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It is with deep sadness that the family of Thomas Gabriel Sechrist announces his passing on Thursday, March 1, 2018, at the age of 71 years. Tom will be lovingly remembered and missed by his family, friends and all that knew him.
He was a devoted father and grandfather. Tom lived with his daughter, Gretchen Carol Sechrist Kehan and her husband, Patrick, and granddaughters Fiona and Piper of West Chester, PA. His daughter Katie Sechrist Hunt and her husband, Daniel, and grandchildren Keira and Lachlan live in Martinez, CA. He will be fondly remembered by his ex-wife Cathy Smith Sechrist of Martinez, CA and his ex-partner, Vincent Salvitti of West Chester, PA and his two brothers, Robert of Huntingdon, PA and William (Gail) Sechrist of Alexandria, VA along with his niece, Stephanie Sample and family, and his nephew, Bret Sechrist.
Tom was born November 29, 1946 in Red Lion, PA, the youngest son of Helen Louise Gabriel (1910-2010) and Robert Henry Sechrist (1913-2005). He graduated from Red Lion High School in 1964 after which he pursued a notable career in education, earning degrees from Millersville University and Penn State University and doing further doctoral study at Temple University.
He had a love for theatre and the arts and was very involved with the York Little Theatre, performing frequently onstage as an actor and serving many years as a YLT Board member.
Tom was a lifelong and beloved educator, beginning his career in York Suburban School District, where he worked for over 20 years as a teacher, elementary school principal and Assistant Superintendent. He then moved to Chester County and served as Assistant Superintendent at the Downingtown Area School District where he retired from education in 1997.
After retirement he poured his heart and soul into creating accredited Safe School Seminars throughout the Greater Philadelphia region and developed, in partnership with West Chester University, an annual event for local area High School GSA’s called The Rainbow Connection. He was committed to the advocacy and empowerment of LGBTQ youth. His passion, professionalism, generosity and sense of humor was evident to all who knew him.
A Celebration of Tom’s life will be held on Friday, March 9 at 11 AM at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 10 W Pleasant Grove Rd, West Chester, PA 19382. Visitation with the family will be held from 10 AM until the start of the service.
Memorial donations can be made in honor of Thomas Sechrist to Mainline Health Homecare & Hospice Foundation (https://www.mainlinehealth.org/ways-to-give/homecare-and-hospice-foundation/make-a-gift-online) or to PFLAG (https://www.pflag.org/tributes).
Thomas Sechrist to Mainline Health Homecare & Hospice Foundation