Tommy was a commercial scalloper in the New Bedford fishing fleet for over 30 years. He fished on several different vessels as the first mate or captain and was known for his relentless work ethic and expertise at sea. Originally from Fairhaven, Thomas was an Eagle Scout and was awarded "Boy of the Year" as a child. He was also a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corp who served in Vietnam. Thomas received several medals during his service including the National Defense Service medal, Good Conduct medal, and the Vietnamese Service medal.
Thomas is survived by his children: Rebecca Sanders Zalewski and her husband Chris, of Virginia, Rachel Sanders of New Bedford, Ashley Sanders of New Bedford, Sarah Sears and her husband Jared of Fairhaven, Kristina Tetreault and her husband Joey of Fairhaven, and Matthew Sanders and his fiancé Savannah Holmstrom of Acushnet, his siblings: Robert Sanders of Fairhaven, Roberta Hayward of Fairhaven and her partner Kent, his brother in law- Craig Manchester of Fairhaven, and lastly, his beloved dog, Buddy. He is the brother of the late Carolyn L (Sanders) Manchester, William Sanders, and James Sanders.
Thomas also has 7 grandsons: Carter, Logan, Jackson, Brently, Tre', Vincent, and Benjamin, as well as one great granddaughter, Charlotte. He also has several nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews.
He enjoyed fishing, camping, gardening, playing pool, and being outdoors. Known for his witty personality and limitless wisdom, Thomas was also a jack of all trades. If he couldn't do something he would learn how to do it, oftentimes self taught. In his most recent years you could find him relaxing with his dog Buddy enjoying a white Russian, his favorite drink.
In accordance with his wishes he will be cremated. A memorial will be held in the future to celebrate his life.