Longtime Friend and passionate peace advocate Tom Hall, 93, passed away in August 2014 in Bellingham, Washington, with family and friends around him, loving and supporting him. He was an active member of Bellingham Friends Meeting for more than twenty years and previously had been a member of Summit Monthly Meeting in New Jersey and Honolulu Friends Meeting in Hawaii.
Tom habitually wore an FCNL button that said, “War Is Not the Answer.” He generally also had a few in his pocket, and he would give one to anyone who promised to wear it. He was an active member of the Peace and Social Concerns committee in Bellingham for many years, and was often found at the Saturday public market, staffing the Bellingham Friends Meeting table with petitions supporting peace and social justice. Tom also was a active supporter of AFSC, FCNL, and the Friends Committee on Washington Public Policy.
Tom was born in New York City and grew up during the Depression. Despite the loss of his mother to diptheria when he was quite young, and having to change schools many times before graduation, he excelled academically (as did his brother Bill, with whom he shared a close relationship). Shortly after high school, Tom attended college and medical school at Harvard, graduating with an M.D. magna cum laude in 1949.
One of the founders of American Medical Oncology, Tom’s long career included medical research, teaching positions at many institutions (including fifteen years at Harvard Medical School), guest lectures, oncological practice and the founding/directing of cancer care centers around the country and in Vancouver, B.C. In his lifetime, he wrote over two hundred scientific articles, forty-three chapters in medical books, and eight medical textbooks and monographs.
A Quaker, Tom was a passionate lifelong advocate of peace and justice. In this he learned early on from a Methodist family who walked their talk, or, as Tom would say, “demonstrated the behavioral equivalent of consciousness.” In WWII, as a conscientious objector he refused to register for the draft and served an 18-month sentence in federal prison. There he was punished with solitary confinement for refusing racial segregation in the food line.
After having lived on the East Coast, the West Coast, and in Hawaii, Tom enjoyed life in Bellingham starting in 1992. There, he initiated the local Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial, was medical director for several years at Whatcom Hospice, and was a dedicated member of the Bellingham Friends Meeting.
He and his wife Lorina traveled regularly all over the US and Canada visiting family and friends, as well as abroad. One recent awe-inspiring trips was to Kenya and Tanzania. There they visited with a Canadian friend working in Kenya, and came to love the animals, birds, vastness and colors of the Serengeti.
Tom loved classical music concerts and the opera, and on his weekly calendar for many years was a lecture/discussion with the Bellingham ROMEOS (Retired Old Men Eating Out).
Tom is survived by his wife Lorina; children Chrissy, Tam, Seth, Amity (Chris), Bronwen, Nate, Jinny and Nicholas; grandchildren Jacob (Maya), Monty, Jerusha, April (Steve), Ian, Khepri (Bobbie), Jake (Heather), and Nate Jr. (Michelle); and great-grandchildren Adam, Thane, Theia, Aksil, Elijah, Mary Sophia, Greyson, and Penny.
In his memory, donations are welcome at Hospice House Foundation, 2901 Squalicum Pkwy, Bellingham, WA 98225; and the American Friends Service Committee, 1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA 19102.