In Memoriam: Thomas O. Sutcliffe


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has received word of the death November 5, 2001, of retiree Thomas O. Sutcliffe of Kingston, MA. He was 87.

Thomas Sutcliffe worked at the Institution from 1957 until his retirement in 1976, starting as a second mate aboard Research Vessel Caryn. He later transferred to work with John Zeigler and others as a general engineering assistant in the acoustics lab, keeping track of and helping to maintain equipment as well as securing and shipping supplies and equipment to WHOI vessels working around the world. In February 1975 he moved to Shipping and Receiving, working with Fred Woodward until his retirement in March 1976.

Born January 22, 1914, in New York, City, Thomas Sutcliffe attended Lawrence Hero High School in Groton, MA, graduating in 1932. He later enrolled for a semester at Boston University to study textiles. During World War II he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard as an ensign. His wartime service included positions as Boarding Officer at the Cape Cod Canal, as Executive Officer on a Coast Guard cutter on the Greenland patrol, and as Commanding Officer of a U.S. Army freight supply vessel. He later served for many years in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, holding positions as Executive Officer and Commanding Officer of a number of reserve units in Boston, Quincy and at Otis Air Force Base.

After World War II he ran his own successful wool brokerage business, Sutcliffe & Co., with many international accounts. He then worked briefly at Standard Abrasives Company in Holbrook, MA, and at E.C. O'Connell in Hingham, MA, as general manager of the wholesale/retail lobster company prior to joining the Institution staff in 1957.

Survivors include a grandson, Frederick Atherton of Boston; a granddaughter, Pamela Larson, and her husband Ken of Kingston; a son-in-law, Peter Atherton; and several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was the husband of the late Norma (Petrie) Sutcliffe and father of the late Bobbi Atherton.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, November 11, 2001, at 2:00 p.m. at St. John's Episcopal Church in Duxbury. Interment was private. Donations in Thomas Sutcliffe's memory may be made to Duxbury Bay Maritime School, P.O.Box 263A, Duxbury, MA 02331.


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