HPHA is saddened at the loss of another good friend and supporter, and nephew of Margaret Strawbridge, Thomas Kent, Jan 20, 2016 ( from philly.com)
Thomas D. Kent, 86, an environmental lawyer, died Wednesday, Jan. 20, of complications from congestive heart failure at the Hill at Whitemarsh.
He had lived at the senior community in Lafayette Hill since 2007. Before that, he resided at Seabrook Island, S.C., and Summit, N.J.
Mr. Kent came from a family with historic roots in the Pennsylvania suburbs.
His grandfather George Morley Marshall, a physician and faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, bought Phillips Mill along the Delaware Canal in New Hope and invited William Lathrop to live on the property.
Lathrop became known as an Impressionist landscape painter and a founder of the art colony at New Hope. Students flocked to his side to learn landscape painting in the open air.
Mr. Kent's mother's sister Margaret Marshall was married to Welsh Strawbridge. The two lived at Graeme Park in Horsham. They later donated (part of the estate) that was home to the colonial-era Gov. Sir William Keith, and 40 acres to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The property is now a historic site. (The farmhouse they called home, the Penrose-Strawbridge House, is now owned by Horsham Township and is being restored and maintained by the Horsham Preservation and Historical Association.
The son of Philena Marshall and Stephen Girard Kent, Mr. Kent was born and reared in Summit. He graduated from the Lawrenceville School in 1947 and Williams College in 1951.
Following Navy service during the Korean War, Mr. Kent enrolled in Columbia University Law School. While there, he met and married Ann Matthews. The two would have celebrated their 59th anniversary this spring.
Mr. Kent joined the law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York City after graduating from Columbia in 1958.
In 1963, he accepted a job in the legal department of Allied Chemical Corp., later Allied Signal. He retired as staff vice president and associate general counsel in 1989.
A specialist in environmental law, Mr. Kent was active in many professional and trade associations. He testified before Congress several times, and lectured at Harvard Business School, Williams College, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and the University of South Carolina.
After his retirement, he and his wife moved to Seabrook Island, where he enjoyed competitive tennis and worldwide travel.
He had a longtime association with Camp Susquehannock in northeastern Pennsylvania, starting as a tennis counselor while in college and later being interim director for two seasons. His sons and grandchildren also were involved in camp life.
Mr. Kent had a special fondness for racquet sports. He earned national ranking within his age group in both squash and tennis until retiring from competition at age 84.
In addition to his professional activities, Mr. Kent had a strong commitment to community service. He was a member of the Summit City Council. On Seabrook Island, he was president of the property owners association.
"He was particularly proud of his leadership role in the establishment of the first public tennis courts on Johns Island, S.C.," his wife said.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by daughter Celia Marin Kent; sons Thomas "Tim" Jr. and Robert; four grandchildren; two stepgrandsons; and nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, at Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting, 20 E. Mermaid Lane. Burial is private.
Contributions may be made to Camp Susquehannock Inc. with a memo specifying the Scholarship Fund, 2308 Tripp Lake Rd., Brackney, Pa. 18812, or via