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Tom Wyman, library champion and activist, dies at 86

Original post made on Mar 21, 2014

Tom Wyman, a longtime Palo Alto volunteer, died on March 10. He was 86.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, March 21, 2014, 9:59 AM

Comments (10)

Posted by Mimi Wolf, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 21, 2014 at 10:44 am

This article only scratches the surface of the contributions that Tom and Ellen have made to the quality of life of Palo Alto. It's a rare citizen that hosts community meetings in their home, shows up at city council meetings, talks to their neighbors about civic issues, attends countless meetings, organizes committees and more.
Thanks to Tom and Ellen we have a thriving, vibrant Palo Alto.


Posted by Ronna Devincenzi, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 21, 2014 at 10:52 am

This is sad news. In general, everyone now living in and visiting Palo Alto is gifted with the wisdom and vision that came from the men and women from Tom's generation. With hope, we will all realize the priorities Tom drew attention to are what put Palo Alto on the map as a desirable place to be.

While I only knew Tom through being at city council meetings and reading newspaper articles about his thoughts, in particular I am grateful for his insight and hard work that resulted in the preservation of a useful library system throughout the city for everyone to use now, and for generations to come.

Tom's tireless and long-lived volunteer work on the library commission is commendable. People's needs remain the same throughout generations, and public libraries are extremely important to a healthy community.


Posted by Jean Libby, a resident of Community Center
on Mar 21, 2014 at 10:57 am

Memories of Tom Wyman are forever entwined with living in Palo Alto since 1964. His work on the Palo Alto Library Commission, and with Ellen as mainstays of the Friends of the Library are facets of the lifetime career of my late husband Ralph Libby. They were kindred souls; in the 1970s Tom organized and sponsored a stamp collecting club at Palo Alto High School with our son and other students. I looked for his recommendation on local ballot issues and elections at every election. Tom Wyman articulated the residentialist viewpoint with logic and precision. His many friends and community leaders will express his contributions very well. My condolences to Ellen and the family.


Posted by Miriam Palm, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 21, 2014 at 11:25 am

We will miss Tom greatly, and send our condolences to Ellen and family.


Posted by Mimi Wolf, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 21, 2014 at 11:34 am

This article only scratches the surface of the contributions that Tom and Ellen have made to the quality of life of Palo Alto. It's a rare citizen that hosts community meetings in their home, shows up at city council meetings, talks to their neighbors about civic issues, attends countless meetings, organizes committees and more.
Thanks to Tom and Ellen we have a thriving, vibrant Palo Alto.


Posted by Emily Renzel, a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 21, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Tom Wyman was contributing to the Palo Alto community right up to the end. This is a great loss for the many groups where his participation made a huge difference. I shall miss him.


Posted by Diane Jennings, a resident of another community
on Mar 21, 2014 at 12:54 pm

My condolences to Ellen and the Wyman family. Tom and Ellen were such a close and formidable couple - so strong in their convictions and always working hard to see them realized. Sue, you've done an excellent job in summarizing Tom's work on behalf of the Library. While he and I didn't always agree on what the future of the Library should look like, there have been few people who cared so much about library service in Palo Alto. His work with the Friends of the Library was instrumental in making it one of the most powerful Friends groups in California. It's unfortunate that he died before the building upgrades to Mitchell Park and Main were completed as I always hoped he'd write a new edition to his history book documenting this wonderful time for the Library and the community.


Posted by jardins, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 21, 2014 at 2:10 pm

What a wonderfully full and varied life Tom Wyman led--how many Stanford graduates these days become oilworkers, then business administrators and then (in their retirement) substantial fundraisers of city library-systems and successful defenders against mega-development.

My sympathies are with his wife and family at this time of loss, and may they always be proud of him.


Posted by Sylvia, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 21, 2014 at 4:05 pm

Sorry to hear about his passing. His work with Friends of the Palo Alto Libraries was stellar.


Posted by Liz Davis, a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 26, 2014 at 10:19 am

I'm very sad to hear this news. My thoughts and prayers go out to Ellen and their family. Working with Tom and Ellen was a wonderful part of my FOPAL experience. They cared so much about our libraries, their energy and dedication was infectious, and they fueled my personal passion for books. I learned so much from them!


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