CASPER — Dr. Joseph (Joe) Andrew Sisson, age 88, passed away at his home in Casper, WY surrounded by his two children and close friends on Saturday, August 3, 2019. Joe, or more affectionately, JAS, was born on October 24, 1930, in San Diego, California to Harvey and Myrtle (Anderson) Sisson. He graduated from San Diego High School and then served in a United States Army medical detachment, earning Korean and United Nations Service Medals. He was Honorably Discharged in 1952.

After serving his country, Joe used the GI bill to earn a B.A. from San Diego State College and attend medical school. He received his M.D. (cum laude) from the Washington University School of Medicine in 1960. His postgraduate training in Pathology continued at Yale’s New Haven Medical Center, CT and Albany Medical College, NY.

Joe was not the first doctor in the family. He often talked about “Gramma Doctor,” Dr. Sophronia Athearn Nichols, his mother’s grandmother. She graduated in 1874 from the first-ever class of Boston University School of Medicine, practiced as California’s 26th licensed medical doctor, and made her final residence in Alpine, California. Dr. Nichol’s grandfather, Reverend Joseph Thaxter, studied medicine at Harvard College and graduated in 1768. Thaxter is a veteran of the American Revolution, was present at the fight on Concord Bridge and the Battle of Bunker Hill. He was appointed chaplain in the Revolutionary Army in 1776 and later, in 1780, was ordained over the church in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, where he remained until his death in 1827.

Innovative teaching methods were Joe’s passion. In 1968 Dr. Sisson joined the Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska, as the Chairman of Pathology. At Creighton University he served in the capacities of Professor of Pathology, Director of Laboratories, Director of School of Medical Technology, and consultant to rural healthcare facilities in several states until 1979. His students’ National Board scores were testimony to the success of his innovative and unorthodox teaching methods. His students agreed and selected him to receive Creighton University’s Outstanding Professor (Golden Apple) Award three times. He authored the “Bare Facts” series of five textbooks of General, Systemic, and Clinical Pathology. In fact, many of his personal physicians had these books on their shelves.

Associated with the Veterans Administration since 1966, Joe assumed the position of Chief of Laboratory Services at the VA Medical Center in Hampton, Virginia from 1979 to 1983. During that period, he also served as Professor and Vice Chairman for the Department of Pathology at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Medical Director of the Technology Program and on the Board of Directors for Old Dominion University. He was the Director and Chairman of the Department of Pathology at Franklin Square Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland from 1983 to 1986.

In 1986 he established his private pathology consultancy, JASCONS, through which he was frequently retained as an expert witness and research consultant to a variety of medical associations and entities. He consulted until late 2010 and during this period became known as JAS by many of his friends and associates.

JAS selected Casper, Wyoming in 1996 as his final residence and he soon integrated into the lives, families and hearts of all those that came in contact with him. He was an admired professor, mentor, coach, cheerleader, listening ear and source of refuge for many. In his later years friends would seek out “The Oracle” for a “consult.” He shared his love of history, his faith and love for God, his appreciation of fine food, cooking, quality time, Kentucky Derby parties, The Hunt, The Christmas Costume, his famous JAS sayings, “Grandpa Words,” cigars, eating his pie first at Sherrie’s, and much, much more.

Joe was preceded in death by his mother, who graduated first in her nursing class; his father; and his brother, Harvey Gladden.

He is survived by his two children with Virginia Joan Sisson (nee Ford) (R.N., B.S.), Edwin A. Sisson (B.A., B.S., M.B.A., J.D.) and Donna V. Sisson (B.A., M.B.A., member of the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution); two grandchildren, Matthew A. Sisson (B.S.) and David P. Sisson (B.S.) whose mother is Jennifer Ann Sisson (nee Phillips) (B.A.); as well as a handful of cousins from his mother’s Anderson side of the family. JAS kept in touch with his Anderson cousins who shared his pride in the family heritage.

Education has been a pillar of the family for over three centuries with Joe living his life as one of its standard bearers. “Put your money in your head and no one can take it away from you,” was one of his favorite sayings.

Service will be held August 16, 2019, at 10 am at Bustard’s Funeral Home in Casper. His remains will be interred in Alpine, California.

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