On August 24th, a day after J. Thomas (Tom) Fowler, scientific engineer and inventor, passed away at 73, some of the world's most prominent scientists and inventors, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein and Archimedes came together in a round table discussion in the sweet hereafter to talk about his life and work.
The Guest Book is expired.
Edison: Tom was the classic scientist, a truly brilliant inventor.
(They all mumble in agreement.)
Einstein: Also devoted husband, loving father and friend to all.
(More mumbled agreement.)
Edison: He truly had a full life! Graduated from Cornell University with a Masters of Engineering, was a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, worked as a project engineer for NASA.
Archimedes: What is NASA?
(Awkward silence as Einstein stares at Archimedes.)
Einstein: Most recently he worked as a principal in the Magnetic Sensors Development Group at Tiax LLC, a technology-development company in Cambridge. Before that he served as a principal at Arthur D. Little, Inc. and was chief engineer at Digicourse, a company he developed. He's been issued 54 patents, approximately half involving magnetic instrumentation (compasses) or devices. And while he never was officially recognized or credited with enabling ocean seismic exploration, Tom's remote reading digital magnetic compass inventions were key to the discovery of much of the world's off-shore oil and gas reserves. His compasses were also used by the US Navy and remain an active part of current towed antisubmarine sensors.
Archimedes: Einstein, I can't understand a word you're saying.
Einstein: Archimedes, will you just...
Edison: Let it go, he was born in B.C. Also, it must be noted what a family man Tom was. In '68 he met the love of his life, Sandra Brandmark, a firecracker from the Bronx. Marvelous woman. Incredible wit.
Einstein: They married in '71, and lived on Tom's boat Snarlyou and then Tradewinds for many many years. Tom loved boats! In fact his latest boat, a 32 foot intricately designed lobster boat, The Darcy, he crafted himself! Wunderbar! The Darcy is named after his daughter who he leaves behind along with his son Devon. I was just talking to the two of them, and they were telling me Tom was the kindest, most wonderful and silliest human they knew (besides their mother). Like you, Archimedes, they didn't always understand the scientific terms their dad used, but their admiration and love for him was infinite. It seems they will miss him terribly.
A Public Celebration of Tom Fowler's life will take place Sunday, September 7th at 3pm, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead, 28 Mugford St., Marblehead, MA 01945. Arrangements by the Eustis and Cornell Funeral Home, Marblehead. Please visit the online guestbook for Tom at www.eustisandcornellfuneralhome.com.
Published in The Marblehead Reporter from Aug. 30 to Sept. 6, 2014