An Obituary: Thomas H. Einstein

December 14, 2022

Thomas H. Einstein, 89, died peacefully on Dec. 12, 2022.

Tom’s was a life of languages, logic, numerical concepts, travel, handy-man projects, a love of his family, and an insatiable curiosity for most anything that “made sense.” He had a keen mind and was happy to share his knowledge with anyone, whether about Finland or funerals, economics or engineering, coal gasification, or the power of history.

Tom was born Helmut Stefan Einstein in Berlin, Germany, on Jan. 20, 1933, only 10 days before Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor. The war had a profound impact on his childhood. In 1938, for fear of their son’s safety, Tom’s parents sent him alone to England, where he attended the New Herrlingen School with other refugee children.

Thomas H. Einstein

In November 1939, Albert Einstein signed an affidavit that allowed Tom’s family to immigrate to the United States. He arrived in New York City shortly thereafter, where he was reunited with family.

After graduating from high school in Manchester, NH, Tom attended the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and then the University of New Hampshire. He served eight years in the U.S. Navy, and later obtained a Ph.D. in engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

He was highly respected in his career as a systems analyst at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory and later at Mercury Computer Systems and at Atlantic Aerospace.

Tom’s greatest loves were for his wife, Helen, and his four children from his earlier marriage to Ellen B. Einstein (1929-2021). Tom and Helen married in 1985.

Tom lived in Lexington and was an active member of the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Bedford.

A memorial service will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Bedford. It was Tom’s wish that his family and wide circle of friends, many of whom did not know one another, meet and unite in his memory. The date and time of the service is still to be determined.

Click here to read the complete announcement.

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