Thomas Errol Potter
Thomas Errol Potter of Harrisburg died Monday at Health South, Mechanicsburg, after an illness. His wife is Sharon Mahar Potter.

Born in Mount Vernon, N.Y., son of the late Alwyn and Marjorie Powell Potter, he graduated from Pratt Institute School of Architecture, New York City. He was a captain in the Army and served in Korea. He practiced architecture in Scranton from 1968 through 1992 and was active in several community organizations. He served on the boards of the Scranton Counseling Center and the Friendship House Children's Center, where he received the Francis Fuller Award for his service. He also served on the state Board of Historic Preservation. He moved to Harrisburg in 1992, where he took a position with the Pennsylvania Historic Architecture and Museum Commission and later opened an architectural firm, Architecture, YTT (Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow), which specialized in historic preservation.

He served on the boards of Harrisburg's Art Association, Historic Harrisburg, Fort Hunter and the Foundation for Enhancing Communities steering committee for the development of a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community center. He and his wife were unconditionally supportive of the rights of GLBT people, especially teens and young adults. From 1973 to 2007, he was an adjunct professor at Penn State and Harrisburg Area Community College.

He and his wife were avid sailors and enjoyed many adventures on their sloop, Northern Spy, on the Chesapeake Bay. His greatest accomplishments were his children and the countless young people he encouraged and inspired. He will be remembered as a kind, generous and gentle man.

Also surviving are six children, Kimberly Banks Gahl, Oakland, Calif.; Chael Banks, San Francisco; Faith Potter Dietz, St. Paul, Minn.; Christopher Potter, Oakland; David Banks, Lake Winola; and Jason Banks, El Cerrito, Calif.; 10 grandchildren, Britt, Hannah and Max Banks, Lily and Peter Gahl, and Molly and Mia Banks, all of California; Gabby and Lucie Dietz, Minnesota; and Sarah Kelly, Scranton; a great-grandson, Jadyn Kelly, Scranton; a sister, Toni Mathewson; and brother, Jay Potter, both of Charlotte, N.C.

He was also preceded in death by a brother, Gordon Potter, Ph.D.

A memorial service will be Monday at 11 a.m. in Fort Hunter's Centennial Barn, 5300 N. Front St., Harrisburg. Memorial contributions may be made to the Thomas Potter Memorial Fund, through the Harrisburg Area Community College Foundation, Harrisburg Area Community College, One HACC Drive, Harrisburg, 17110-2999; or by calling 717-780-2583, or e-mail, [email protected]

Arrangements have been entrusted to Parthemore Funeral Home & Cremation Services, New Cumberland, Pa. To send messages of condolence to the Potter family, visit
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Published by Scranton Times on Dec. 10, 2008.
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22 Entries
The entire Banks / Potter Family,

Please accept our deepest condolences on the passing of Mr Potter. I remember Mr. Potter and all of you growing up and really miss all of you. I hope all of you are doing well. Please know your entire family is in our prayers during this very very difficult time in all of your lives. In looking back of memories of loved ones lost this little saying is very comforting to me, maybe it will be for you...Never forget to remember the things that made you glad..but always remember to forget the things that made you sad. It helps me remember the life not the death of my loved ones I've lost.

Lots of love to all of you,
Cyndie McGurrin and the Harrity family
Cyndie Harrity - McGurrin
December 27, 2008
So sorry for your loss,
let me know if there is anything I can do or if you would just like to go to lunch and talk
Rita Zimmerman
December 18, 2008
Dear Sharon,
I came to know Mr. Potter,s news
of his death.
I am so sorry for the loss to your family and for the community that he was so active in.Its hard to think that he's not among us anymore, our prayers are with you and your family.
Brian Zaver
December 16, 2008
Sharon and Family,
I just wanted to add my deepest sympathy to the chorus of voices speaking about Tom's passing. In life, he was a genuine man who felt things deeply and acted on his convictions. In our day, it is a pleasure to meet and to begin to know such a man.
I was privileged to work with Tom when I was executive director of Historic Harrisburg Association and to see his dedication to the equal rights of all people as we worked together on the LGBT Center Coalition Board of Directors. He will be deeply missed by the many people he touched. I, for one, will be sure to keep his memory alive as we continue the work he loved so much. May you find comfort and peace in knowing you were loved by a great man.
David Zwifka
December 15, 2008
Sharon and Family, I am so sorry for your loss, Tom had influenced so many and will be deeply missed. He was a teacher and a mentor and I appreciate all that he taught me. Marty and I send our deepest condolences.
Becky Gildea
December 14, 2008
Sharon and family,
I was saddened to hear about MR. P. He was an awesome man who has helped so many! He was such a positive role model for me when I was a teenager and young adult! He was also fun to be around, and constantly had me laughing!!!! I think of him often. He will be missed!!!! I hope all of you can help each other through this time of loss, and my prayers are with you all!
Daniel Hopkins
December 14, 2008
Although I have not seen or spoken to Tom since 1960, I still remember him fondly as a kind and genuine school mate and neighbor in Mount Vernon. As I read through the tributes to him, I recognize the person I knew so many years ago. Please accept my condolences at your loss.
william nettles
December 13, 2008
Sharon and family,
I am so very, very sorry about Tom, and especially sorry that we weren't able to connect after relocating to Harrisburg. He was a very special man, kind and good humored, smart as a whip but never intimidating, always willing to listen. I know that he left a lasting impression on the Scranton community and obviously, in Harrisburg as well. You two always seemed a wonderful match, and I know how much you all will miss him. I am sorry that I am working out of town on Monday, but rest assured that my thoughts and prayers will be with you. As for Tom, I'm sure he is already watching over everyone!
Angela Bell
December 12, 2008
I was deeply saddened by the news of Tom's passing. He was special person in my life, serving as a mentor when I was going through tough times in my teens. He coached me to take positive action to change my life for the better. i will miss him and will forever remember him.
Lisa Gibson
December 12, 2008

So sorry to hear about Tom. Our thoughs are with you and your family at this difficult time. Kris (Tina Friel) & Dave Hill and Family
Kris Hill
December 11, 2008

I doubt that you would remember me, but I was a student of Tom's in the historic preservation program many years ago now. I also worked down the hall from him at the Historic Museum Commission. A friend who was also in the program sent me the notice of his death.

I am so sorry for the loss to your family and for the community that he was so active in. Its hard to think that he's not among us anymore, but he is frozen in my mind as a kind teacher and friend.
Leta Maloney
December 11, 2008
Sharon, I'm so sorry for your loss. The world needs more Tom Potters and will feel his loss. I'll be here if you need me.
Ann Smith
December 11, 2008
Sharon,Sorry to hear about Tom we hadn't seen him in a long time.
Bob and Vera Fidiam
Robert Fidiam
December 11, 2008
Mr. Potter was by far my favorite Professor at HACC. It was his passion and knowledge that made me appreicate the profession more. He was loved by his students and will be missed. He left his legacy through the lives he touched by teaching what he loved.
Marcus Thompson
December 11, 2008
Sharon, I am sorry to hear of your husband's passing. He led a full and meaningful life with a legacy that will endure for many generations. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.
Jim Kells
December 11, 2008
Hi Sharon and Family, I am so very sorry to hear about Tom. Our prayers are with all of you during this very difficult time. Sharon I did tell my parents and I will print a copy of Tom's obituary for them. God Bless. Our Love To All, Barb Artz and Family and Bob and Sally Friel
Barbara Artz
December 11, 2008
You would never remember me, we sailed together at Lake Winola.
You were both nice, nice people. He will always be in your memories.
December 10, 2008
Tom was a lovely, warm and generous man. Although I didn't see him often, I will miss him terribly. Just being around him was enriching. My prayers are with you, Sharon, and the whole family.
Nancy Mendes
December 10, 2008
Please know our prayers are with all of you. Our families were connected so many years ago - the lake - the kids. The memories will last forever.

Bernice Dinner & Earl McKeon
Bernice Dinner
December 10, 2008
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Jeffrey & Norajean Dargatis
December 10, 2008
I am so sorry for your great loss.
Anything I can do for you, just let me know and I will be there.
Randa Todd
Randa Todd
December 10, 2008
Among Tom's first friends in Scranton at Burns and Loewe, He made many fond memories.
Greg Biesecker
December 10, 2008
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