Thomas Gunn Archibald ’64

Thomas Gunn Archibald died in the early morning of Sunday, October 23, 2022 at Cooperman Barnabas Hospital in Livingston, New Jersey following a stroke.

He once wrote his own obituary in this way: “Thomas Gunn Archibald, born February 3, 1943. Husband, father, friend. Enjoyed travel and learning. Had the good fortune to have lived in quiet times. Examined life when he could.” That says it all. To add more detail, there is this: Tom was a very well-educated man, having received his B.S. from Davidson College and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Tulane University. More importantly, he pursued knowledge and understanding throughout his life. People often sought out his advice. In addition to wisdom, he had an irreverent sense of humor.

He was a career chemist, research scientist, research director and vice-president of technology development in the United States, Europe and China. His fields of expertise included pesticides, energetic materials, polymers and pharmaceuticals, and he had over 100 patents and papers. For many years he served as a consultant to fine drug manufacturers and was a Board member of Porton Fine Chemicals Ltd. in China, where he grew to love and appreciate the Chinese culture.

He was also proud of being a professor of chemistry at the University of the Virgin Islands, an HBCU university. He found time during his life to be an orange rancher, realtor, builder, marriage and family counselor (MFCC), crisis-line volunteer, Alternatives-to-Violence trainer, law student, and comedy manager. He liked to say that his hobbies were traveling, learning new things, and promptly forgetting them.

Since moving to St. Petersburg in 2014, he was an enthusiastic member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of St. Petersburg and ASPEC (Association of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College). He was happiest in recent times when preparing for a talk at ASPEC on such varied topics as economics, science and history.

Tom was a devoted son to Harold Freeman Archibald and Lina Jean Gunn Archibald, who predeceased him by far too many years. He is survived by his loving friend and wife of almost forty years, Barbara Gould Archibald, and by his children, Sybil Archibald and Barry Echtman, and Lydia Archibald; and also by his step-children, Maile Gould D’Arcy, Tamara Gould and David Gould and their dear spouses. His eleven grandchildren, who called him “Opi,” miss him as well, Harry, Kate, Luc, Emma, Dorothy, Heather, Riley, Hannah, Samuel, Ava and Amalia.

A Celebration of Tom’s Life will be held on February 4, 2023 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of St. Petersburg, 100 Mirror Lake Drive N., St. Petersburg, at a time to be announced.