Longtime St. Mark's faculty member Thomas Crane Wales died on Thursday, February 21, 2019. He was 91.
Tom Wales arrived on the St. Mark's campus in the autumn of 1949. Wales, a 1944 graduate of Milton Academy, spent two years in the military before attending Harvard. Receiving his degree in June of 1949, Tom Wales came to Southborough just three months later. He was the first of what would become known as "the great Barber faculty" hired by the-then 39-year-old headmaster William Wyatt Barber Jr. '28.
Wales was brought on board to teach chemistry, and he would become actively involved with the Scientific Society at St. Mark's, working with many students in projects involving crystal growth, the development of high frequency transmitters to operate remotely guided missiles, research into rocket science, experiments in hematology, and advanced photography techniques, among other endeavors. Demonstrating his versatility, Wales would also teach the advanced Studies in Education course offered by the School. He would serve for a time as acting science department chair, overseeing laboratory expansion in the science wing and the completion of an astronomical observatory. Tom Wales also held the position of college advisor at St. Mark's for a time, facilitating the expansion of College Board testing for both V and VI Formers in the early 1960s.
By then, Mr. Wales was also teaching mathematics, and by the early 1970s he was chairing the math department. Appropriately, he would be named the first recipient of the William Wyatt Barber Jr. Faculty Chair, named for the first of eight headmasters/heads of school under which he would serve. In the fall of 1976, Tom Wales became Senior Master at St. Mark's, an honor he would hold until his formal retirement from full-time teaching in June of 1997. Still, he remained involved with St. Mark's for a few more years as a part-time tutor, and thus became the first person ever to work at St. Mark's—full-time and part-time—for 50 years.
A much-beloved member of the St. Mark's faculty, his many students attest that his teaching was demanding, but caring and inspired. A Fulbright Scholar, Wales was particularly interested in math, filling many notebooks with formulaic equations that his family fully admired.
Tom was predeceased by his wife Sonia "Sunny" (Douglas), and his sons Richard and Thomas Wales. He is survived by his daughter Katharine "Kitty" Wales and her husband, Matthew Miner, along with numerous grandchildren, step-grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces, and their families.
A Memorial Service will be held on -Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 11:00 am in the Bigelow Chapel, Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mt. Auburn Street, in Cambridge MA. For directions or to leave an online condolence, please visit www.keefefuneralhome.com.