Tom died of cancer on May 21,1989, at Johns Hopkins Hospital, in Baltimore. He retired from I.B.M. in 1987 after 33 years and was director of the computer center at the Univ. of Maryland's College of Business and Management until he became ill.
Tom's career at I.B.M. was outstanding. He was the program manager of two satellite programs that are considered I.B.M.'s most successful‚€”the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory and the Advanced Telecommunications Satellite‚€”and he designed the computer used in the F-111 and other military aircraft. He also was product manager of I.B.M.'s first office-automation system. He spent his last three years with the company as a visiting scholar at the Univ. of Texas, devising innovative uses for personal computers in research and teaching. An associate said, "I believe Tom was a man before his time. Often, people with his talent find themselves in a high-risk environment, and the reward or recognition often does not match the contribution made."
Tom was born in Philadelphia and came to Princeton from Santa Barbara (Calif.) High School. In college, he majored in basic engineering and was a member of Dial Lodge. When he lived in Binghamton, N.Y., Tom was secretary and president of the Princeton Alumni Assn. of Broome County. He also was a graduate of Stanford's Sloan Business Management School.
Tom is survived by his widow, Martha; sons Craig and Scott; a brother, Robert; and a sister, Virginia Scibona. A son, Brett, died in 1980. The class extends deep sympathy for the loss of an extraordinary man.
The C1a.ss of 1951