GREENFIELD — When Lisa Oakes lost her unborn son at 20 weeks, Dr. James T. Anderson cried with her and her husband as he gave them the news.

Those whom Anderson treated during his 45 years in medicine say he was compassionate, kind and considerate.

Oakes, of Wilkinson, is but one of many former patients, colleagues and families mourning the loss of Anderson, who died Monday at age 76 after an illness.

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Anderson, for whom the James T. Anderson M.D. Center for Women’s Health is named, practiced family medicine for 45 years in Greenfield. He estimated at one time that he had seen more than 400,000 patients. By the time of his retirement in 2008, he remarked he had delivered three generations in one family — the grandmother, mother and daughter.

“He was an icon of medicine in our community for 45 years,” said Michael Fletcher, chief medical officer at Hancock Regional Hospital. “He was always highly regarded by his physician colleagues. He was loved by the nurses. He cared deeply about his patients but was also very committed to his hospital and to the community of Greenfield.”

{span}Anderson{/span} met his wife, Patti, while attending Scecina Memorial High School in Indianapolis. They married in 1963 and had 11 grandchildren.

In 1964, {span}Anderson{/span} graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine. He was a captain in the U.S. Air Force before returning to Indiana to practice as a doctor.

{span}He intended to begin working in Indianapolis but was a year early for his arranged position and decided to work in Greenfield for a year. He ended up staying.{/span}

{span}Anderson{/span} practiced by himself by about 20 years and then started adding other doctors to his practice.

Before his retirement, {span}Anderson{/span} had five other doctors who worked with him at {span}Anderson{/span} Family Practice: Drs. Frank Murphy, Lori Hurst, Stephen Flink, Teresa Jones and Scott Capen.

Capen, who worked with Anderson for 13 years as a doctor and who was mentored by the doctor, characterized Anderson as a humble man, one who often referred to himself as a simple country doctor.

“He was so much more than that to his family, patients and colleagues,” he said in a prepared statement. “Doc was dedicated to his family and the art of medicine. Devoted to learning and teaching, he has molded the medical community of Hancock County for 45 years.”

Anderson was quick-witted and fun-loving, Capen said.

“He has left us with volumes of medical knowledge as well as life lessons,” he said. “Doc will be missed dearly, but his imprint on our lives will never be forgotten.”

{span}Anderson{/span} Family Practice is part of Hancock Physician Network, a Greenfield-based primary-care network of physicians whose specialties include internal medicine, pediatrics, family practice, pulmonary medicine and mental health.

Anderson had a special heart for seeing to the health of women and children, which supporters said made the opening of the center honoring his work all the more fitting.{span} His wife is a 19-year breast cancer survivor, and nine of {/span}{span}Anderson{/span}{span}‘s 11 grandchildren are female.{/span}

{span}The medical center named in Anderson’s honor{/span} {span}was a $1.5 million project that upgraded technology and consolidated services for women in one building. {span}Located inside Hancock Regional Hospital, the center features digital mammography, ultrasound, bone density, stereotactic procedures, a women’s clinic, waiting areas, restrooms, dressing rooms, a computer support room and an education center.{/span}{/span}

{span}Anderson’s influence on Hancock Regional Hospital can’t be overstated, said Hancock Health CEO Steve Long. {/span}

{span}”His vision and support was essential in the transformation of this organization from a local memorial hospital to a regional health care system,” he said. “The impact of his life and legacy will continue far into the future as we care for the people of Hancock County.” {/span}

Anderson had a way of making every family feel special, said Melissa Heigl of Greenfield.

He was her daughter’s doctor when she was born, and he made Heigl and her family feel like she was the prettiest, healthiest baby in the world, she said.

“He will be missed,” she said. “We were very sad to hear of his passing.”

Remembering Dr. Anderson

A private family Mass of Christian burial for Dr. James T. Anderson will take place at St. Michael Catholic Church. 

Memorial contributions to be made to the James T. Anderson M.D. Center for Women’s Health, 801 N. State St., Greenfield, IN, 46140, in lieu of flowers. 

Friends may share a memory at or email condolences to

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Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or