5/20/11 12:06PM | 1984 views
J. Thomas West 71, of Westport
Retired computer engineer
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J. Thomas “Tom” West 71, of Westport, died suddenly Thursday, May 19, 2011 at his home. Prior to retirement, Mr. West was chief technologist at Data General Corporation.

He was a graduate of Amherst College. After college he worked at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory designing, installing and synchronizing clocks at observatories around the world. He went on to work at RCA where he taught himself the skills needed to be a computer engineer and then moved on to Data General to be a development team manager.

While at Data General, he developed a 32-bit minicomputer, the project and his role in it became the subject of Tracy Kidder's Pulitzer Prize winning book The Soul of a New Machine.

He retired to Westport where he enjoyed sailing, tinkering with computers, and spending time with his family and friends. He was a regular fixture at Marguerite’s and a keen observer of local weather and tides. He could often be found watching the birds on his back porch and listening to Irish folk music with his pets.


Survivors include his daughters Katherine West of Stow, Mass., and Jessamyn West of Randolph Vt., and his sister, Terry West of Santa Fe NM.

Those wishing may make a contribution to the Coalition for Buzzards Bay.

Private arrangements will be held. Interment will be in Beech Grove Cemetery, Westport. A celebration of life, to which family and friends are invited, will be held later in the year.

To sign the on-line guest book, please visit www.potterfuneralservice.com.

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