Thomas Vincent Firth


Died January 21, 1988

College: Calhoun

Widow: Mrs. Thomas V. Firth
Address Not Available
Children: Charles, 1969; Catherine, 1974

The son of Charles Vincent Firth and Edith Schmitt Firth, Tom Firth was born December 10, 1939. He attended Washburn High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and came to Yale on an academic scholarship.

Tom was an Honors English major and a member of Phi Gamma Delta. His residential college was Calhoun, where he roomed with classmates Jim Carroll and Lynn Johnson. Tom played on Calhoun’s football, softball, and hockey teams, captained the Calhoun hockey team in 1959, and chaired the Calhoun College Council in his senior year.

Writing the Calhoun College essay for the 1961 Class Book, Tom wrote with characteristic thoughtfulness and perception about the residential college experience: “Our class…has found itself bound together simply because we have lived in the same place and because we’ve learned about each other. It hasn’t been easy! ….That’s what Calhoun has meant to us: a group of people with whom we can waste time, exchange ideas, and talk over courses, women, New Haven weather, or any other imaginable subject.

“If we have learned the theory of a liberal education in the classroom, in Calhoun we have practiced it. We have formed friendships…and we have accepted others quite different from us…because they were interesting and because they had something to give us as we to them.”

After Yale, Tom returned to his home state to complete his law degree at the University of Minnesota. He later added an LLM in International Law from New York University. He clerked with a judge, worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce and for General Mills before going into sole practice in business law back in Minneapolis.

Tom married Katherine Perrizo in 1966. Their son, Charles, was born in 1969 and their daughter, Catherine, in 1974. Tom Firth, our classmate and friend, died January 21, 1988.

—by Lynn Johnson