Tom is a ninth-generation Cape Codder and direct descendant of the Mayflower. His many Mayflower ancestors include the ship’s captain, Christopher Jones.
But it is Tom’s quiet, warm and friendly demeanor that has won over both residents and staff alike.
Born in Hyannis, Tom and his family moved to Sagamore when he was very young. As a high school freshman, he took a gardening job that would foster a life-long passion.
“My job was to keep the lawn and flowers growing,” he recalled. “I loved it!”
He kept that job throughout high school and his years at Stonehill College, where he met his wife, Martha.
Following a stint in the Navy, Tom taught high school in Plymouth. There, he and Martha raised their family, and resided for 52 years, until her passing in late 2017.
Tom’s children include Tommy, Tim, Kathleen, Karen, Maureen and Joseph. He also has 16 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Tom’s love of gardening became a family affair.
“My father loved to work in his yard and garden,” Tommy said. “Every Saturday, my brother Timmy and I worked in the yard with him.”
The gardens were devoted exclusively to flowers. “I didn’t grow any vegetables,” Tom said, laughing. “Primarily, because my kids wouldn’t eat them!”
Son Tommy said he could “write a story” about each of the many family camping trips he took – “all over New England” – with his parents, siblings and “Nana.”
“It rained half the time,” Tommy said, laughing. “Kathleen always threw up, and the girls had to stop every half mile to pee!”
Tom moved to an administrative role when he became the first principal of the Plymouth-Carver Intermediate School. But the biggest honor of his career was being named principal of Carver High School, when it was still in the planning stage. In his role, he sat in on planning meetings with contractors, secured accreditations and brought in faculty members.
“It was the best thing I ever did,” he said. “Very few principals have the opportunity to build a school from the ground up.”
When Tom retired, he joined “The Woodchucks,” a carving club that created wooden toys for children in hospitals. [Some of his duck carvings are displayed outside his apartment.]
He enjoys swimming, walking and fishing for flounder in the canal. Tom’s musical tastes favor classical, the 50’s, Ed Ames and religious – but “not rock & roll,” thank you very much.
Still an avid walker, Tom takes daily strolls around the grounds, returning just in time for Bingo.
Welcome to Decatur House Tom!