Thomas F. Kelleher, Jr.
78, of Winchester, formerly of Somerville, passed away April 14, 2020 in the home he shared with his devoted wife and best friend, Claire.
Loving husband for 47 years of Claire (Sugden); devoted and proud father of son, Ian Michael and wife, Christine Cronin, and of daughter, Amanda Hart and fiancé Harriss Brower; adoring Papa of grandsons, Wynston Charles and Rowan Thomas (Kelleher), all of Winchester. Beloved son of the late Thomas F. and Katherine (Quinn) Kelleher. Dear brother of Nancy and husband Robert McCallum of Reading, Rita and husband Frank Swadel of Medford, Mary and late husband Peter Mooney of Laconia, NH, Richard of Somerville (predeceased), and Kathleen Pacheco of Malden (predeceased). Tom was also uncle to his many nieces and nephews; he loved watching them grow up and come into their own.
Tom was a self-made man and entrepreneur. He worked his way up in the publishing industry to become the Publisher and CEO of Faber & Faber, Inc. Initially hired to lead U.S. distribution for British publisher, Faber & Faber Ltd., he immediately developed a vision for a new American subsidiary that would publish uniquely American works. His ambition quickly became reality. During his eighteen years with Faber, Tom enjoyed working with many authors and poets including Seamus Heaney, Tom Stoppard, and Ted Hughes.
As he neared retirement, Tom’s entrepreneurial spirit was still strong. In the next phase of his life, he identified a need for high quality childcare in his community. After extensive research, he developed a plan. Together with his partner, they founded Creative Corner School in Winchester. The school has been serving families in the community for twenty years.
A dedicated student of life, Tom was always reading; he listened, observed, he took things apart to see what made them work (literally), and then challenged it all until he fully understood. He could talk about anything under the sun and when he didn’t know something, Tom was brilliant at using his imagination in order to make sure he wouldn’t drop out of the conversation. He loved his fast cars, fishing in his bass boat, listening to music, watching birds, yelling like a madman at the news, playing Sudoku, relishing in a good debate, and telling stories and tales of his childhood growing up in Somerville.
For all of Tom’s accomplishments and interests, at his very core he was a family-man. He always said that whatever good he achieved as a man was because of his wife, Claire. His children and grandchildren brought him limitless joy and pride. He loved family gatherings at his son’s, which sometimes evolved into a full dance party with the grandchildren. His greatest gift to his family was the profound way he expressed to each of them how much they were loved and how he would always be there for them no matter where he was.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, all services will be private. A celebration of Tom’s life will be held at a later date. Donations can be made to Massachusetts Audubon Society. For complete obituary and guestbook, visit www.lanefuneral.com