Hunter III, Thomas A.
Thomas Alexander Hunter III, 94, died peacefully at his home at Meadow Ridge surrounded by his family on April 28th.
Born in LaGrange Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, on the false armistice, November 9, 1918, Tom was the only son and youngest child of Virginia Catherine O'Neill and Thomas Alexander Hunter Jr. A proud graduate of Armour Institute of Technology (now Illinois Institute of Technology), he participated in a wide range of campus activities and held a leadership position in the honor society of Tau Beta Pi. Finishing first in his class in Fire Protection Engineering, he was a champion of public safety through his career. The school's motto - "Speak True, Do Right" was a lifelong pledge for Tom.
His teaching career began while attending a navy radio electronics class during the early days of WWII
. He corrected the instructor and then took him up on the offer to teach the class.
Tom was a professor at the University of Michigan
, where he earned his PhD in Mechanical Engineering with a dissertation on the engineering mechanics of suspension bridges. He was a member of the Honor Societies Phi Kappa Phi and the Society of Sigma XI.
While attending the University of Michigan he met his wife-to-be, Gloria, at a Tall Persons Club Halloween party. They were wed in 1950 and lived in Michigan, New Jersey and Ohio before moving to Westport in 1965. They shared 56 years of devoted marriage. They traveled widely, enjoyed theatre, the arts, dancing, entertaining, and life together.
His professional career included positions at Bell Labs, Cleveland Pneumatic Tool Works, Homelite and FEMA. Tom served as a forensic engineer and expert witness for American Standards Testing Bureau. In addition to numerous published articles he authored two books, Engineering Mechanics: Statics (1961) and Engineering Design for Safety (1992).
Active in his community over many years, he was elected as a member of the Rocky River School Board in Cleveland, and served on the Board of the Westport Public Library, the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission and the Stepping Stones Museum and pre-K education initiatives. As Secretary of the Y's Men for seven years, he was well known for his weekly humorous reports and limericks, and was a long-term member of their singing group, The Hoot Owls. He was also active in secular humanism and libertarian causes.
Tom is survived by his three children, Thomas Alexander Hunter IV, William C. and Eleanore Tracey, as well as his grandsons, Thomas Alexander Hunter V (Alex) and John Hitchner Hunter. There will be a celebration of Tom's life on Sunday, June 16th, from 2 to 5 pm at The Boathouse at the Saugatuck Rowing Club. Contributions in Tom's memory may be made to Stepping Stones Children's Museum in Norwalk, CT or Habitat for Humanity.