Thomas Greenwood passed away in the early morning hours of Nov. 24, 2017, following a courageous battle with cancer. He was born on April 2, 1932, in Norwich, Conn., the only son of Thomas and Helen (Willett) Greenwood.
Tom was five years old when his father's position with the Vermont Central Railroad brought the family to St. Albans, Vt. It was there he and his beloved sister Carole grew up. An avid outdoorsman, Tom spent his youth close to nature, exploring nearby trails, hiking and observing the marvels of wildlife. He was active in Boy Scouts and was a natural athlete. Tom excelled in sports. He enjoyed basketball, playing for Bellows Free Academy, where he was co-captain of the varsity team, Bob White's "Ironmen." Upon his graduation from high school in 1950, Tom enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He traveled the world while serving his country aboard the USS Sabine. In 1952, while home on leave, Tom met Shirley Nicholson of Bedford, Quebec, at a Venise, Quebec community dance. As fate would have it, they were married in September of 1954. In 1955, Tom completed his military service and was Honorably Discharged; he and Shirley returned home to St. Albans to begin their family and build a life together. Tom enrolled in the University of Vermont's College of Education majoring in English and History. Upon graduation in 1959, Tom took his first job in Arlington, Vt., where he taught Social Studies and coached both the basketball and baseball teams.
A dedicated family man, Tom worked hard to provide for Shirley and his children. In an effort to support and improve the welfare of his growing family, they moved frequently, each time providing a better position and opportunity. Tom taught English and Social Studies in a number of area high schools, including those in Peru and Ellenburg, N.Y.
In 1965, he received a Masters Degree in Counseling from SUNY Plattsburgh. Soon after he accepted a position as Guidance Director at Champlain Center School (now NCCS). Tom excelled in his career, listening, guiding and caring for those in his counsel. He is remembered for his ability to converse and make anyone in his company feel like the most important person in the world. Tom helped many young people realize dreams of college and his encouragement is a testament to his kind and caring nature. A lifelong educator, Tom guided the students at NEC for 24 years until his retirement in 1989.
Throughout his life Tom was renowned as a dignified, patient and thoughtful man. Always available to help friends and neighbors, he was a community minded person. Tom was a Scout Leader for the Cub Scouts and was active in coaching. He also participated in many civic organizations, including the Arlington, Vermont Lions Club and the Champlain-Rouses Point Kiwanis Club.
Tom enjoyed his friends, neighbors and community but his family was his true pride and joy in life. In the 63 years of their marriage, Tom and Shirley had truly wonderful experiences together. They and their four children enjoyed spending much of their time in the great outdoors together, participating in activities such as hiking Long Trail, gardening, growing raspberries and vacationing with their extended family in Ocean Park, Maine.
In the years following Tom's retirement, he and Shirley spent winters in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where they had a large network of friends and daughter Pam had a home. In the summers they worked as guides at the Shelburne Museum, much enjoying the staff and guests. Tom enjoyed history and had a great interest in such poets as A.E. Houseman (Shropshire Lad), Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass), as well as the stories of Nathanial Hawthorne and Washington Irving. He loved reading of Early American Settlement and enjoyed visiting the 1697 Jackman-Willet House preserved by the Newbury, Mass. Historical Society; A place once occupied by Tom's fourth generation in-America ancestors.
Tom will be sorely missed by a loving family, friends, neighbors and the colleagues and students who had the opportunity to know him. He is survived by his wife of 63 years Shirley (Nicholson) and their four children, Judith Ann (Richard) Mosher of Fairfield, Maine; David (Sally) Greenwood of Peru, N.Y.; Pamela Greenwood of Saranac Lake, N.Y., and Jeremy Greenwood of Saranac, N.Y. Tom was especially fond of his four grandchildren, Jesse (Andrew) Gerow of Clinton, Maine; Hannah Greenwood of Plattsburgh, N.Y.; Ross Mosher of Ocala, Fla., and Emma Greenwood, currently serving the Peace Corps in The Gambia, Africa. Also surviving Tom is his only great-grandchild, Cason Gerow, of Clinton, Maine. Tom also leaves behind his beloved extended family in Vermont, Quebec and Ontario.
A celebration of Tom's life will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with services starting at 11:15 a.m., Jan. 27, 2018, at the Hamilton Funeral Home, 294 Mannix Road, Peru, N.Y. A reception will follow.
Those wishing to make memorial donations may do so in his name to The FitzPatrick Cancer Center in Plattsburgh, N.Y. Alternatively, contributions toward a memorial marker to be placed at the Church in Arlington, Vt., will be accepted at the celebration of Tom's life.
Arrangements are in the care of the Hamilton Funeral Home, 294 Mannix Road, Peru, 643-9055. To offer an online condolence, share a symbolic gesture, or share a photo in memory of Thomas Greenwood please visit www.hamiltonfuneralhome.com
Home is the sailor, home from sea, And the hunter, home from the hill. - A.E. Houseman
Home Is the Sailor
Home is the sailor, home from sea:
Her far-borne canvas furled
The ship pours shining on the quay
The plunder of the world.
Home is the hunter from the hill:
Fast in the boundless snare
All flesh lies taken at his will
And every fowl of air.
Tis evening on the moorland free,
The starlit wave is still:
Home is the sailor from the sea,
The hunter from the hill.
Published on January 22, 2018