Harley E. Tomlinson

harley tomlinson

July 20, 1932 ~ January 6, 2022

Born in: Tunbridge, VT
Resided in: Hamden, CT

Harley E. Tomlinson, 89, of Knob Hill Drive in Hamden, beloved husband of 48 years to the late Joyce E. Tomlinson, passed away on January 6, 2022 after a long illness. He was attended near the end by his youngest son, David Tomlinson, during a brief residence at Connecticut Hospice in Branford.
He was born in Tunbridge, VT July 20, 1932, to the late Seldon U. Tomlinson and Emily C. (Hayden) Tomlinson. He was pre-deceased by a brother, Reginald G. Tomlinson, and 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 adopted-of-heart daughter, Greta Edelman of Cheshire.
Harley’s number one preoccupation was his wife and family, and he spent whatever time away from work he had on quality time with them, including: cross-country trips, picnicking, concerts at the old Oakdale Theater, and lots of vacation time in his Vermont homelands. He took his boys fishing; he taught them archery, how to whittle, right from wrong, and was tirelessly attentive in the course of their upbringing, from variously successful experiments in little league and musical instruction, to YMCA programs like Indian Guides where he forged “Pals Forever” bonds with his sons. He was patient in 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 earned his GED at South Royalton High School (1953) and pursued an academic career, first at Ohio State University, and then the University of Vermont, where he later earned his B.S. in Agriculture (1959), his M.S. in Chemistry (1961), and his Ph.D. 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-‘70s he left the Agricultural Experiment Station for a job in chemistry at The Humphrey Chemical Company in North Haven, where he would focus on industrial safety and remain until his retirement in 1991.
Harley was an active member and deacon for decades at the Mount Carmel Congregational Church in Hamden. He was also an active citizen in town, as 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 its deep and sincerest gratitude to Harley’s caregiver, Quincy Baidoo, recently of Companions and Homemakers, for his selfless devotion and constant attention to Harley in his last years. The family wishes him the very best on his new career path in Christian ministry.
A funeral service will be held at The Mount Carmel Congregational Church in Hamden on Thursday, January 13th at 10:00 a.m. Friends may visit with the family and pay their respects at BEECHER & BENNETT, 2300 Whitney Avenue, Hamden on Wednesday, January 12th from 4:00 – 7:00 PM. Memorial contributions can be made in Harley’s name to The American Cancer Society at www.donate3.cancer.org.


Visitation: January 12, 2022 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Beecher & Bennett Funeral Service - Hamden
2300 Whitney Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518


Funeral Service: January 13, 2022 10:00 am

Mt. Carmel Congregational Church
3284 Whitney Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518


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  1. You left me with the best quote about Heaven I’ve ever heard, and will take it with me all the days of my life. I asked you once, a lot of years ago, what you thought Heaven would be like. You said, “Heaven is imaginable. It’s whatever you imagine it will be.” If you were right, I KNOW you’re with mom right now. Love you Dad.

  2. Dave, Mary Ann and family, we are so sorry for your loss. You are all in our thoughts and prayers!
    Sean and Debbie Schacht

  3. I am filled with immense sadness of the loss of this very precious man. Truly the most kind and patient person I have ever known. Jim , David, Maryann and all your children I am so very sorry for your heartbreak again. Know that I am thinking of you and sending hugs . I believe your mom was waiting with open arms to welcome him home.

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