Thomas M. Galvin, age 79, of West Quincy, a retired business executive and Quincy city historian, died June 22, 2018.
Born in Boston on May 17, 1939, Tom was the eldest son of the late Thomas M. and Margaruite C. (Johnson) Galvin of Wollaston. He was the husband of his high school sweetheart Judith (Murphy) Galvin with whom he shared 57 years of marriage. In addition to his wife Judy he is survived by three sons; Thomas M. Galvin and his wife Cynthia, Scott J. Galvin and his wife Janet and Sean W. Galvin and his wife Kathleen all of Quincy. He is also survived by his five cherished granddaughters: Kaitlyn, Jessica, Shannon, Victoria and Julia. He was the brother of Harold A. Galvin of Vero Beach, Florida and Quincy. He was predeceased by his siblings Judith C. Galvin, Kevin A. Galvin, Marcia J. Farrell, John W. Galvin and Cheryl E. Stokinger.
Tom was raised in Wollaston and Norfolk Downs and graduated from North Quincy High School in 1956. In his youth he had been a soda jerk at Baker’s Drug store and a pin boy in local bowling alleys as well as a newspaper boy and a golf caddy.
He began his over four decade long professional career at the Boston Gear Works in Norfolk Downs as a timekeeper and data processor. Over time he rose to senior management and executive positions leading the venerable industrial manufacturing company into the computer age. Two decades before the internet was established Tom combined telephony and computer technology (IT) to pioneer electronic business-to-business commerce between Boston Gear and its nationwide network of independently owned industrial distributors. He also developed a complex product configuration and ordering system using ground-breaking IT concepts for which he was awarded a United States patent. His varied career spanned a total of 43 years when he retired from the company as a vice president in 1999.
Tom was a member of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce and served as president and chairman of the board. He was a fixture at the Chamber’s Board of Director meetings for over 30 years. He also was the founding president and chairman of the board of the Quincy 2000 Corporation, which has become the Quincy Chamber of Commerce.
He was a long time member of the Quincy Rotary Club and a recipient of Rotary’s distinguished Paul Harris Fellow Award, and as such was committed to Rotary’s ideal of community service. He was a founding member of the Quincy Partnership, a past trustee of the Quincy Historical Society and a director of Quincy College Courses, Inc. He was a passionate student of Quincy’s history and was widely known for his collection of antique Quincy postcards which he shared for over twenty years in his weekly Scenes from Yesterday column in The Quincy Sun newspaper, as well as in historical slide lectures throughout the city. He was chairman of the city of Quincy‘s Cemetery Board of Managers and for many years he led interpretive tours of the city’s historic Mount Wollaston Cemetery. For his commitment to sharing his knowledge of Quincy’s history he was appointed city historian by Mayor Thomas Koch.
Besides his passion for Quincy’s history Tom loved his morning walks, Quincy granite, Strauss waltzes, his courtyard garden, his library, railroad trains, clocks, a good steak, beer and cigars, but especially he loved his wife Judy.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend the visiting hours on Monday 4-8 PM in the Keohane Funeral Home, 785 Hancock St., QUINCY. A Celebration of Life Service will be held in the funeral home at 9:45 AM on Tuesday prior to the Funeral Mass in Sacred Heart Church, Quincy at 10:30 AM. Burial in Mt. Wollaston Cemetery, Quincy.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Tom may be made to the Quincy Rotary Scholarship Thomas M. Galvin Quincy history award, PO Box 2178, Quincy MA 02269-2178.