Thomas A. Rathbone

We’ve lost a bright, inquisitive, thoughtful and unique man. Thomas Arthur Rathbone of Captiva Island, Florida, died on Saturday, September 21, 2019, after a 4-month valiant battle with cancer.

Tom’s passions ran deep. The things he loved he threw himself into energetically and without reservation. He loved jazz and with his wife, Jane, frequented The Barrel Room in Fort Myers. His life-long love of jazz inspired him to take piano lessons later in life. It was the same with boating. When he decided he wanted a boat, he was completely on-board. Tom was an irrepressible techie always latching on to the latest device and upgrade. He was on a first name basis with Siri. For those of us who were baffled by new technology, it was like having a teenager on call.

He treasured the time spent with Jane and friends. Days-long group boat trips were inspired and commemorated by Tom. Within hours of returning home, there would be an email from him with a video and photos attached.

Tom grew up in Cleveland, Ohio with his much-loved brother and sister, the late Robert Beagle Rathbone and the late Carol Rathbone Covington.

Tom’s love of animals went far beyond doting on his dog, Mr. Wilson. While visiting Egypt with Jane this summer he learned about Brooke USA – an international animal welfare charity dedicated to improving the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules.  He also supported and served as Board Chair and trustee of Fieldstone Farm – a therapeutic riding center in Ohio.

Tom retired in 2004 as President of the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation, a position he held for 20 years.

He has been an active volunteer. His dedication and talents have benefited many communities and organizations. Chief among them, in Cleveland, he served as Board Chair and trustee of the Saint Luke’s Foundation. Tom was a trustee for Services To At Risk Teens, a director of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, served on the Council on Child Health of the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions, and as Board President and trustee of the Shaker Heights Youth Center.
On Sanibel and Captiva, he served as Treasurer of Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Board of Trustees, and as a member of the Captiva Community Panel.

Tom will be greatly missed by his wife and love of recent years, Jane Moore Rathbone. Tom was married for forty-eight years to the late Susan Narten Rathbone and together they raised two daughters, Amy Rathbone (Nobuto Suga) of San Francisco, California and Sara Rathbone of Burnsville, North Carolina. He was a loving grandfather to Isaiah and Asher Presley.

Tom’s vitality, enthusiasm and spirit made you want to be in his orbit. He gave us so much, and we were hoping for more. His friends and family wish him calm seas, favorable winds and to remember, “stay in the channel.”

Donations to honor Tom’s memory can be made to:
Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation sccf.org
Brooke USA  brookeusa.org
Fieldstone Farm  fieldstonefarmtrc.com

A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date.

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