Obituary: Thomas D. “Tom” Hartnett
Long time Groton resident, Army Veteran, former Treasurer & Tax Collector, Finance Committee member, Board of Selectman, Trust Commissioner of the Groton Trust, Sewer Commissioner and Treasurer of the Groton Cemetery and longtime Volunteer Thomas D. “Tom”Hartnett, 80, of Groton, Massachusetts passed away peacefully on December 26, 2017 after a very brief illness, surrounded by his family. He is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years Norma Jean (Thornton); Sons and Spouses: David Thomas and Nancy Ann, Douglas John and Patricia Lynn; Grandchildren: Andrew James and Chelsea Elizabeth; Brother and Family: Francis “Frank,” Gertrude, Kathy, Michael and Sandra and extended family members. He joins in Spirit his loving parents Francis Hartnett and Marguerite (Jones) Hartnett, Daughter Elizabeth, Brother John and Nephew Francis Jr.
Tom was born on May 22, 1937 in Salem Massachusetts. He lived for a brief time in Philadelphia before his father Francis moved the family back to Massachusetts to establish the Hartnett Tanning Company in Ayer, purchasing a home in Groton where Tom set his roots in the community.
At an early age, Tom grew to love the uniqueness of Groton that would ultimately be his lifelong home. He met his beloved wife Norma at Groton High School and they married soon after graduation.
After high school Tom joined the U.S. Army where he was assigned to serve in the Company B - Ski Troops in Fairbanks, Alaska. During his service he proudly competed against his fellow soldiers to win the Company’s Biathlon race and its coveted prize, a three-day pass. He was Honorably Discharged and returned to West Groton to raise his family.
Tom attended Bentley College and received a degree in Accounting and Finance. Upon graduation he worked as an Accountant at Mead Corp., and Accounting Manager at LFE Corp. A career change led Tom to work with his brother Frank at Nashoba Publications in Pepperell for many years, leading the advertising team and helping the business grow in the developing region.
After establishing his own accounting and tax consulting practice, Hartnett Accounting, Tom turned his attention to the community he so loved. He served as a member of the Groton Finance Committee and in 1990 was elected Groton Treasurer and Tax Collector. Upon retiring from this position, Tom was elected to the Groton Board of Selectmen, serving as Chairman for a time before stepping down to serve other important roles for the Town including Trust Commissioner for The Groton Trust Funds, Groton Sewer Commissioner, Treasurer for the Groton Cemetery, and volunteer at the Groton Senior Center leading his “Talk with Tom” series. He loved these positions, as he was able to connect to the many residents of Town, often serving as an advisor and confidant to those who sought his guidance. He was loved by many and a friend to all in the community.
Tom had many interests. He loved watching old Westerns, listening to Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin, vacationing in Maine and Cape Cod, and traveling to watch his grandchildren’s many sports and music activities. He loved the Patriots and Red Sox, but golf was his favorite. He played in many charity golf events, even playing a hole with the legendary PGA Champion Sam Snead. Later in life for exercise he would take walks around town with his lifelong friend John Sheedy.
Tom will be greatly missed by family and friends. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the “Thomas D. Hartnett Memorial Scholarship Fund” c/o Town of Groton Treasurer’s Office, 173 Main Street, Groton, MA. 01450. Please see www.mcgaffiganfuneral.com.