Cover photo for Thomas Frank Treat's Obituary

Thomas Frank Treat

January 28, 1937 — May 16, 2024


Thomas Frank Treat

Thomas Frank Treat, Ph.D., LFACHE, Colonel, USAF, MSC (Retired) of Arkadelphia, Arkansas died of natural causes on May 16, 2024, at the John L. McClellan Memorial Veterans Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Winston Churchill said history would be kind to him because he intended to write it.  Those who know me will not be surprised that I have written my own obituary and suggested music and scripture for a Celebration of Life service. 

I, Thomas f. Treat, was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas on January 28, 1937 the only child of Frank B. and Rena Mae Spencer Treat.   I attended public schools graduating from Fort Smith High School.  In those schools, and in the choir at Immanuel Baptist Church, I developed a strong interest in music enriching my life greatly.  Especially when I enrolled at the University of Arkansas and auditioned for, and was accepted into, the Razorback Band.  That is where I first met my future wife, Marsha Helen Crawford, also in the band.  We were both in the College of Business (now Walton College) majoring in Accounting and Marketing.  We wed in 1959 after both had graduated, a marriage of almost 65 years.  

At graduation I received an AFROTC commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.  As a Medical Service Corps Officer, I served in Medical Logistics at USAF Hospital Clinics in Kansas, Germany, South Dakota and Guam.   After 30 years I retired in 1989 with the rank of Colonel as the Administrator, Air Force Systems Command Reginal Hospital, Elgin AFB, Florida.  I also served as Administrator of the Reginal Hospital of MacDill, AFB, Florida and in administration at Wilford Hall Medical Center in Texas.  

At retirement I received the Legion of Merit in addition to other military decorations.  

I entered the services with a BSBA in Accounting.   During my career I was fortunate to be selected to attend the University of Colorado in Boulder where I received an MS in Management.  In 1973, the Ph.D. in Business Administration was conferred by Texas A&M in College Station, also in residence and Air Force sponsored.  My dissertation is entitled “A Study of the Characteristics and Performance of Merging Hospitals in the United States.”

I am also a graduate of Squadron Officer School, Command and Staff and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.  I am a Life Fellow in the College of Healthcare Executives. 

Following our year in College Station, Texas, I was assigned to the Office of the Surgeon General, Washington, D.C. from January 1974 to June of 1978. I served as a Staff Officer in various positions including Chief of Biostatistics.  I was then selected to teach at the Army-Baylor Program in Healthcare Administration, Academy of Health Sciences, U.S. Army, Fort Sam Houston , Texas.  In addition to Baylor, I also taught as an Adjunct Processor at Central Michigan University, Trinity University in San Antonio, and Washington University in St. Louis.  

Following retirement in 1989 we moved to Silicon Valley, California, where I worked briefly for Lockheed at NASA’s Ames Research Center.   We supported the business operations of the Space Life Payloads Office (Tadpoles in to Space).

Then on to my dream part time job,  inspecting hospitals for the Joint Commission (JCAHO) for nearly 15 years.  As a Field Representative, I was able to continue my commitment to the improvement of our nation’s hospitals.  That work took me (and Marsha, who travelled with me) to all 50 states plus stints in Europe and Asia.  So the Treats continued to travel, meet interesting people and enjoy great music all over the world. 

In 2009 we moved to Arkadelphia, Marsha’s hometown, where we can enjoy all the things this special little town has to offer.  I especially appreciate the music that Ouachita Baptist University, Henderson State University, and First Baptist Church offer.  We even served two terms as Co-Presidents of the Philharmonic Club, affiliated with the National Federation of Music Clubs.  

What a wonderful way to wrap things up in a great place to call home.  A blessed and purposeful life for sure.  

I am survived by my wife of 64 years, Marsha Crawford of Arkadelphia. Also by our three sons, all born in military hospitals in Kansas, Germany (on Christmas Day) and South Dakota.  They are: Theodore Crawford Treat (Cristy) of Rosemount, Minnesota, Timothy Frank Treat (Irene) of Riverside, California; and Tyler Nolan Treat (Elizabeth) of Chanhassen, Minnesota.  I have been blessed with five grandchildren who survived me: Walter, Tracey, Lucy, Samantha, and Samuel.  It has been a joy to watch them grow into such fine young adults.  We were able to enjoy some cruises and other trips together, and I cherish those memories.  Also surviving me are cousins: Mary Milnor of Hawaii, Dr. Dorothy Robbins of Little Rock, Arkansas, Dr. William Robbins (Brenda) of San Antonio, and Rustin (Mackenzie) of Springdale.  Other survivors are: sister-in-law, Judith (Erik) Crawford Creamer, and niece Brenda Sue (Jim) Shepherd.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Monday the 24th of June, 2024.  Early that morning there will be a private burial at Richland Cemetery for the family.   Full military honors will be provided by Little Rock Air Force Base.  

Visitation will be held in the Fellowship Hall of First Baptist Church of Arkadelphia from 12:45 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. At 2:00 p.m. there will be a memorial service in the church sanctuary.  

Flowers are welcome or a gift to a charity of your choice. 

Arrangements are by Smith Family Funeral Home, 517 Clay Street, Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

“Stay Calm and Carry On”


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Monday, June 24, 2024

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Celebration of Life

Monday, June 24, 2024

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