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Serving Dane County since 1922.

Thomas Lessie

December 14, 1936 May 5, 2018
Thomas Lessie
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Obituary for Thomas Lessie

MADISON--Tom Lessie, age 81, passed away on May 5, 2018, at home. He was born December 14, 1936, in New York City, the son of Thomas and Marie Lessie.Tom attended Brooklyn Technical High School. At Queens College he majored in chemistry and biology. Tom received a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences at Harvard University in 1963. Postdoctoral studies took him to Oxford University, the University of Washington, and Purdue University. For most of his career, Tom did research in bacterial physiology and taught microbiology as a professor at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. He especially enjoyed mentoring graduate students. After retiring in 2002, he and Pat moved to Madison.Tom met his future wife Pat while at Harvard. She was an undergraduate in a class where Tom was the teaching assistant. Tom was a generous, loving husband and father. He treasured his time with his grandchildren. The family will especially miss his wit and curiosity.Tom is survived by his brother Douglas; and by his wife Pat; three children, Erica, Todd, and Robin; and seven grandchildren.The family will gather for a private celebration of life. We are grateful for his excellent care from the Carbone Cancer Center and Agrace HospiceCare. Memorial donations may be made to Attic Angel Association, Agrace HospiceCare, or a charity of your choice. Online condolences may be made at

Gunderson West
Funeral & Cremation Care
7435 University Avenue

Memorial Contribution

Agrace HospiceCare

5395 E. Cheryl Parkway
Fitchburg, WI 53711

Charity of your choice

Attic Angel Association

640 Junction Road
Madison, WI 53717

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