Thomas F. Tresselt

Tom Tresselt

Thomas F. Tresselt

Remembrance

Bob Leich: Tom and I were from the same town in Indiana, Evansville, so we knew one another since we were kids. Tom was a fine basketball player; as his obituary mentions, he and his grade school teammates stayed together through his four years at Evansville Central HS and his team was always highly ranked. When I went to Culver Academy in my junior year of HS our paths diverged, until coming together again at Yale. We were in neighboring dorms on The Old Campus, he in Vanderbilt and me in Bingham, so we saw a good bit of one another freshman year. One humorous story which I will relate was of the day that Tom and I were having lunch in Commons, seated at a four top with two fellow freshmen who were engaged in their own conversation. These two were super-preppies, for lack of a better term, and they were grousing about how Yale had gone to the dogs by admitting all of the public school people. One finally remarked to the other, “Yes, and do you know that they even have people from Indiana here?” I thought I was going to have to give Tom the Heimlich maneuver! Now after all of the years I wonder if maybe these guys were just pulling our chain, but at the time we thought they were dead serious.

Sally and Tom at our 50th Reunion

Tom was a much more serious student at Yale than was I, so our socialization was usually only the biggest of weekends. When we were back in Indiana it was another story and we did a lot of things together. Tom’s parents’ home had a great remodeled “rec room,” as they were called back then, and on our vacation breaks and in the summers we’d have our parties there. I’d call him using the same line, “Tom, party tonight.” He respond asking, “Where?” The answer I gave was always the same… ”Your house at 8 o’clock.” Those of you who visited me in Evansville over our college years will recall those affairs, for a visitor was all we need as an excuse to assemble. It was at one of these parties that I brought a friend whose date with a very attractive gal named Sally Fleming. Sally spent most of that evening with Tom in deep conversations and the rest as they say, is history. Sally and Tom had been married for 56 years when he passed away.

We had a nice catch up at our 50th Reunion and I attach a photo that I took of Tom and Sally at that time. One of the best, who will be greatly missed.




Obituary

Thomas Frederick Tresselt died on July 12, 2022 in Hartford Hospital. He was 78. Tom was a basketball star at Evansville Indiana’s Central High school and he would later explain some of the slight inaccuracies of his favorite movie, Hoosier’s. He went on to play for Yale University where, in his Freshman year, he dropped 16 points on Bill Bradley’s Princeton team. Tom graduated in 1965 and went on to the University of Michigan Law School, marrying Sally Fleming on August 6, 1965, a week before becoming a member of Michigan’s Law Review in his 3rd year. He proudly served in the Navy from 1969 to 1971 as Beachmaster, the commanding officer of Beachcommander Unit 2.

After the Navy, Tom and Sally moved to San Francisco where Tom was a litigator for Orrick, Herrington, Rowley & Sutcliffe from 1971 to 1974 and then, “tired of always arguing for a living,” moved back east to Hamden, CT where he was Assistant Dean of Yale Law School from 1974 to 1977. In 1977 he and his family moved to West Hartford to join Shipman & Goodwin where he practiced Corporate Law until 2008, jokingly instructing his kids to refer to a client’s product by it full name, Lego Building Blocks and assorted pieces®. He was a lawyer for more than 35 years, and was married to Sally for just shy of 56.

The amazing influence he had on peoples’ lives came with all of the extras. He started S&G’s March Madness pool with a friend back in the early ’80s, pre-computers, offering extensive round-by-round recaps of the standings, calculated manually, with brackets drawn by hand. He MC-ed years of events at the firm, co-created its award show, The Freddies, and was later the firm’s Diversity Partner.

Extremely active at Asylum Hill Congregational Church, he served as Moderator, was co-chair of the capital campaign, served on the Board of Christian Service, was a Deacon, and performed in the Boar’s Head Festival as a king, log carrier, Beefeater and other roles for nearly 20 years. He even performed with Sally in multiple plays and, unsurprisingly, MC-ed The Follys. Outside of the church, he served on the board of Loaves & Fishes, The American School for the Deaf, and Leadership Greater Hartford–3rd Age Initiative.

Most importantly for everyone in his life, he was wonderful to be around. He lit up the room. Funny, thoughtful, sweet, serious and kind, he was interested in everyone–his friends, his family, and their friends and family. Everyone. His laugh was infectious. He asked all of his questions out of curiosity, love, and a true desire to connect. He fought Alzheimer’s, and at the end of his life his difficulty hearing and finding the words to communicate was heartbreaking, but his humor, kindness and love for his family and friends never diminished. He is survived by his beloved wife, Sally, kids Taylor and Jamie, their families–Christine, Hale and Jackson Tresselt, Nick, Kenzi and Caia Fleischhacker– sisters, Sally Proctor and Polly Hirschberg, Polly’s husband, Bill, a wonderful extended family “on the Fleming side,” as well as a truly remarkable number of friends who are just like family.

A celebration of his life was held at Asylum Hill Congregational Church, 814 Asylum Avenue, Hartford, at 10 AM on Friday, July 22, 2022 (masks required). In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (alzfdn.org) or Asylum Hill Congregational Church (ahcc.org).