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Thomas Lee Wolfle, D.V.M., Ph.D., 77, quietly passed away in the loving arms of his family at Black Dog Farm in Cambridge, Maryland on June 28th, 2013. He was born in Eugene, Oregon on April 24th, 1936, to the late Elvid Emanuel and Alice Elizabeth (Oakley) Wolfle. During his formative years, he and his older brother Robert attended school in Oklahoma, Nevada, Washington, D.C. and Texas. After high school, he briefly attended the University of Mississippi on a track scholarship. He then obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in 1957 followed by his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1961 from Texas A&M University. Shortly thereafter, he entered the United States Air Force and was assigned to the Aerospace Medicine Program in San Antonio and conducted primate research on behalf of NASA involving the potential health and behavioral issues occurring during space flight. In 1966, at the behest of NASA, he entered graduate school at UCLA, where he studied comparative animal behavior and the brain mechanisms of pain. In 1970, Tom received his Doctorate in Philosophy, with distinction, and continued work in animal behavior. In 1976, he transferred his Air Force commission to the Public Health Service and moved to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. He eventually served as Director of the Interagency Research Animal Committee. In 1988, he joined the National Academy of Sciences as Director of the Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources where he improved the lives of animals in research and helped train and educate those who used them. Upon leaving the National Academy of Science, Tom continued to hold memberships in numerous national and international professional organizations. He considered two of his professional highlights to be working with the early NASA primates (including HAM the first chimpanzee launched to outer space) and attaining diplomat status in both the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine and the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, of which he was a founding member.
In 1999, Tom entered a new chapter of his life when he and his wife Jackie moved to Black Dog Farm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. They spent as much time as possible on JuliAnna, their cruising and “gunkholing” boat, travelling the world and working on the ever-increasing gardens. He enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and teaching them the ways of a gentleman farmer and waterman. He was also very active in the community which included working on the Board of the Dorchester Center for the Arts, as Flotilla Commander for U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, and as a volunteer at the National Blackwater Wildlife Preserve. In what little free time remained, he was more than happy to volunteer as a “bartender” for friends and family.
To most he was just known as an accomplished professional, sailor and raconteur, fisherman, patron of the arts and a wise and trusted friend.
He is survived by his adoring wife of 27 years, Jackie; his sons Tom, Bill, Jim, Jeff and Jon; his grandchildren Kyle, Chase, Alex, Jack, Rick, Jeff, Rob, Kimmy, Anna, Julia and Jonathan; his brother Bob; cousins Lee, Janet and John. And his beloved dog Hunter.
There will be a private family ceremony followed by a celebration of his life on July 4th. Donations can be made in his honor to the Dorchester Center for the Arts, 321 High Street, Cambridge, Maryland 21613.
All of us at Cambridge Canvas and Sail Loft are sorry to hear of the passing of Mr. Wolfle.
Nanelle Rosemere Jul 12 2013 12:00 AM
I'm so sorry to hear about Toms passing. He was a huge help here at Blackwater. I really enjoyed our conversations. He will be sorely missed.
matt whitbeck Jul 10 2013 12:00 AM
So sorry to hear that Tom is no longer with us. He will be remembered as being a huge help to the Biological Program at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. Tom will be missed by many of his fellow volunteers and the USFWS staff.
Larry McGowan Jul 10 2013 12:00 AM
To the Wolfle Family, Please accept my sincere sympathy for the loss of your loved one,Thomas. May your cherished memories and the warmth of family and friends help ease the pain of your loss. Also, God is the source of all comfort (2Corinthians 1:3,4) and I've found that he gives you the comfort and strength you need during your time of grief. I personally long for the time when death will be no more (Revelation 21:3,4). I sincerely hope these scriptural thoughts will bring you some comfort. Sincerely, Noreen
Noreen Jul 8 2013 12:00 AM
Sharon Crowell-Davis has sent this Expressions of Sympathy card.
Sharon Crowell-Davis Jul 8 2013 12:00 AM
Please accept my deepest sympathy. We hope with the passage of time will help ease your sadness and leave you with fond memories to cherish close go your hearts. ( Isaiah 25:8)
Jackson Family Jul 4 2013 12:00 AM
TOM, THANK YOU FOR BEING SO VERY NICE TO ME. I ONLY RECENTLY MET YOU AND WITH EVERYTHING YOU WERE DEALING WITH YOU STILL WERE ABLE TO GIVE ME SOME KIND WORDS AND A SMILE. RIP.
KIM COCHRAN Jul 4 2013 12:00 AM
Jackie, Our hearts go out to you and the family. We remember fondly times shared at Black Dog Farm and High Spot, not to mention all those Mondays enjoying his company during our water monitoring sessions at Blackwater. Wolf & Charlotte
Wolf & Charlotte Hehn Jul 3 2013 12:00 AM
Your Memoirs - July 2, 2013 Posted: July 1, 2013 | Last Revised: July 1, 2013 My dearest Tom, Our intentions were sincere, but we just ran out of time before your life story could be put on paper in the form that you so desired. Please trust that your legacy will not be buried in some computer, or lost in cyberspace forever. We made a promise that we intend to keep, a promise that your story will be told in the form of your yet unfinished memoirs and family ancestry. Together your beloved wife and "two Margarets" will collect, edit and compile your life history into a body of work so that your sons, grandchildren and all those still to come will know the man you were, the man they knew, the man we all loved. Rest quietly now, but believe that through your own words you will be remembered and cherished.
Life Story Jul 2 2013 12:00 AM
Tom was a very dear friend and I will miss him very much. To Jackie and family we wish you the best and are mourning with you. Our love and God's love be with you always.
Clyde & Nadine Culver Jul 2 2013 12:00 AM