The unique and extraordinary life of Thomas G. Wyman ended graciously with his death on October 22, 2020. Tom will be remembered for his loyalty and generosity to family and friends and the many people he worked with and touched throughout his long life. His intelligence, sense of humor and clever toasts were legendary. Born on August 15th, 1923, in the Czech Republic, he spent his youth living throughout Europe and attended boarding school in England, where he developed a love of the English way of life and countryside. He attended Cambridge University until moving with his family to New York in 1941.
Tom completed his college studies at Cornell University with a degree in agriculture. Summer jobs on farms brought him to the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 1944. He discovered a way of life and his passion at Wye Heights Plantation, overlooking the Wye River in Talbot County Maryland. Following his service as an officer in the United States Army during World War II, he and his wife Ilsabe, whom he met while skiing in Switzerland, returned to Easton to raise their three children.
Tom loved working in his woods and over the years created what is now “The Park”, in the English tradition, which remained for his life his most cherished contribution to Wye Heights. Commuting during the week to New York City, he immersed himself in business. He achieved great success investing in turnarounds of substantial American companies including Gorham Silver, Balfour, Farah, Walco National, American Seating and Stanray Corporation.
Tom served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce during the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations fulfilling a longtime wish to engage in government service. He was responsible for international business development at the Department of Commerce. Speaking German, French, English and Czech along with passible Italian and Spanish was helpful. He travelled the globe and met and entertained numerous Presidents, Ambassadors and dignitaries and their families, often at Wye Heights.
Over the years, Tom contributed significant effort and donations to numerous Talbot County charitable causes. He and a few friends founded Big Brothers in New York City. He felt that being a friend, leader and example to children was the most important thing one could do. He subsequently served as Chairman and President of Big Brothers. Additionally, he created a camp for hundreds of inner-city children from Washington DC, who would spend a week at camp Wye Heights and learn about farming, the country, artwork, and the many camping skills that he wanted each of them to experience. He secured resources from every branch of the military to equip the camp. Donating one’s time and resources was simply expected.
Each of us will have our own special memory with Tom. We will always think about him riding his horse and motorbike through his park clearing fallen trees and branches and enjoying the wildlife gathering around the many ponds adorning his beloved Wye Heights and Wye Park. With his passion for creating follies, he also constructed Wye Park, where he would spend the last years of his life, surrounded by his Laurel and dogwood trees and the many antiquities he had collected over the years. It was a constant reminder of his love for England, the countryside and the excitement he felt each time he returned to London.
Tom enjoyed playing golf, tennis and skiing but his greatest joy was foxhunting. He and his late wife Anne Morton Wyman (Babes), established a fox hunt known as the Wye River Hounds, which flourished with them as Masters for many years. He also imported the first flock of Black Welsh Mountain Sheep to the United States, adding to his herd of American Buffalo and the English Fallow Deer that resided at Wye Heights.
Tom is survived by his first wife Ilsabe, his son Tim (Lisa), his daughter Karin (Jeffrey Morgan), as well as six grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Also, his nephew Fred and niece Carole and their families. Much to his sorrow he was preceded in death by his eldest son Peter and his second wife Anne as well as his parents and three brothers.
A Memorial Service and celebration of Tom’s life will be held at Wye Heights and Wye Park in the Spring.