Death of beloved doctor mourned

Published 11:51 pm Thursday, December 27, 2018


NATCHEZ — Natchez lost a trusted physician of more than 50 years to a fatal stroke on Christmas Eve.

Dr. John Carl Passman Jr., 90, died Monday at his residence in Natchez after nearly a lifetime of service as a physician in the Miss-Lou, said his wife, Marcia Passman.

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Marcia said her husband suffered from a heart condition during the last year of his life, but that didn’t stop his kindness.

A lot of people will remember him for his love for food and his generosity with it, she said.

“He loved to cook it, he loved to eat it and he loved to give it to other people,” Marcia Passman said. “When he cooked, he would always cook in large quantities and give some of whatever it was to someone else.”

Up until his retirement two years ago, John Passman practiced at the Passman Orthopedic and Physical Therapy Clinic after earning his residency in 1964 at Confederate Memorial Medical Center in Shreveport.

Marcia Passman said both before and after his retirement, John Passman’s medical practice did not stop outside of the clinic, as he continued to give professional advice to his patients and friends in his home.

His family called it his “sunroom” clinic, Marcia Passman said.

“His patients were the highlight of his medical career,” she said. “He loved his patients, and he never got tired of treating them.”

All in all, Marcia Passman said her husband practiced medicine for 61 years, starting out in general medicine in Jonesville with his brother, Dr. Charley Fred Passman, after he graduated from medical school at Louisiana State University in 1955.

Before med school, John Passman joined the U.S. Navy after graduating from Sicily Island High School in 1946 and became a seaman first class while stationed in Houma, Louisiana.

Marcia said her husband raved about how much he loved boxing in the Navy — or at least loved that it got him out of peeling potatoes, she said.

John Passman won the Golden Gloves Light Heavy Weight Championship for the Navy Eighth District and was proud to share the ring with Ezzard Charles, a future World Heavy Weight Champion, Marcia Passman said.

During his medical career, John Passman was a member of the American Medical Association, Southern Orthopedic Medical Association and the Homochitto Valley Medical Society, she said.

John Passman later reigned in the Natchez Mardi Gras Parade as King Rex XVII in the Krewe of Phoenix in 1999 and continued his float riding as a member of the Krewe of Krazies.

As an active member of First Presbyterian Church, John Passman and his wife volunteered in several mission trips to Chiná, Mexico — a village south of Campeche, Marcia Passman said.

There, they helped build a church and install clean water systems through “The Living Waters of the World,” a non-denominational ministry sponsored by the Presbyterian Church, she said.

“My daughter remembered that he would always buy extra beads at Mardi Gras for the children in Mexico, and they loved them,” Marcia said. “Because we went back for subsequent years, we watched a lot of those children grow up.”

Marcia said her husband remained active throughout his life and continued to do all of the things that his heart would allow him to do up until his last days.

“I’ll always remember the twinkle in his eye, his kindness to all people and his sharp wit,” Marcia said.