Dr. James Nixon Trousdell was an Oyster Bay version of the type of kindly family physician Norman Rockwell would have painted.
For 41 years, Trousdell dispensed medical care, advice and conversation from the office in his historic home on East Main Street. He died Monday at the Harbor House assisted-living facility in Oyster Bay at age 93.
"He was the one you could call on to do a house call," said his daughter, Barbara Franceschini, of Los Angeles.
"People would come in and say 'I have an ache or a pain,' and he would say 'How are things at home?' He felt that talking was a lot of his therapy," she said. "Everybody loved talking to him."
Born in Glen Cove, Trousdell graduated from Glen Cove High School. He earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from Cornell University and lived briefly in Manhattan. There he met his future wife, Marjorie, another physician.
The couple moved to Oyster Bay in 1949 with the idea they would both practice out of their home. But his wife, who died in 2004, decided to specialize and became a respected pathologist.
Besides his family practice, Trousdell served as school doctor for St. Dominic's in Oyster Bay and medical director of Presbyterian Nursing Home in Glen Cove before retiring in 1990.
Dr. Francis Moore, who like Trousdell practiced general internal medicine at Glen Cove Hospital, said he was a "gentle, calm person who had intense interest in his patients. He was studious and liked to keep up-to-date with medicine."
But medicine wasn't his whole life.
"Everybody who knew him said he was basically a Renaissance man," his daughter recalled. "He had a million hobbies. He liked birding, fishing, collecting coins, collecting stamps; you name it, he did it. He just had a zest for life."
The family sold their mid-19th century Greek revival home known as Hillside, located at the eastern edge of the hamlet, last spring to the North Shore Land Alliance to save the 2-acre property and the house from development.
The three-story structure was built in 1844 as a summer home for Cornelius and Adelia McCoon and later rented by Theodore Roosevelt's uncle, James. The alliance is talking to potential buyers willing to preserve the house, preferably as a bed-and-breakfast.
Besides his daughter Barbara, Trousdell is survived by sons James Jr., of Cincinnati, and Bruce, of Huntington, daughter Elizabeth Trousdell, of Oyster Bay, and six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
The funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Francis P. DeVine Funeral Home in Oyster Bay, with burial at Youngs Memorial Cemetery in Oyster Bay Cove. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Thompson Park Neighborhood Association or North Shore Land Alliance.