Thomas Preston Peardon Jr. of Bridgewater, Connecticut died April 21, after a long battle with illness. He was 77 years old. Born in New York City, he was the only child of Prof. T. P. Peardon Sr. a history and political science professor at Barnard College and Celeste (Comegys) Peardon a well-known writer of books for children learning to read. Mr. Peardon attended The Trinity School in New York City and graduated from Harvard College with the class of 1960. While at Harvard he was a member of the DU Club and The Hasty Pudding Society.
Immediately after college he joined his family’s firm, Brunschwig et Fils, importers of high-end French fabrics and furniture for the interior decorator trade, with showrooms in New York City and in major cities throughout the U.S. and abroad. Rising through the ranks to CEO, he retired as Chairman of the Board in 2007. He was a member of the Union Club of NewYork City, the Harvard Club of NewYork City and a proud veteran of New York’s famous 7th Regiment of the NY National Guard. It was while he was serving as a young Lt. in the 7th Regiment in the mid-1960’s at the height of the Cold War that an incident occurred which became the subject of much amused teasing by his friends throughout his life. Newly back from the US Army’s armor officer course in Fort Knox, KY where he trained on more modern equipment, at one weekend drill he was ordered to clean his platoon’s Korean War vintage tanks. Driving one out of the armory into the street he proceeded to wash down the inside with a hose and water. While standard procedure for newer equipment, the old tank was not designed for such a method and promptly shorted out becoming immobile with its main gun aimed directly at the Soviet Consulate across the street. The incident attracted a crowd including amused staffers from the Soviet Consulate who jocularly chided the young Lt. on the inferior quality of American armor. It also attracted a NYTimes reporter and photographer and the incident was duly reported in the next day’s NYTimes to the embarrassment of Lt. Peardon and the extreme annoyance of his commanding officer.
Although a geology major in college, he was, like his father, an avid reader of history, his favorite pastime. Fluent in French, Mr. Peardon traveled often in France visiting his company’s many suppliers. In 1968, in the midst of France’s national strike against President Charles DeGaulle, he celebrated his marriage to his wife Eveline LeJemtel at her family’s chateau in Normandy, right next to Omaha Beach of D-Day fame. In later years he and his wife bought and remodeled a house in Bayeux on the Normandy coast where, after retirement, they spent many happy months during the year.
Mr. Peardon leaves his wife of 48 years, Eveline, his son Thomas Olivier and his wife Susannah and two young granddaughters. A service honoring his life will be held at St. Mark’s church in Bridgewater, CT, at 2:00PM on Friday May 6, 2016.
Arrangements by the Lillis Funeral Home, 58 Bridge Street, New Milford, CT.