Clarksburg on the third floor of the Goff Building downtown. His practice grew, and in 1989 he purchased his current location, a building on Court Street.
He was a fellow of the American College of Dentists–a distinction that only 5% of dentists receive. He was an officer of the Harrison County and Monongahela Valley Dental Societies and a member of the West Virginia Dental Association. He found meaning in community service, serving as chair of the United Way of Central West Virginia, and was proud to be part of the YMCA volunteer board that planned its current hilltop location in Clarksburg. He was a past president of the Lions Club and Serra Club and served as district governor for Serra Club International. He was a longtime eucharistic minister, taking communion to homebound members of All Saints Catholic Church. He treasured participating in his monthly men’s bridge club for more than 20 years. He felt a responsibility to protect “all God’s creatures,” and always wanted his family–both the two-legged and four-legged members–to “know they are loved.”
Tom was a self-taught golfer, as evidenced by his infamous “wild swing.” He shared his love of the game with his son and played courses from Pebble Beach in California to Ballybunion in Ireland and Royal Troon in Scotland. But his best rounds were playing with his son and friends at Bridgeport Country Club and the Pete Dye Golf Club. His lone hole-in-one came on a low line-drive iron shot on the eighth hole at Legends Heathland Golf Course in South Carolina while playing with his son. When the ball disappeared over a knoll, both dad and son thought it went over the green. When they could not find the ball, Tom said, “Check the hole,” which Todd did…and a celebration ensued.
His love of West Virginia University athletics was boundless. He was a member of WVU’s Alumni Recruiting Club for football and basketball in the late 1970s and 1980s, traveling to high school games in WV, PA, MD and DC to recruit for WVU. He was good friends with WVU’s then-recruiting coordinator Donnie Young, and enjoyed being an integral part of the recruiting process in those days along with his best friend Dr. Robert Wanker.
To the day he passed, he remained an unabashed optimist of the highest degree, always believing that WVU was going to win, no matter the circumstances. He traveled to enemy territory often, watching WVU win in Pittsburgh, PA, College Park, MD, Blacksburg, VA and other venues. But a piece of his heart will remain in Section 217 of Mylan Puskar Stadium at Mountaineer Field, and Red Section 55 of the WVU Coliseum, where he spent countless hours cheering on the old gold & blue to victory.
Another enthusiasm of the good doctor was dining with family and friends, both in great local venues and venturing to new ones in places like New Orleans with his daughter Rebecca and Los Angeles with his daughter Marie. He loved grabbing a daily lunch at PJ Kelly’s in Clarksburg, right around the corner from his dental practice, and having long dinners at The Wonder Bar, Julio’s and Oliverio’s, where he would work the room, shaking hands with the staff, and going table-to-table to chat with patrons, whether he knew them or not, before settling in for dinner. The ultimate competitor, he always desired to have the best plate of food on the table, his ultimate compliments being “That’s wonderful,” with a chuckle–or proclaiming a dish “really neat.” In later years, his son-in-law Nick would remind him at the end of a meal “Tom, you won dinner again!”
Tom’s family wants to express heartfelt gratitude for the nurses, physical therapists and doctors who took care of him over the years, especially doctors Angotti, Osman and Doumit.
The first major health obstacle Tom overcame was cardiac bypass surgery in 1990. In 2009, he was diagnosed with stage four lymphoma. Despite the long odds, he fought the cancer, and won. He went on a 14 year Celebratory Tour of travel, playing golf in Scotland with Todd, enjoying a helicopter tour in Hawaii with Marie, and catching beads at Mardi Gras in New Orleans with Rebecca. He enjoyed a Mediterranean cruise with his wife and dear friends Bob and Rosemary Wanker, and spent a great deal of time with his grandchildren during these later years. Upon receiving a prostate cancer diagnosis in 2018, he once again fought the cancer, and won. He always persevered, rarely complaining and famously declaring, no matter the circumstance, “I feel fine.” He fought the good fight. He continued his practice of dentistry. He continued to smile.
Ultimately, his body decided it was time and he passed peacefully at UHC in Bridgeport, surrounded by his loving wife, son, two daughters and his twin sister Nancy. When the time came near, the family played some of his favorite songs and held his hands. He passed into Heaven while listening to John Denver sing “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”
Tom is home. May we remember him well, and join him in believing that the Mountaineers will win tomorrow, and by holding the hands of the ones we love.
Family and friends are invited to celebrate his life at the visitation on Sunday, March 26, from 2- 8 p.m. with the vigil at 7:30 p.m. at All Saints Catholic Church, 318 E. Main Street, Bridgeport, West Virginia, where Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, March 27, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. with Father Walter Jagela presiding. Interment will follow at the Bridgeport Cemetery.
Expressions of sympathy may be extended to the family at www.amoscarvelli.com. A service of Amos Carvelli Funeral Home
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