Sisterhen called generous, humorous
By Dean Shipley
A member of the community, who gave oral care to many in Madison county, has passed away. Dr. Thomas F. Sisterhen, DDS, died Thursday following a decline in his health.
He was 86.
Sisterhen, a Canton Ohio native, graduated from dentistry school at The Ohio State University in 1951 and came to London with his then new wife, Sally, to set up a practice here. He saw to the dental needs of the community from 1951 through 1981.
As the Sisterhens built their family of three daughters, Nancy, Diane and Susan, they had need of a babysitter. Terry Phleger, who saw Sisterhen for dental care, became the babysitter.
In the process of babysitting the three girls, Phleger said Sisterhen became a mentor and friend.
“He was the authentic article,” Phleger said.
A large man with a “booming voice,” Phleger described Sisterhen as a man of gentle strength who always “said what he meant.”
Phleger became a friend of the family and would join them on their yearly sojourns at Lake Bellaire in Northern Michigan. She described the Sisterhens as gracious hosts.
“To know them was to love them,” Phleger said.
Nancy Beathard became acquainted with the Sisterhens not long after they had moved to London. Over the course of 60 years, their friendship grew.
“He was a kind, generous soul,” Beathard said. “Definitely a family man.”
They became part of a group which gathered regularly to dine out or play bridge.
She recalls Sisterhen had a keen sense of humor.
“He always had a smile on his face, no matter how he felt,” Beathard said.
Doris Foster also remarked about Sisterhen’s sense of humor. Describing him as a quipster, “you never knew what he was going to say, but it was never nasty.”
She and her late husband, Jerry, also spent time with the Sisterhens in Michigan. They would rent a cottage near by the Sisterhens’, called Pine-Aire.
“We’d spend a week with them, have fun and laugh,” Foster said. “He was one of the nicest people I’ve ever known in my life. It’s a tough loss.”