Thomas H. Nevers ’47

Thomas H. Nevers ’47 died on April 14, 2015, in Mansfield Center, Connecticut.

(The following appeared in The Hartford Courant on Apr. 17, 2015):

Thomas Nevers, 89, of Mansfield Center, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 14, 2015. He was predeceased by his adored wife, Nancy (Champagne) and his much loved son, John. Tom was born in Watertown, CT on November 11, 1925 to Margaret (Ganavage) and Francis Neverdauski, where he lived until attending a semester at Bowdoin College. He entered the U.S. Army during this semester and was a member of the 10th Mountain Division and then the 605th Field Artillery Battalion where he served in the Philipines. Upon discharge Tom married Nancy, the love of his life, and they moved to Storrs, CT where Tom attended UCONN and received a bachelors degree in Education. While at UCONN Tom was an outstanding athlete, as he had been throughout his high School days. He was one of the last three-sport athletes, lettering in basketball, track, and soccer, and playing on the unbeaten, untied, 1948 national champion soccer team. After receiving a master’s degree from the University of West Virginia, Tom took a job in 1950 at Nathan Hale Ray High School in Moodus, CT teaching Social Studies and coaching baseball, basketball, and soccer. A true innovator in his approach to coaching soccer, Tom’s teams won seven state titles in ten years. In 1958, the ‘Little Noises’ not only won the state championship, but, were unbeaten, untied, and unscored upon, prompting sportswriters to dub them ‘The Zero Boys’. Tom moved on in 1961 as a professor at Eastern Connecticut State University (then Willimantic State Teachers College) where he coached basketball, golf, and his beloved soccer. Fourteen successive winning seasons ensued with the 1968 and 1969 teams unbeaten through regular season, conference, and regional postseason play, and placing third and fourth in national championship play. Tom had great love, respect, interest in all his ball players and was very proud of the men they became. Tom was the recipient of many accolades; fields have been named in his honor in Moodus, CT and at Eastern Connecticut State University, he was the Gold Key honoree by the Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance, and he is a member of the Nathan Hale Ray, Watertown Gold Circle, and Connecticut Soccer Halls of Fame. Tom was a founder of the CT Traumatic Brain Injury Support Group, served on the State of CT Developmental Disabilities Council, and was honored by former Governor Lowell P. Weicker who designated ‘Tom Nevers Day’ in the state of Connecticut. Tom’s love of sport and his competitive nature was with him throughout his life and he became an avid golfer, being a member of the Willimantic Country Club for decades. Tom was an honorable man with an innate sense of fair play who always stood up for the underdog. He had a terrific sense of humor and loved to tease and joke with anyone he met, stranger or friend. He loved the Boston Red Sox and, just as in his golfing, always had several wagers going with whomever would bet with him. A true character, Tom was known around town for wearing shorts year round, so “the ladies can appreciate my legs” he claimed. Tom will be so greatly missed by his family and friends. He is survived by his sister, Susan Blais and her husband, Art, of Watertown, CT and was predeceased by his sisters Marcie and Mary, and his brother Francis. He leaves his daughter Rebecca and her husband Doug Fellows of Farmington, CT, his sons Tom of Mansfield, CT, and Dave of Brewster, MA. He also leaves his grandchildren, who called him ‘OGO’ (O Gracious One); Mike Fellows and his wife Jenn of Hagerstown, MD, Johnna and her husband Steve Gluth of New York, NY, Nancy Fellows and her fiancé James Gilbert of Thomaston, CT, Peter Fellows and his wife Kate of Bristol, CT, Tom Nevers Jr of Stamford, CT, and Jeffrey Nevers of Brewster, MA, as well as three great grandchildren; Leana, R.J., and Greyson. He is also survived by his best friend and caregiver, Maryanne Esidore and her husband Chris, of Scotland, CT.