Thomas Vasil, 86, of Lincoln, Massachusetts, died peacefully on January 2, 2023, after a long illness. His final weeks were at home, surrounded by all of his family.
Born in Brockton, Massachusetts to Harry and Sylvia Lempi Vasil, Thomas was the youngest of three sons and a member of a large and loving family. His teachers in Brockton nurtured his talent as a singer early on and encouraged him to pursue a career in music. At their encouragement, his father allowed him to sing in the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Men and Boys Choir, in Brockton, planting the seeds of faith that sustained him and his family all his life.
He met Nancy, his beloved wife when he was just 16 years old. They dated for seven years before being married in 1959. Nancy and Tom had three daughters, Beth Anne, Cheryl, and Cynthia.
Tom was the first in his family to attend college. He received a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut in Storrs.
Tom worked as a public school music teacher for several years, landing a job as the Director of Music in Concord, Massachusetts at the age of 32. He was so young to get such a prestigious job that it made the Boston Globe! While studying at the University of Connecticut, he was hired as a lecturer and later a professor where he taught Music Education for 28 years. His passion was choral music, and he conducted many choirs over the years. In Tom’s retirement, he became the Director of the Cape Cod Opera and taught voice lessons at the Academy of Music in Orleans, Massachusetts. His music career touched the lives of many, serving as a mentor to countless students, his daughters, and grandchildren.
Tom was also a person of deep faith, and served the churches he joined in many roles, especially at St. Mark’s Chapel in Storrs, Connecticut where he and Nancy were members for 28 years. He also served the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut in several leadership roles. Summers on the Cape included Sundays at St. James’ the Fisherman, a summer chapel in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. In his retirement, he and his wife Nancy built a home in Orleans, Massachusetts and they jumped into life at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit in Orleans. He was the Senior Warden for a time and helped the church through some stressful times of transition.
Later on, Tom and Nancy decided they needed a more temperate climate, and enjoyed several years living just off of Hilton Head Island in Bluffton, South Carolina. They immediately sought out the local church, and Tom began to conduct one of the local choirs. Tom and Nancy moved to Lincoln, Massachusetts in 2016 to be close to family as their health declined, and became members of All Saints’ Church in Belmont, where their daughter Cheryl and her husband Paul serve as Co-Rectors. Always finding ways to serve, he also provided music for a short time at a weekly service at the Commons in Lincoln where they lived.
Tom’s real passion, however, was his family. He was devoted to each of his daughters, and the way he loved and cared for his wife Nancy, particularly in these last years, was an inspiration to everyone who knew them. When his youngest daughter, Cynthia, lost her husband Chris, Tom and Nancy stepped in to care for her and her three young children for several years, even moving to North Carolina for a few years. They were overjoyed when Cynthia remarried, and they embraced her new family.
Tom was blessed to know each of his grandchildren (8!), spending wonderful days on his boat in Pleasant Bay in Chatham, or on the beautiful beaches of the lower Cape. He loved attending their performances or athletic events, graduations, and more, reveling in their successes. He was blessed to be at the weddings of the two oldest grandchildren and was thrilled when two great-grandchildren, Rory and Clara, came along.
Tom is survived by his wife Nancy, daughters Beth Anne (Bryan) Young, Cheryl (Paul) Minor, Cynthia (David) Branch, grandchildren Rachel-Anne (Tristan) Rose, Jeremy (Ainsley) Young, John Thomas Minor, Benjamin Young, Nicholas Plumb, Stacy Plumb, Grace Young, Lily Branch, great-grandchildren Rory Young and Clara Rose, and many beloved nieces and nephews.
Visitation hours will be held on January 6, 2023, from 4 pm - 7 pm at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Belmont, Massachusetts. A Burial Mass will be held at All Saints’ Church on Saturday, January 7, 2023, at 4:00 pm, at 17 Clark Street in Belmont, MA, 02478. The service will be live-streamed on All Saints’ Facebook page and YouTube channel. A reception will follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to All Saints’ Church’s Memorial Fund.
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