Tom Singleton


Thomas Hall Singleton

Tom, Tommy, Papa Tom, Bop Bop, Singie, Dad, passed away on April 27, 2022 at the age of 83.

Tom  was  born  on  February  16,  1939  in  Evanston, Illinois,  the  son  of  Thomas  Benjamin  and  Kathyrn  Hall Singleton. He spent his childhood in Kenilworth, IL and attended Joseph Sears grade school. He was studious and loved playing football, baseball and golf. After graduating from New Trier Township High in 1957, he went on to Yale    University.    There,    he    was    chosen    to    play quarterback for the Division 1 Bulldogs. In 1960, he led Yale’s  only  Untied/Undefeated  football  team  in  the  last 100 years; it is a record that he and his proud teammates still hold to this day.

After graduating from Yale in 1961, Tom enlisted in the Marine Corps. He was an Officer at Camp Lejeune and later  at  Camp  Pendleton  and  played  for  their  football teams. During his third year of Marine football, Tom was invited by the late great Vince Lombardi to try out for the Green  Bay  Packers.  After  being  honorably  discharged from the Marine Corps in 1965, Tom was offered to sign on  with the  Packers, which  he  humbly did.  However, shortly  thereafter,  he  succumbed  to  a  shoulder  injury during the preseason. Although Coach Lombardi offered him to stay on as defensive half, Tom graciously declined.

In 1966, Tom returned to Chicago to start a career in the pharmaceutical and later, the sporting goods business. It was in Chicago where he met the love of his life, Diane Lally  Singleton,  who  too  was  raised  in  the  Chicago suburbs. They married in 1969 at the Kenilworth Union Church in Kenilworth, IL.

In 1979, Tom accepted a Marketing Director position with Levi Strauss in San Francisco. He and his family moved  to  San  Anselmo,  where  he  and  Diane  would continue to raise their two children. When Tom wasn’t working, he was a devoted family man, rarely missing his children’s sporting or school events. He loved the simple things  in  life,  like  playing  with  his  dogs,  listening  to music,   reading   the   morning   paper,   grilling   in   his backyard, and doting on his grandkids. He had a passion for golfing with his wife and skiing and spending time in Lake Tahoe with his family and friends.

Tom will forever be remembered as the kind, gentle, loyal, compassionate and generous man he was. Always happy and friendly, even to strangers, Tom always saw the positive in everyone and everything. He was a true gentleman,  a  wonderful  listener,  and  a  beautiful  role model for so many. His genuine smile was contagious, and he could make anyone laugh with his quick wit and famous  dinner  table  jokes.  Those  who  knew  Tom absolutely adored him. Although Tom developed many wonderful friendships in the Bay Area, he kept the ones he  made in  high school and college very  close  to his heart,  always  making  a  point  to  visit  them  across  the country or meet up at a Yale Bowl football game every year.

Tom was also a proud Marine, who was honored to be able to serve his country and always made a point to thank the men and women he would see in uniform for their service. Throughout all of Tom’s accomplishments in life, he was most proud of his children and the families they created, the wonderful marriage he had with his wife of 53 years, and the lifelong friendships he had.

Tom leaves behind his best friend and devoted wife, Diane; his adoring children, Matt (Gina) Singleton and Kristin (Chad) Lencioni; and his four beautiful grandchildren, Zoe and Reese Singleton and Cole and Dino Lencioni. Tom was the brother of the late Martha Singleton Ferris and uncle to her children, John (Leslie) Needham and Kathy (Sewell) Hodges. Tom’s cousins, the Dr. Richard Kahler and Dennis Singleton Families, will miss him as well.

We would like to thank the staff at Windchimes Memory Care Facility of Kentfield and Suncrest Hospice for their devoted care for Tom in his last year. They, too, loved Tom  because  he  always  had  a  smile  on  his  face. Additionally, we would like to thank the San Francisco Veteran Association and Sean Stephens with the Marin County Veterans Service Office for his tireless work and dedication to help Veterans like Tom.

Rest in peace, sweet Tom! You were loved by everyone who knew you, and you will forever be with us in our hearts.

A Celebration of Life will be held in the Bay Area at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation (see or  the Wounded  Warrior Project (see

Dear members of the 1960 Yale Undefeated Football Team,

It is with sadness that I have to tell you that Tom passed away yesterday, April 27th.  He fought and lived with Alzheimer’s for almost 8 years, and he did so with his usual style of love, patience, unselfishness, and great sense of humor.

For most of those years, I was able to take care of Tom at home and we led as much of a normal life as this disease and the pandemic would allow.  However, Tom fell in July 2021, and after rehab he was mentally unable to relearn how to walk.  Consequently, I was not able to take care of him at home anymore and I found a wonderful facility, Windchime Memory Care of Kentfield, which is only 7 minutes from our home. My condition for placing Tom there was that I would be considered a “Caregiver” which gave me permission to be with Tom as much as I wanted. This was most unusual for most facilities at this time due to the pandemic.

Tom lived there for 10 months, and I saw him every day to feed him and just be with him.  He was happy, smiled and loved by all the residents and caregivers and he will be missed. As for me,  I am thankful that we shared 53 years of marriage and he will always be the “love of my life and best friend”.

I want you to know that Tom loved his years at Yale and had wonderful memories of his time with all of you.  He was so proud of THE 1960 TEAM, and I am sure he hopes that you will continue to bond and enjoy your friendships as he did with all of you.  I will cherish all of my fond memories with Tom at Yale, especially those gatherings with all of you.



Thoughts from Ben Balme and Bob Blanchard on the passing of Tom Singleton

I think of Tom as a gentle, kind man who was extremely competitive. How can one be named the best football player in New England while still be thought of as kind? Tom over sixty five years of friendship never talked badly about an acquaintance. If he disliked someone, he simply avoided that person. He wouldn’t even engage me in politics avoiding potential conflict.
Competitive, Tom was a competitive joke teller as well as athlete. He was the only person I know who could tell an absolutely awful joke, start laughing before the punch line and get the whole group laughing. I invited Tom to a golf invitational and my fellow members demanded that I invite him back year after year. He was a great horse so that invite was an easy invite.
Some probably don’t know that Tom after three years of Marine football was invited by Vince Lombardi to try out for the Packers. They met at Toots Shor’s where Tom was given $20,000.00 to sign, a huge amount for the time. Tom didn’t beat out Bart Starr (he had a sore shoulder) but Lombardi did ask him to stay on as a defensive half.
Tom was so much to all of us but most of all he was a wonderful friend.
Ben Balme

Tom Singleton recently passed after a long battle with Alzheimers disease. As a longtime friend of Tom’s, I want to say a few words about our classmate, whom many of have remained in touch with all these years.
I met Tom at Freshman football practice in early September of 1957. Back then, 110 or so players turned out for Freshman football each year. Gib Holgate, the Freshman head coach, took an early liking to Tom, who was one of about eight guys trying out for the quarterback position. Although Tom starred at tailback in the single-wing offense for the powerhouse New Trier High School team near Chicago, he adapted quickly to quarterback in the T-Formation at Yale. Just imagine a great running back from a single-wing powerhouse adding his skills to our T-Formation offense in New Haven.

Off the field Tom was a modest guy. He was also known for his wonderful sense of humor, always ready to tell a joke or hear a good one. Tom’s gentle nature off the field belied his amazing talents on the football field where aggressive actions are rewarded.

Tom was a wonderful guy, a great husband to his wife, Diane, and proud father to his son and daughter and his four grandchildren. Skiing out West, near where he lived, was one of his favorite family activities each winter.

Tom was so much more than a great football player. He was a loyal and generous friend and a good listener. He carried a very modest nature with him throughout his life.

It’s no surprise that Tom continued to travel to New Haven each fall with Diane to attend the Princeton or Harvard games in the Yale Bowl. His passion for that place never diminished.

Bob Blanchard


He was a really great guy – very friendly, quick smile, and remarkably humble for the Yale football superstar that he was. He always had time to chat with ordinary classmates at Timothy Dwight. His military service is a testament to his good values when he probably could have milked his notoriety for easy, big bucks. A life well lived!

Tom Tucker