Thomas Chalmers Buchanan III, “Tom,” 89, lately of Bristol, passed away peacefully on Aug. 3 while Beethoven serenaded him into his final sleep. He was blessed to spend his final days in the Sussman House hospice facility in Rockport, surrounded by loving family. His love of church was represented by a trio of clergymen.
Tom was born in Beaver, Penn. on Oct. 16, 1928 to Juliet Bradford and Thomas Buchanan. He attended Mercersburg Academy and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earning a degree in economics. A member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity, his schools and fraternity remained an important connection for him throughout his life. A career man, Tom worked for Milford Rivet and Machine Company in sales and management positions, and later as an operations consultant.
In all of his dwelling places, Tom was very involved in church and social causes. In Milford, Conn. he was a Sunday school teacher and on the Board of Deacons at the Milford Congregational Church. In Orange, Conn. at the Orange Congregational Church he was on the missions board, a trustee, and a member of the church choir, where a courtship led to his marriage to Margaret deMille (Peggy). Retiring in Bristol, Tom was an active member of the Bristol Congregational Church as a Deacon, trustee and missions board member.
Not a particularly demonstrative man, Tom showed his love through his commitment and service to numerous causes. In Milford he was a founding member of Junior Achievement, in Orange he volunteered with the American Field Service, and in Bristol he was a member of Odd Fellows, and supported the Pemaquid Watershed Association, the Damariscotta River Association, CHIP, the Carpenter’s Boat Shop and Caring for Kids. Giving his time and energy to charitable causes gave him purpose and kept him vibrant into his final years. Up until two weeks before his death, Tom was still helping to organize food deliveries for needy families participating in Caring for Kids.
Tom was also passionate about gardening, growing his own food for years. He loved music, opera and choir, singing in the Orange Congregational Church choir, and the University Glee Club. He was especially fond of bagpipes and honored his Scottish roots. An avid traveler, his work with Milford Rivet brought him throughout the U.S. and parts of Europe, and upon retirement he traveled extensively throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Great Britain and the Holy Land.
He loved sports, personally as a golfer, and as a father he encouraged and supported his children in all their sports endeavors. A Pittsburgh everything fan, even with his years in New England territory, he never deviated from his beloved Steelers and Pirates, though he did concede in later years to becoming a Boston Red Sox fan.
He was predeceased by his first wife, Jean Whittlesey Briscoe of New York, N.Y.; and sister, Juliet Sophia Buchanan (Sophie).
He is survived by wife, Margaret deMille (Peggy); sons, Bradford, and Ross; daughter, Susan; stepchildren, Cathy Cheetham and Robert Wardle; and brother and sister-in-law, John and Roberta Buchanan. He held his grandchildren dear to his heart, Marisa and Margo Buchanan, Ian Buchanan, Desiree and James Buchanan, Kimberly Thomas, Brittany Doperalski and Jonathan and Aimee Wardle; as well as six great-grandchildren.
A service will be held at the Congregational Church of Bristol at 2 p.m., Sat., Oct. 13.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Tom’s memory can be made to one of his favorite causes, the Carpenter’s Boat Shop. Donations can be made online at carpentersboatshop.org/support, or mailed to 440 Old County Rd., Pemaquid, ME 04558.
Condolences, and messages for his family, may be expressed by visiting StrongHancock.com.
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main St., Damariscotta.