Thomas Hampson

Thomas Hampson passed away peacefully in Rochester, NY, on November 9, 2016, at the age of 87. He was a devoted husband, jazz enthusiast extraordinaire, and an avid bird watcher.

Tom was predeceased by his beloved wife of 46 years, Zena Hampson, on October 5, 2016; and by his parents, Harold S. and Louise Goetchius Hampson; his brother, Rodney L. Hampson; sisterinlaw, Janet Hampson; and stepson, Jeffrey Shumsky.

Tom is survived by brother, H. Robert Hampson of Warren, PA; sisterinlaw, Roberta Hampson of E. Syracuse, NY; daughter, Melissa H. (Eric) Christianson of Rochester, NY; son, Douglas M. (wife Mary Lee) Hampson of Bass Harbor, ME; stepson, Paul (wife Penny Field) Shumsky of E. Hartford, CT; grandson, Alexander H. (Erin) Efron of Brooklin, ME; grandson, Nathaniel S. Efron of Boston, MA; his former wife, Margaret C. Hampson of Ithaca, NY; one niece and three nephews.

Tom was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan on February 18, 1929. He graduated from Warren, PA high school, Cornell University (A.B.) in 1951, and Cornell Law School (LL.B. with distinction) in 1955. He served as a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Air Force (19511953).

Tom was admitted to the Bar in New York in 1955, the U.S. District Court (Western District) in New York in 1955, and the United States Supreme Court in 1964. He was an associate with Harris, Beach, Wilcox, Rubin & Levey, Rochester, NY (19551962) and a partner with Harris Beach LLP, Rochester, NY (19621999).

He engaged in many civic activities in Rochester, often serving as Board Member, Chairman, Director, President, or Trustee: American Civil Liberties Union of New York State  Genesee Valley Chapter; Community Music Service Inc. (WCMF); Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology; Friends & Foundation of the Rochester Public Library; Hawk Mountain Sanctuary; Hochstein School of Music and Dance; Monroe County Fair Campaign Practices Committee; Philosophers’ Club of Rochester; Rochester City Club; Rochester Civil Service Commission; Rochester Public Library; and various other organizations.

Jazz music was his passion. He loved teaching others about jazz, and especially promoting local talent on his weekly radio programs. This began on WNAE in Warren, PA and on daily programs at studentoperated radio station WVBRAM at Cornell University (19471951). In 1960, he was a founding member of WCMF in Rochester, where he had a weekly jazz program called “The Jazz Scene” from 19601980. He hosted his jazz program “Jazz Notes” on WXXIFM from 19791981, “Mostly Jazz” on WXXIAM from 19852010 and “Jazz from the Cellar” on WXXIAM and WRURFM from 20102016. In addition, he was a columnist for City Newspaper, reviewing jazz music and local artists from 19831988.

Memorial donations may be made to the Thomas M. Hampson Memorial Fund (Attn: Membership), WXXI Public Broadcasting Council, 280 State Street, P.O. Box 30021, Rochester, NY 146033021.

A memorial gathering will be held early in 2017.  See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/democratandchronicle/obituary.aspx?pid=182494683#sthash.NeFVKtUZ.dpuf