Thomas J. Fairchild Sr., 92, former Bradford Co. Sheriff, Bradford County Treasurer and businessman of Towanda, PA passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Thursday, March 5, 2015.
“Tom” as he was affectionately and widely known throughout the area was born in Susquehanna, PA on April 1, 1922 the son of C. Myer and Ella Fitzgerald Fairchild.
He began working at an early age and on September 8, 1942 Tom enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He attained the rank of Staff Sergeant and was serving with the 550th Bomb Squadron, 385th Bomb group as a Ball Turret gunner on his second mission aboard a B-17 when the aircraft was shot down over Berlin, Germany during World War II. Following capture, Tom spent a year imprisoned in a German camp in Kerns, Austria as a prisoner of war.
Following completion of his military service on November 2, 1945 and return home to Towanda from the war, Tom worked in his father’s hardware store in Towanda for a time and later owned and operated his business, Fairchild’s Propane Gas serving the community and surrounding areas for 20 years.
After selling his business, Tom became involved in Bradford County politics and served eight years as Bradford County treasurer and sixteen years as Bradford County Sheriff. He retired in 1991 after serving the county for 45 years which he enjoyed very much. In retirement, Tom continued being an enthusiastic active community and political supporter to many and enjoyed the many friendships he made over the years.
Tom was a member of SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Towanda, served as a board member and volunteer ambulance driver for the Towanda Ambulance Association for 20 years, a board member for the Endless Mountains Transportation Authority, and was a member of the Towanda Elks Lodge No. 2191. He was a life member of Towanda American Legion Post No. 42, member of Beirne-Webster VFW Post 1568, Towanda, Towanda Country Club, Bradford County Republican Party, Pennsylvania Sheriffs Association and was a past member of the Bridge Street Hill Rod and Gun Club.
He is survived by his children; Thomas Fairchild Jr. of Towanda, Timothy Fairchild and wife Debra of Wysox, Terry Fairchild and wife Danise of Wyalusing, Sally Fairchild-Vaughn of Towanda, Michael Fairchild and Jeanine of Dover, DE, Donald Fairchild and wife Eileen of Southport, NY, Denise Fairchild-Lambert and husband Leo of Dushore, 16 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, several nieces, nephews, cousins and his friend, Jean Crawford of Athens.
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by sisters and brothers-in-law, Anne and Claude VanNess, Genevieve and Llewellyn Parsons, brother and sister-in-law, Robert J. and Rita Fairchild and brother, Richard P. Fairchild.
A mass of Christian burial was celebrated, March 10, 2015 SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Third St., Towanda, PA. Military honors will be accorded by Towanda American Legion Post No. 42.
Interment was in SS Peter and Paul Cemetery, North Towanda Township, PA at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions be directed to St. Agnes School, 102 Third St., Towanda, PA 18848 or to the North Rome Christian School, 3376 North Rome Road, Rome, PA 18837 in Thomas J. Fairchild Sr.’s memory.
The arrangements were under the directio of the Maryott-Bowen Funeral Home, Towanda, PA.