Dr. Theodore Safford, Jr., of Kingston, Mass., who practiced family medicine in Ridgefield many years, died Jan. 27 at the age of 91, following a brief illness.

He was born Feb. 25, 1923 in Potsdam, N.Y., to Katherine Shell and Theodore Safford. He was the eldest of four children and grew up in Wyoming, Ohio.

Nearing high school graduation and with no plans for college, he hastily wrote to the dean of students at Dartmouth College and was accepted, according to his family.

He entered college in September, 1941. When the war broke out, the college calendar was accelerated to year-round classes and he completed his degree in two and a half years. Upon graduation he entered Long Island Medical School in Brooklyn, N.Y.

He served in the U.S. Navy for two years after graduating from medical school, and then moved his family to Ridgefield, where he set up his family practice in 1951.

Dr. Safford cared for families from birth to death, continuing to make house-calls throughout his 42 year medical career. He was named Connecticut’s Family Physician of the Year in 1985 and was the runner-up for the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Family Doctor of the Year in 1986.

His family said that through teaching and practice, he helped elevate family medicine to a full medical specialty, and he was among the first group of board certified Family Practitioners. He was an Associate Professor at the University of Connecticut at Farmington and Assistant Chief of Staff at Norwalk Hospital.

—by the staff