Thomas Walter Potter
1937 - 2021
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Groton - Thomas Walter Potter went to his eternal rest in the early morning of Dec. 30, 2020. He was born to Harold and Marguerite Potter Sept. 28, 1937, in West Bend, Wis.

The family moved to Coshocton, Ohio, where Tom left for Ohio State University, Columbus, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1959. He was a proud four-year member of the OSU marching band, playing the tuba, and dotting the "i" in Script Ohio and was scheduled to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1958, when an attack of Mononucleosis saw his substitute on the cover instead, a story he loved telling to newly acquired members of family and friends, when appropriately urged to do so.

He worked for one employer his entire career, the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), scrutinizing with a finely pointed pen the contractual accuracy of the corporations producing necessary components of our nuclear submarines, i.e. Babcock and Wilcox in Akron, Ohio, Pratt & Whitney, Hartford, and Electric Boat locally, among others. He retired as a GS 15 and refused advancement to GS 16 in Washington, DC, rather than leaving his family's forever home in Groton, doing so with their fervent agreement, thanks, and pride in his choice. Earlier in his career he went back to school at Western Michigan University earning the degree of Master of Arts, and ultimately passing the CPA exam.

Mr. Potter married the former Lynette Kate Richards of Perrysburg, Ohio, Jan. 6, 1962, at St. Rose de Lima Church and forevermore she was his "Katie", earning his father-in-law's lasting affection as it was an unexpected use of his own mother's name.

Together they raised their children, Elizabeth St. Louis (husband Ron), Todd (wife Alyssa), and Matthew. With unusual fortune their children all reside locally along with their granddaughter Lindsay Potter Wood (husband Geoff) and one great-granddaughter Lacey

Elizabeth, really-truly-great, thought Tom Potter. Also surviving is Tom's younger sibling Dennis; nephew Tony; and niece Angela of Arizona; and his twin's son Billy of Ohio.

Tom's twin brother, Bill, predeceased him. Cystic Fibrosis claimed the lives of his twin's daughters, Amy and Julie, each living into their mid-twenties due to the incredible strength of their parents' faithful adherence to the latest science of the time.

Tom was a longtime member of the Groton Congregational Church serving on its Board of Trustees, as a Deacon and was the church treasurer for many years.

After Tom's passing, his brother in-law Ronny Richards of Blue Creek, Ohio posted the following tribute to Tom on Facebook: "He was perhaps among the world's worst golfers, would laugh and say, 'oh __' (expletive deleted) after another miserable shot. He was left- handed and never did get the hang of what to do with an open-faced spinning reel. Great prince of a man gone-we're sure gonna' miss him." Able to laugh at his own later in life sport efforts, he was nevertheless known to have been a wicked left-handed pitcher on his high school baseball team and was a more than able bowler. Tom also did the play-by-play announcement for the Groton Redskins youth football league during the time his son Todd was a participant and was so honest he once reported that Todd was throwing punches over the public address system (another story he loved to repeat with little or no urging, much to Todd's Chagrin).

A celebration of his life will take place when we can safely gather together in health and thanksgiving for the gift of his life. Please, save your memories and stories for us, his loved ones. We will still need and treasure them.

Byles Funeral Homes, Groton, and the Rev. Lee Ireland of The Groton Congregational Church are assisting his family. Please visit to share a memory or condolence with the family.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Day on Jan. 20, 2021.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Byles-Groton Memorial Home - Groton
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6 entries
January 22, 2021
Always friendly and kind.
Rest in Peace neighbor.
January 21, 2021
I worked for Tom back in the mid 80"s at Pratt & Whitney. We carpooled for a year. I can honestly say he was the best boss I ever had. He knew his stuff, didn't pull punches and was a real gentleman. At first I was leary of carpooling with the boss because if he worked late, like some bosses do, I would be working late also. He never worked late. But while at work, he really worked. Then I figured he would talk business all the way to work and all the way home. Oh no, two hours of unpaid overtime! But guess what, once we were in the car he never talked about work. He would drive up and down those hills of Route 2 in his front wheel drive Horizon in the snowiest conditions and think nothing of it. And he never drove slowly. He was a man admired by many. May his soul rest in peace.
Vinny Melesko
January 21, 2021
Dear Katie, Todd, and the entire circle of Tom’s family ‘n’ friends,

I’ve known Todd and have worked with him for many years here at EB closely enough to share in this grief!

Having lost both my parents and understanding the hole left behind, regardless the inevitability or forewarning, pray this helps some wee allow...enable...the grief! And the grief will come, the pain unfortunate, but as necessary; embrace it and let it work its magic, while remembering the depth of it is a yardstick of not only the impact of your loss, but the breadth of the love it represents. So truly sorry to hear about your husband, father, grandfather, friend. At least now he’s at peace with our Lord...definitely keepin’ y’all in my prayers!

When my mother died, even after a years-long battle with cancer, I was shattered by the loss...inconsolable...she was my mentor! I like to think that I got my character from my father, but my mind and its capacity from m’dear sainted mother!!! BUT, "If your faith assures you she's in heaven, then what are the tears all about?!?" I hold eternity dearly close...a cherished, hard-won prize...but, in the interim, that answer lies below.
(I Eulogize My Beloved Mother - March, 1989)

Today we cry...must admit they're selfish tears.
You see...our faith assures your journey's done.
But it's not for you we mourn, at all, my dear;
It's for those of us you've left behind...alone!!!

We share your joy...share your happiness at rest,
Your painful fears now for forever stilled.
You've fought the good fight, passed the final test,
But you've left behind a hole that can't be filled!!!

So, until we each rejoin you some someday,
And, while your memory buoys us through those years,
We'll miss you...but continue on our way,
And, from time to time, we'll cry our selfish tears!!!

Ray Hamilton ~*~ March 19, 1989

My fond, sincerest condolences and prayers,
Ray Hamilton
January 20, 2021
Rest In Peace
Heather Stlouis
January 20, 2021
Gayle and I hold Tom in a special class of men, with 3 members. Tom Potter, David Silvia and Mr. Rogers
Mikki Castonguay
January 20, 2021
Mr. Potter was such an awesome dude. As a best friend to his son, I have so many great memories of Mr. P throughout my highschool years and beyond. Hacking our way around the golf course, slamming down nippers of Wild Turkey (which I made him do every time I saw him after he got me sick on the stuff at my stag party.) Too many good times to list. When I got older, he asked me to call him "Tom." Said "Mr. Potter" made him feel old. I obliged, but he'll always be good 'ole Mr. Potter to me. RIP.
Jimmy Abbiati
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