MERIDEN — A former longtime principal at Thomas Hooker School will be remembered for dedicating much of his life to teaching children in the community and giving back through various civic and church organizations.
Thomas Hall, 82, of Cheshire, died on Nov. 22.
Born in Brockton, Massachusetts, in 1935, Hall attended Boston University, Bridgewater State College, and the University of Hartford before starting a 34-year career in education at Meriden Public Schools. Hall taught elementary and middle school before becoming principal of Thomas Hooker School, a position he held for 23 years until his retirement in 1992.
”I think of my profession – which I think is the most honorable profession in the world – as an extension of my whole commitment to life,” Hall told the Record-Journal in 1992.
Hall’s son, Mark, recalled being a student at Thomas Hooker while his father was principal and being held to a higher standard along with his siblings. His father never hesitated to pull his brother out of the lunch line or put an end to hallway shenanigans with a stern look. At his father’s wake, Mark Hall said a former student shared that Hall had taught him the importance of learning and respect, which was key to his success later in life.
For his children, Hall’s lessons extended outside the classroom.
“Everything he did, there was a lesson involved,” Mark Hall said. “He was always teaching us. There were always reasons behind all of his decisions that made a lot of sense and were practical.”
Hall’s wife of 52 years, Margaret Hall, said the call to service was ingrained in her husband, who also volunteered with a variety of church and civic organizations, including the Meriden Kiwanis Club and the Meriden Record-Journal Scholarship Program’s selection committee.
”He was a giving guy,” Margaret Hall said. “He liked to be active and he liked to feel he was contributing toward his community and he did all the year.”
Mayor Kevin Scarpati gave his condolences to Hall’s family, saying an educator’s impact on children in the community is “immeasurable.”
”Anybody who dedicates a great deal of time in their life to our youth, our education, is certainly someone who has given back time and time again to our community and will be missed,” Scarpati said. “Meriden has lost an educator who gave so much to this community and that shouldn't be forgotten.”
Hall’s family will be looking to establish a scholarship in his name to benefit a Meriden student.