Thomas Patrick ” Tom ” Hester thumbnail

Thomas Patrick Hester

November 20, 1937 - November 4, 2017

Thomas Patrick (Tom) Hester passed away on November 4, 2017, in Hendersonville, North Carolina, in the mountains he loved, surrounded by his family – his junior high sweetheart and wife of 57 years, and his three beloved children. Although we will miss him, we are comforted knowing his was a life well lived and a gre…read more

Thomas Patrick (Tom) Hester passed away on November 4, 2017, in Hendersonville, North Carolina, in the mountains he loved, surrounded by his family – his junior high sweetheart and wife of 57 years, and his three beloved children. Although we will miss him, we are comforted knowing his was a life well lived and a great adventure until the end.

Tom was Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on November 20, 1937, to Elmo Patrick and Josephine Layton Hester. He spent his early years in Glendale, California, Houston, Texas, and Ponca City, Oklahoma, where he graduated from Ponca City High School in 1955.

Tom served in the US Army from 1956 to 1958, then graduated from Officer Candidates School and served in the reserves.  He received his honorable discharge as a Captain in the  Judge Advocate General’s Corps. ”Soldier first, lawyer always.”

In 1960, Tom graduated from the University of Oklahoma, where he was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.  Later, at the OU law school, Tom was elected Editor in Chief of the Law Review and became a member of the Order of the Coif.

After graduating law school in 1963, Tom started his legal career with the McAfee Taft law firm in Oklahoma City.  In 1966, he began what would become a thirty-year legal career in the Bell System.  A rapid series of promotions brought Tom and his family to St. Louis, MO; New York, NY; Washington, DC; Springfield, IL; and Chicago, IL, where Tom ended his Bell System career as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Ameritech.  After retiring from Ameritech in 1997, Tom was Counsel at Mayer, Brown & Platt in Chicago and served as interim General Counsel for both Sears, Roebuck and Co., and FMC Corporation.

An avid outdoorsman, Tom was appointed by the governor of Illinois to chairmanship of the Illinois Natural Resources Advisory Board.  In addition, Tom was chairman of the Illinois Taxpayer Federation; a trustee of the Art Institute of Chicago; and a member of the Board of Directors of the Michigan Bell Telephone Corporation. Tom was active in the churches to which he belonged and was most recently on the Board of Trustees at the Naples United Church of Christ.

Tom had diverse interests.  He embraced new technologies all of his life.  For many years, he enjoyed boating on Lake Michigan. He drew great pleasure from spending time with his golfing buddies in Flat Rock, NC, Hinsdale, IL, and Naples, FL., and, not too long ago, made two holes in one in less than a year. He was an avid and deep student of history, touring innumerable battlefields and other historic sites around the world. And, needless to say, Tom had a true passion for his alma mater, the University of Oklahoma, and all things Sooner.

Tom believed his greatest legacy was his family.  He leaves behind his loving wife Nancy Belle (nee Scofield), and children Thomas Patrick (Kim), Ann Scofield (Cornelius), and John Layton (Heather). He adored his seven grandchildren:  Emily Ann, Kayleigh Ann, Connor Thomas, Grace Scofield, Matthew Layton, Caroline Belle, and Peter Fox. He is also survived by his sister Mary; his nieces Marsha, Paula, Caren; and his nephew Patrick.  Not to be overlooked is the love he had for his hunting companions Rosie and Abigail, and his Yorkie, Chester.

Tom was a true gentleman and will be remembered for his quick wit, his astute and interesting observations, and his loyalty to and love for his family, friends, and associates.

Services will be held on December 2nd at the Union Church of Hinsdale, Illinois at 11am. A reception will follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Wounded Warrior Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org) or the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation (www.carcinoid.org).

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Service Information

Service Information

Date: Saturday, December 2, 2017

Time: 11:00 am

Union Church of Hinsdale, Hinsdale, Illinois



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