Home
Services
Avery-Storti Funeral Home - Wakefield
88 Columbia Street
Wakefield, RI 02879
(401) 783-7271
Resources
More Obituaries for Thomas Fetherston
Looking for an obituary for a different person with this name?

Thomas Hull Fetherston


1923 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Thomas Hull Fetherston Obituary
Thomas Hull Fetherston of Peace Dale, R.I. passed away on Jan. 22, 2015 surrounded by his family after battling declining health over the past few months.
Thomas was born on April 12, 1923 and grew up in Baldwin, Long Island and attended school in neighboring Oceanside School system where his father (Thomas Cook Fetherston) was the president of the school board. He and his sister Jean enjoyed a dynamic childhood in a home shared by his parents (Thomas and Dorothy), his English grandmother and his grandfather, who was an actor and stage manager at the Rivoli Theater in New York. Their house was often filled with actors and music, while being held together by his warm and caring mother.
During his freshman year at Duke University, Thomas enlisted in the United States Army to serve his country during World War II. He served in the Medical Corps as a Laboratory Technician, training at Ft. Carson, Colo. and deployed to the New Hebrides to join the Fitzsimons 31st General Hospital. He assisted in the construction of the hospital there, then worked in the pathology lab. After the Allied invasion of the Philipines, his unit transferred to Tacloban and constructed a field hospital that helped save those who were wounded in combat. His experience helped shape his compassion as well as an interest in life sciences, particularly biology. At the end of the war in 1945, he made his transit across the Pacific on a Dutch liberty ship back to San Francisco after three years overseas.
Upon returning to Baldwin, he met Dorothy Hull Tiebout at a church function to welcome home returning veterans. They married in 1948 as he attended Hofstra University to complete his Bachelors (B.S. '50) and Masters (M.S. '51) degrees. Upon graduation, Thomas earned a fellowship at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory of the Carnegie Institute where he conducted research under the guidance of Dr. Alfred Hershey. However, research was confining for an actor at heart, so he joined the faculty of his alma mater, Oceanside High School, in the Fall of 1952. Teaching gave him the outlet he needed for his dynamic and nurturing personality, and he shaped the lives of literally thousands of students during his nearly 40 year career. He was also a coach of the varsity rifle team and was the first coach on Long Island to recruit women to the team. After his retirement, he still wanted to be around students, so he joined the administration staff at Hofstra University, where he worked with his wife until they relocated to join their sons in Rhode Island in 1999.
Thomas grew up on the waters of Long Island and spent many years cruising with his family around the South Shore, Great South Bay and out to the Hamptons. He carried on the tradition with his sons during many summers aboard his boats and welcomed many of their friends to enjoy all the Bay had to offer. His passion for the water led to both sons serving as Surface Warfare Officers in the United States Navy, and the tradition has now extended down to his grandchildren. His granddaughter, Emily Hull, has been on the water since she was an infant and has ultimately become a competitive sailor, licensed Captain and Operations Manager at Wickford Boat Rentals, a family business she runs with her father, David. His grandson, Thomas Bradford, is an active fisherman on Block Island Sound who also followed the career path of his grandfather by enlisting in the United States Army and served as a combat medic, reaching the rank of Sergeant during his deployment to Afghanistan. He continues to serve in the Army Reserve.
Thomas will be remembered as a warm, thoughtful and caring man who made an enormous impact on all those who knew him. He is survived by his devoted wife of 66 years, Dorothy; his sons, Thomas and David; his grandchildren, Emily and Brad; daughter-in-laws, Janet and Mary; an extended family of loving nieces and nephews as well as his sister, Jean Fetherston Smurthwaite of Ermo, S.C.
A memorial service in his honor will be held at Christ United Methodist Church, 2291 Kingstown Road, Kingston, RI 02881 on Jan. 31, 2015 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to Christ United Methodist Church. For guest book and condolences, averystortifuneralhome.com.
Published in Southern Rhode Island Newspapers on Jan. 30, 2015
Read More
Planning Guide
Free funeral planning guide compliments of Avery-Storti Funeral Home - Wakefield