James Carter Trombold

Jim, or “Big Jimmy,” as he was affectionately known, died peacefully in Seattle on April 16, 2009. He lost his short battle with leukemia in the arms of his wife of 50 years and his two sons. He was born on July 4, 1936, in Iola, Kan. He graduated from Wichita High School East and the University of Kansas in 1958. He married Mary Ann McGrew the same year.

In 1962, Mr. Trombold earned his medical degree from KU with honors. His internships, residencies and research in internal medicine and cardiology took him and Mary Ann to the New York Hospital Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan, the Honolulu Heart Study in Hawaii, and University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle.

Beginning in 1968, he practiced internal medicine and cardiology in Seattle for more than 30 years for the Summit Madison Group, Pacific Northwest Bell’s Medical Department and the Seattle Mariners. He was best known as the team doctor for the Seahawks from 1976 to 1997. He cared for the players and their families, and led a campaign to remove cigarette advertising from the Kingdome. In 21 years of NFL football seasons, he missed only one Seahawks game; he took his son, Kevin, fly-fishing.

Throughout his life, Mr. Trombold worked passionately to create a more peaceful, healthy and sustainable world. He was president of Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, campaigning to prevent war, nuclear disaster and gun violence. He devoted sustained attention to the clean up of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation as a physician representative on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hanford Advisory Board.

Mr. Trombold lived for 40 years on Mercer Island, where he raised his sons, John and Kevin. He coached his boys’ soccer, baseball and basketball teams, and encouraged them to do what they loved. Mr. Trombold loved Mercer Island’s strong sense of community and was ardent about supporting its schools and preserving its open spaces. He was an active leader in Mercer Island Rotary, building the Rotary Run Day into a major event. He led the 1997 petition drive to save Mercerdale Park from becoming a fire station. In 2008, the Mercer Island City Council named him Citizen of the Year.

Mr. Trombold is survived by his wife, Mary Ann; his sons, John and Kevin; and five grandchildren, Sophia, Kate and Gus Trombold, of Seattle, and Charlie and Benjamin Trombold, of Spokane. He will be remembered by his family for his abundant love, his faithful encouragement and his solicited and unsolicited advice. He will be dearly missed.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 2, at the Congregational Church of Mercer Island, 4545 Island Crest Way. Remembrances are suggested to the Washington State Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Mercer Island Rotary Club.