Harley E. Tomlinson, 89, of Knob Hill Drive in Hamden, husband of 48 years of the late Joyce E. Tomlinson, died on January 6, 2022 after a long illness. He was assisted towards the end by his youngest son, David Tomlinson, during a brief residency at the Connecticut Hospice in Branford.
He was born in Tunbridge, VT, on July 20, 1932, to the late Seldon U. Tomlinson and Emily C. (Hayden) Tomlinson. He was predeceased by a brother, Reginald G. Tomlinson, and a sister, Shirley A. Castagner. He is survived by his sisters, Lilla M. Woodard of South Royalton, VT and Miriam M. Gover of Ludlow, MA; his eldest son James A. Tomlinson of Prospect, his youngest son David J. Tomlinson and his wife Mary Anne of Cheshire; four grandchildren, Robert Harley Tomlinson and his wife Rachel of Gainesville, GA, Scott Philip Tomlinson and his wife Emily of Suwanee, GA, Faith Elizabeth Tomlinson of Hamden and Nathan Shea Tomlinson of Cheshire; great-granddaughter, Harley Anne Tomlinson of Gainesville, GA; and his loving-hearted adopted daughter, Greta Edelman of Cheshire.
Harley’s number one concern was his wife and family, and he spent all the time away from work he had quality time with them, including: trips across the country, picnics, concerts to the old Oakdale theater and vacation lots in his Vermont homelands. He took his boys fishing; he taught them archery, how to trim, right from wrong, and was tirelessly mindful throughout their upbringing, from variously successful experiences in little league and music education, to YMCA programs like Indian Guides where he forged “Pals Forever” bonds with his sons. He was patient to the extreme.
Harley left high school early and joined the United States Air Force, serving in its medical corps during the Korean conflict. After being honorably discharged, he obtained his GED at South Royalton High School (1953) and pursued an academic career, first at Ohio State University, then at the University of Vermont, where he then obtained his BS in agriculture (1959), his MS in Chemistry (1961), and his doctorate. in botany (1965). He moved the family from Burlington, VT to Hamden, CT in 1965 to pursue a career in botany at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven. In the mid-1970s he left the Agricultural Experiment Station for a chemistry job at The Humphrey Chemical Company in North Haven, where he focused on industrial safety and remained until his retirement in 1991.
Harley has been an active member and deacon for decades at the Mount Carmel Congregational Church in Hamden. He was also an active citizen of the city, as a past president of the Mount Carmel Civic Association. He was a member of the Vermont 251 Club and the Connecticut Genealogical Society.
The family would like to express their deep and sincere gratitude to Harley’s caregiver, Quincy Baidoo, recently of Companions and Homemakers, for his selfless dedication and constant attention to Harley over her later years. The family wish him the best in his new career in Christian ministry.
A funeral service will be held at the Mount Carmel Congregational Church in Hamden on Thursday, January 13 at 10:00 am. Friends can visit family and pay homage to BEECHER & BENNETT, 2300 Whitney Avenue, Hamden on Wednesday, Jan. 12 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Memorial contributions can be made on Harley’s behalf to the American Cancer Society at www.donate3.cancer.org. For more information or to send your condolences, see the obituary at www.beecherandbennett.com.
Posted by The New Haven Register on January 8, 2022.