Harold Thomas, Jr. of Hingham died peacefully on December 22, 2018 surrounded by his family. He was 94.
Hal, (as he was known to most) was the son of Baptist missionaries, Dr. Harold Thomas, Sr. and Gertrude (Barbour) of Quincy, MA. His father built and directed the Hwa Mei hospital in Ningbo, China, where Hal was born in 1924. He was predeceased by two sisters, Margaret Beal of Barrington, NH and Barbara Jones of Keene, NH. After spending his formative years in China, he graduated high school in Fairfield, ME and joined the Army serving as a medic during WWII. After the war, while still in Germany, he met his first wife, Eva (Gordon) and they married in 1946. They lived in Durham, NH while both attended the University of New Hampshire. After divorcing in 1953, he met Mary (Rushit) who would be his loving wife and devoted partner for 59 years and mother to their son, Loren.
Hal received his Bachelor’s Degree from UNH and his Master’s Degree from Cornell University, and went on to teach industrial arts and drama at Weymouth South Junior High School for 37 years. He was a master at carpentry and problem-solving, as evidenced by his beautiful Hingham home which, in the 1960’s, he transformed almost single-handedly from a chicken coop. Hal and Mary shared a love of music, dance, poetry and literature. He was an activist who worked tirelessly to advance the cause of world peace. He was beloved by all who knew him for his curiosity, compassion, mild manner and sense of humor. His intellect and vitality burned brightly right up to the very last moments of his life. He delighted in the creativity and accomplishments of his son and grandchildren, and passed on his many exemplary qualities to them by quiet example.
Hal was an active member of Old Ship Church in Hingham, serving on the building committee and playground committee, as a mentor to youth and as a member of the men’s breakfast group. He has left an indelible mark at Old Ship, both on the community of people who worship there, but also through the many projects he took on for the betterment of the Meeting House and Parish House.
He is survived by his wife, Mary, of Hingham, his son, Loren Thomas of Hingham and his partner Andrea Coan of Braintree, his former daughter-in-law, Susannah Thomas, his two grandchildren, Olivia and Will, his sister-in-law, Rose Dosti of Santa Monica, CA and her children and grandchildren, as well as many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 5, 2019 at 11am at Old Ship Church, 90 Main Street in Hingham, with a reception immediately following in the Parish House across the street. Donations in Hal’s memory may be made to the Norwell VNA and Hospice (www.nvna.org) or the American Civil Liberties Union (www.aclu.org).
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