Remembering Thomas Bartlett

Tom Bartlett was an IEEE staff member for nearly 50 years

23 September 2013
Obit Bartlett Photo: IEEE

Thomas Bartlett, who retired in 1993 as chief financial officer, passed away after a brief illness on 10 August. While only a few on the current IEEE Board of Directors knew him, to me—an AIEE and IEEE volunteer and former IEEE treasurer—Tommy was a good friend, a passionate and dedicated worker, and a very positive mentor and influence. Any questions, whether simple or complex, were answered promptly, thoroughly, and politely.

There is no doubt that Tom will be fondly remembered by all of the volunteers and coworkers he worked with for his generous smile, his helpful and friendly attitude, his thoroughness, and his ability to understand and work with volunteers.

When commenting on him as a dedicated staff member, I have to enlighten all of you to just how passionate and dedicated Tommy was. Tom started in the mailroom of AIEE on 11 February 1946. While working full time, he took night classes for eight years and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Pace College (now Pace University), in New York City.

He spent his early years with our organization at several New York City locations until 1987, when IEEE moved its Operations Center to Piscataway, N.J. He then made the daily commute from East Northport, on Long Island in New York, to Piscataway for six years. Many mornings he left his home around 4 a.m. and drove the 90 to 100 miles [145 to 160 kilometers] in all types of weather. He then made the return trip in the evening, often arriving home at 7 or 8 p.m. It may sound a little crazy to some, but you cannot deny the dedication! He was one of a kind.

I am not the only one who recognized Tom’s commitment to IEEE. In 2006, he was honored with the first Eric Herz Staff Award, for “developing and implementing, during his 47 years of service, financial management systems that contributed uniquely to growth and achievements of IEEE.”

After holding many supervisory and management positions within the organization, he retired in August 1993. In retirement, he turned his dedication to the Christ Lutheran Church of East Northport, where he was involved on a daily basis in the operations and financial aspects of the church, all the while spending quality time with his family.

He was married to Elaine (deceased in 2002), and is survived by two sons, Scott and Glenn, and seven grandchildren—four boys and three girls. Tom desired that no obituary be published, and his family honored that wish but it was important to me to let the worldwide IEEE community know about his passing. They suggest that anyone desiring to send a gift in Tom’s memory do so, either to the American Cancer Society or to the Christ Lutheran Church, 189 Burr Road, East Northport, NY, 11731.

To learn more about Bartlett’s career and contributions to AIEE and IEEE, a very interesting oral history is available courtesy of the IEEE History Center.

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