Thomas Prentice Hyde

Thomas Prentice Hyde

Thomas HydeA loving husband, devoted father, proud grandfather, and beloved doctor for generations of North Berkshire children, Thomas Prentice Hyde lived a life of meaning, purpose and adventure.

Born on September 9, 1943 to Dr. Henry van Zile Hyde and Mrs. Ellen Hyde, Tom grew-up in Bethesda, MD looking-up to his two older siblings, Mr. Henry Hyde of Phoenix, AZ & Ms. Susan Scholl of Pittsford, NY. An energized and life-long learner, Tom fondly remembered sneaking into Washington D.C. as a kid to enjoy lectures at the National Geographic Society and the Smithsonian. Unsurprisingly, pre-teen Tom regularly convinced his parents to drop him and a buddy in the wilds of Shenandoah National Park for unsupervised, multi-day backpacking excursions. From those moments forward, Tom hiked, paddled and bushwhacked through life as an avid outdoorsman. In 1958, Tom followed his older brother Henry to Deerfield Academy, where he graduated in 1961. At Yale University, Tom studied Biology and sang in the Glee Club, graduating cum laude in 1965. While at Harvard Medical School, stars aligned and Tom met Susan Burtch at a Wheelock College mixer, and the two were married in Montreal in 1967. After completing an internship in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins in 1969, Tom served as an officer in the Public Health Service, doing research in infectious disease at the National Institutes of Health. Returning to Massachuestts in 1972, Tom completed his residency at Boston Childrens’ Hospital, and then began his 39 year career at the Williamstown Medical Associates. Moving to Williamstown to raise a family, Tom & Susan chose a beautiful setting with easy access to the outdoor activities Tom loved. An enthusiastic hiker, canoeist, cyclist and skier, Tom instilled his love of the outdoors in his sons, Peter, Andrew and Matthew. Planning increasingly elaborate and remote summer paddling trips in the Adirondacks, Maine and Quebec, Tom loved exploring the natural world and was fearless in taking action to protect it. Tom campaigned relentlessly to save James Bay from a HydroQuebec dam project and he served for many years on the board of the Hoosac River Watershed Association. Tom paddled the river at every opportunity and eagerly shared it with others by leading float trips each spring.

At every turn of his life, Tom cared for others – most notably as a Pediatrician for thousands of families in the Northern Berkshires. Tom volunteered at the Friendship Center Food Pantry, the Northern Berkshire Rx/Heroin Work Group and Berkshire County Sexual Assault Intervention Network. In 2015, the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition honored Tom with the 2015 Northern Berkshire Heroes award. Tom’s wisdom, care and easy rapport with families made him a known and celebrated presence in Williamstown and beyond.

Tom passed away at home on November 27, remaining sweet, graceful and grateful to the end. Predeceased by his middle son, Andrew, Tom leaves behind his wife Susan, brother Henry, sister Susan and his sons Peter and Matthew and their families, including his daughter-in-law Charity, and four grandchildren, Will, Lily, Samuel and Avery. All loved Tom dearly and are so proud of the example he set of a life beautifully lived.

The Hyde family would like to sincerely thank Hospice Care in the Berkshires for the comfort and care they provided Tom and his family in the final weeks. In lieu of flowers, donations in Tom’s honor can be made to the Drew Hyde Memorial Fund (https://yvcf.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/create/fund?funit_id=3277) and/or the Hoosic River Watershed Association (https://hoorwa.org/).