Thomas Raymond Mansfield
1925 - 2014 PUTNEY, VT. Thomas R. Mansfield died peacefully in his home on Oct. 5. He was 89. Tom is survived by his wife, Sumiko; and his three children, Sarah, Elizabeth and Tony. An educator, farmer, vintner, and musician, Tom lived life to the fullest. He was born in Lewiston, Maine on May 16, 1925. After serving in the naval air force, Tom graduated from Bates College in Maine in 1950. In 1952, Tom became the Director of Education for the Boys Club of New York. Thereafter, he became a teacher at St. Bernard's School in New York City. From 1965 to 1978, Tom served as the first Headmaster of the Day School (now known as the Trevor Day School). Over those 13 years, Tom and the faculty built a school that challenged the norms of childhood education, that placed learning before teaching, and that became an inspiration to countless students, teachers and parents. In 1958, while still living in New York City, Tom and Sue purchased Wyngate Farm in Putney. Originally a weekend home, the Farm was soon integrated into the Day School curriculum, serving as a center for outdoor education. Every year, Day School students would spend one week in Putney with their class hiking, milking cows, sugaring, navigating the ropes course and generally experiencing life away from home. To this day, former Day School students return to the Farm, now grown up, to remember Putney and share memories of their time on the Farm. In 1979, Tom and Sue moved to Putney full time to run the outdoor education program for the Day School. Tom also farmed, made wine, skied, golfed and continued to challenge former faculty and friends from afar. Tom embraced his life in Putney like he embraced every other challenge in his life: with vigor, with gusto and with enthusiasm. Tom leaves an indelible imprint on the Day School, on the Farm and on his family. He was loved and he will be missed. The family will hold a memorial service later this year in the Putney area. The Trevor Day School has posted a tribute to Tom, including "reflections" from students, faculty and friends, on its website at www.trevor.org
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Published by Brattleboro Reformer on Oct. 11, 2014.