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 www.parthemore.com
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Published by Scranton Times on Dec. 10, 2008.