ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Tom Hewett. We will remember him forever.  Scientist till the end, Tom's body was donated to science for research purposes.  His remains will be scattered a year from now in the San Francisco Bay.  Hopefully, at that point, the pandemic will be over and we can all come together to celebrate Tom's life.  

Until then, you are invited and encouraged to post a tribute, share your favorite photos of Tom, and leave your favorite story of Tom.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to MIT, in memory of Thomas Hewett.  Checks may be made payable to MIT and mailed to:
Memorial Gifts Office
600 Memorial Drive, W98-500, Cambridge, MA 02139
Or you may donate at this link:
https://giving.mit.edu/give/now

Posted by Sandy Radtka on February 18, 2021
My husband Mike and I are saddened to hear the news of Tom’s passing. We have many fond and happy memories of our visits and outings together with Tom and Janet when they lived in California. One of the funniest memories was the time that Tom and Janet talked us into going to a grape stomping competition at a winery in the Sonoma area of California. Grape stomping is the ancient method of crushing grapes for the wine-making process. We had never been to one of these events that celebrates the start of the grape harvest in the fall in Sonoma. We laughed while watching them crush the grapes with their bare feet in wine barrels to release the juices to start the fermentation process. Tom and Janet took turns grape stomping and measuring the amount of juice produced to see if they won the contest. Sadly, they did not win the competition but we enjoyed the rest of the evening sampling the wine.  
Posted by Richard Hoeksema on February 15, 2021
I’m saddened to hear of Tom’s passing. He was a wonderful mentor and friend to me in my early career and beyond. We had many conversations about science, politics and the world. Although our paths have not crossed recently, he made an indelible impact on my life. He will be missed.
Posted by Adel Heiba on February 12, 2021
I do remember very fondly the interest shown by Tom Hewett to the research performed by the Porous Media Research team at the University of Minnesota.

His encouragement of our research efforts in the field will be cherished.
Posted by Peter Hewett on February 11, 2021
              Tom,,,,Words are inadequate to describe how proud I am to have had you as a brother. From memories dating back to Highland Village near Camp Hill, Pa. through the East Lansing years of swimming teams and leadership roles and your educational degrees and pursuits at City College M.I.T. and Stanford, your steadfast mentorship has obviously influenced many lives for the better. "Mentor" is the one word most often used in tribute to Tom Hewett, and though you'll be missed, your influence on other's lives will endure well into their futures and for this you can be truly proud. A life well lived, and it definitely made a difference to so many. Rest in peace smiling at the positive influence your life has made on others,  
Posted by Robert McCullough on February 10, 2021
I met Tom in 1975 when we worked together at Union Carbide on solar energy. We had both been hired into a single slot in the R&D division. What could have turned out to be a tense competition turned into an amazing scientific partnership. Our collaboration produced some real innovations and initiated a scientific interchange that lasted throughout our lives.  After Union Carbide, Tom went to work for the oil industry and I for the defense sector. While Tom lived in Newport Beach, I visited him regularly on consulting gigs to LA. We spent many fun weekends riding bikes to Laguna Beach and staying up to 3 AM talking about fractals and other arcane science interests we shared.
Tom and I shared many sailing outings starting with his laser in Newport Beach and migrating to my Garden cutter in the Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound. We always spent long hours discussing our latest discoveries. Tom was unique to me in that we were able to communicate extremely complex concepts effortlessly, probably because we shared a common background in engineering science.
While Tom was at Stanford, my daughter Natalie attended as an undergraduate. We got together at her graduation and it was a special treat since Tom had known her since she was 3 years old.
I loved Tom. He was always a thoughtful and gentle person with a powerful intellect. I will miss him and our great conversations together.
Posted by Lynn Orr on February 9, 2021
Tom and I first met at the Chevron lab in La Habra, and we crossed paths many times at meetings, SPE conferences, and International Energy Agency meetings over the years. A common interest in problems that could be investigated using the method of characteristics was one area we shared. And the Chevron group was very capable in the complex task of reservoir characterization, so it made sense for us to stay in close contact. Tom was a part of hiring our students for their team, so eventually we retaliated by hiring him for ours! It was a pleasure to have him with us. We miss him.
Posted by Ben Tandowski on February 9, 2021
I am saddened by Tom’s passing. He influenced my academic life, my career trajectory, and my view of the best in America. Tom was my thesis advisor at City College of New York (CCNY) in the early ’70s. I may have been the first graduate student he mentored towards their PhD. It is an understatement to say that he was a great engineer, teacher, advisor, and mentor. He had great patience and brought out the best in his students. Besides the technology, he taught me how to get through and around the inevitable obstacles, and how to learn new technologies and techniques needed to get the research done. He showed me how to plan the research/work in parallel paths to accommodates delays and overcome unexpected obstacles. Tom was modest, patient, kind, and always available to help with a good sense of humor. He was the only person I ever encountered in my professional life at Union Carbide, Exxon Research, and my own company who could see a phenomenon, write the differential equations, develop an analytical or computer solution, design an experiment to test the solution, and get the results to verified his solution. Most engineers and scientists can only do a piece of the research cycle, not the full cycle.

He also influenced my view of the best of America. He had it all. He was gifted, brilliant, efficient, humble, patient, kind, helpful, fair, friendly, and sensitive. He was also an engineer/scientist who got things done. He set an extraordinary example. He personified all the good qualities I imagine Americans represent. Sadly, he was in a small league of extraordinary people -- people they should be making movies about.

Knowing he is no longer with us pains me greatly. They say a person truly dies, years in the future, when he is no longer remembered. To Janet, his family, friends, and acquaintances, may his memory be a blessing for many years to come.
Posted by Sandy and Nick Hartman on February 9, 2021
We met Tom and Janet at UCSC Lifelomg Learners. Tom was a very nice, soft-spoken man with a great sense of humor. We loved being with him and Janet and have a good discussions, great dinners, and playing bocce ball in their backyard. It was a joy to be around Tom and Janet as you could see how much they loved each other. They always looked forward to traveling and experiencing new adventures. We will miss him and their visits back to California!
Posted by Herb Felsenfeld on February 7, 2021
I only knew Tom, through the great love that his step-son, my former colleague, Joe Ezrati, shared. This is what I wrote on Joe’s Facebook page:
“Mi mas sentido pesame”. My strong feelings weigh on me.  May the spirit of your dear stepfather Tom Hewitt Rest In Power.
Posted by Joel Higgins on February 7, 2021
We were roomies in the Delt House and flat mates in Cambridge. Hitchhiking highways from Lansing to St. Louis, double-dating in the old Nash Rambler--Confederates in escapades too numerous to enumerate. Later, we would hang out whenever possible in New York, Connecticut or L.A. More recently, Stacy and I had wonderful visits with Tom and Janet at their home or ours. Tom Hewett was smart, funny, talented, successful and kind. Always good company and a Boon Companion--You were truly one of the good guys, Hew.
"Flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest" old bud.
Always and Fraternally,
Joel
Posted by Bob Edwards on February 7, 2021
Tom was a great mentor and educator. I believe I was one of Tom's first students at Stanford. He was so giving of his time and was infinitely patient as I was writing my thesis on a non-traditional topic.  He was encouraging and gave me confidence that lasted long after I left Stanford. Rest in peace my friend. 
Posted by Alan Emanuel on February 7, 2021
My favorite Tom Hewitt memory involves Mai Chang. She was on a PR visit to China for Chevron and was about to start a presentation on basic geostatistics to an audience of Chinese engineers in a provincial office in Manchuria, figuring they knew nothing of the technology. Before she could start, they asked her "Is it true that Tom Hewitt has left Chevron to teach at Stanford". Not many in the industry had a reach like that.

Alan Emanuel
Posted by JohnTJS56 McQuitty on February 7, 2021
Tom and I (John) met when our families both moved to East Lansing, Michigan In 1956. We were twelve years old. Tom quickly assimilated into the junior high class. He was recognized as smart, funny, fair minded, and always helpful. In High School. Tom was a class president, national merit scholar, valedictorian, and class A State Diving Champion. As undergraduates we joined the same social fraternity. Tom was highly admired for his intellect, sense of humor and support of others. He was active in multiple organizations: Blue Key, Omicron Delta Kappa, Honors College and a number of student government and engineering activities. I remember fondly, Tom contacting me repeatedly regularly 7-10 days prior to term final exams. Reminding me that it was time for the two of us to head to the Library Honors Lounge and study. Which we did between coffee breaks and discussions-often of women. Tom knew how to make the complex easy and pulled me through higher math and philosophy.  After undergraduate school, Tom on a National Science Foundation Scholarship headed to MIT and I remained in Michigan to study medicine. He always stayed in contact and hosted parties at his parent’s home over Christmas recess. I recall him coming to visit at my father-in-law's home. He had committed to memory lyrics from the Beatles Sargent Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band Album and was reciting them for us. We visited regularly over the years, seeing him in New York when he was on the faculty at City College and a number of times in the Bay Area when he visited prior to his work with Chevron in Richmond. On one occasion he delighted our two young daughters with handstands, kip-ups and flips in our living room. They tried to duplicate his moves for a week after he left. He was at my 50th birthday celebration and my wife and I attended Janet and Tom’s wedding. After he retired we saw him at least yearly in Florida, then in Scotts Valley more frequently. We attended wine events regularly in Santa Cruz County and in Sonoma County when he and Janet stayed with us in Sausalito.  There were events and lectures with the four of us in attendance in San Francisco, and we traveled with Janet and Tom to Belize and Peru. Delightful trips!  I miss him, as does my wife who also met Tom when she was 12 years old. Rest in Peace Tom we love you.
 
John & Suzan McQuitty
Posted by Gordon Jones on February 7, 2021
Tom and I were close friends from the time he and I served as president and vice-president respectively of our freshman class at East Lansing High School, through our years as graduate students in Cambridge and Boston, during one of which we shared an apartment, and on into our 60s and 70s, managing to see each other at semi-regular intervals for 40+ years despite living far apart. As is clear from the comments of his colleagues at Stanford and Chevron, Tom had all of the scientific brilliance and intellectual precision that one would expect to find in a world class engineer. He also, however, had a wide-ranging enthusiasm for and interest in things far removed from his scholarly pursuits. In the late 60s, Tom frequently began sentences with "I'm not a hippie, but...", the "but" being his sympathy for and participation in the counter-culture of that era. We had many good times together in those years and after and I will miss him greatly.
Posted by Jairam Kamath on February 6, 2021
As a new hire at Chevron CORFC in La Habra in 1985, I was very fortunate to have Tom's office only two doors away. Tom was a senior member of the staff at that time, and I appreciated the time he took to explain technical concepts and help me with my work. Tom was a very generous person and an excellent mentor. I have very fond memories of him, the Christmas parties at his house, the lunches at the Chevron cafeteria, and all the personal and technical conversations. 
Posted by Gloria Behman on February 6, 2021
I met Tom and Janet in 2006, when they were looking for a new home in California. It became a lovely friendship ( we learned Tom, Janet and I all share the same birthday!) Tom was a very kind, patient, adventurous and extremely intelligent man. My husband and I really enjoyed talking with him, especially about politics. He adored Janet, as she adored him. They were two peas in a pod, and had a wonderful life. We are so sad he is gone. It is hard to believe we will not see him again.
Posted by Khalid Aziz on February 6, 2021
This is sad news indeed. Tom was a respected academic, valued colleague and a good friend. His contributions to the petroleum engineering program at Stanford, through his research and teaching, were widely recognised and appreciated. I send my condolences to his family.
Posted by margot gerritsen on February 6, 2021
My condolences to all. He was very kind and welcoming when I first joined the department at Stanford 20 years ago. I remember some passionate discussions about the pros and cons of streamtubes vs streamlines. I have always appreciated his openness and eagerness to share his deep knowledge.
Posted by Lou Durlofsky on February 6, 2021
I am very sorry to hear of Tom's passing. He was a friend and a colleague to me both at Chevron and Stanford. At Chevron he was a model for doing cutting-edge science in an industry setting.

I first met Tom in 1987 when he was a Chevron recruiter and he interviewed me for a position at Chevron, which I was eventually offered and accepted. He left Chevron a few years later to join Stanford, and some years later I did the same. So I've felt that my career was somehow linked to his, and I am grateful for the support he provided me over the years.

My condolences to you Janet. May Tom rest in peace.
Posted by Larry Lake on February 6, 2021
I met Tom many years ago at a Gordon Conference.  We shared a room. I was not keen on this since he was a total stranger then, but can to know him as a kind, inquisitive colleague.  He will be missed.

I attended his presentation on using fractals for simulation modeling. I have never seen, before or since, a presentation so well attended. he was truly a giant in his field.
Posted by Hamdi Tchelepi on February 6, 2021
Tom was great company: brilliant, thoughtful, curious, and kind. I met him in La Habra when he was working for Chevron - that was 32 years ago! He was a legend at Chevron for his seminal contributions to reservoir engineering. Tom moved to Stanford, and I had the great pleasure of having him on my PhD defense committee. For the last 17 years, I've been in "Tom's office" in the Green Earth Sciences building.

Our thoughts are with Janet and his family and friends.

May He Rest in Peace.
Posted by Roland Horne on February 6, 2021
Tom spent 11 years as Professor of Petroleum Engineering at Stanford University, and was a valued teacher, mentor, colleague and friend. May he Rest In Peace.

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Sandy Radtka on February 18, 2021
My husband Mike and I are saddened to hear the news of Tom’s passing. We have many fond and happy memories of our visits and outings together with Tom and Janet when they lived in California. One of the funniest memories was the time that Tom and Janet talked us into going to a grape stomping competition at a winery in the Sonoma area of California. Grape stomping is the ancient method of crushing grapes for the wine-making process. We had never been to one of these events that celebrates the start of the grape harvest in the fall in Sonoma. We laughed while watching them crush the grapes with their bare feet in wine barrels to release the juices to start the fermentation process. Tom and Janet took turns grape stomping and measuring the amount of juice produced to see if they won the contest. Sadly, they did not win the competition but we enjoyed the rest of the evening sampling the wine.  
Posted by Richard Hoeksema on February 15, 2021
I’m saddened to hear of Tom’s passing. He was a wonderful mentor and friend to me in my early career and beyond. We had many conversations about science, politics and the world. Although our paths have not crossed recently, he made an indelible impact on my life. He will be missed.
Posted by Adel Heiba on February 12, 2021
I do remember very fondly the interest shown by Tom Hewett to the research performed by the Porous Media Research team at the University of Minnesota.

His encouragement of our research efforts in the field will be cherished.
his Life

Tom's CV

Tom's CV
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You get what you pay for

Shared by Joe Ezrati on February 8, 2021
When I was younger I noticed that Tom was a little particular about a few things and some of them really didn't make sense to my younger self.  Tom always preached the adage "you get what you pay for" and always told me that it was worth spending a little more because, in the long run, you'll be happier.  This comes up for me every time I buy paper towels.  Tom insisted on getting Viva paper towels.  I thought he was crazy.  Those paper towels are way more expensive.  But as an adult, I now know that he was absolutely right.  I refuse to buy any other paper towels.  Even as a kid, we did a family science experiment testing the strength of different paper towels and Viva always came out on top.  He also insisted on getting only Calphalon kitchenware.  As a kid, I thought he was ridiculous, but if you look at my kitchen now- all Calphalon.  It's funny how some people impact your life and these are just two ways Tom impacted mine.  

A life well lived

Shared by Janet Bostrom on February 20, 2021
Just weeks before he died, Tom told me he had done everything he had ever dreamed of and more.  (Except traveling in outer space - maybe he’s doing that now.).He was an accomplished engineer and helped many students launch successful careers of their own.  He traveled the world, visiting 80 countries.  Our last trip included sailing through the Malacca Straits on a tall ship and exploring Angkor Watt.  Never having children of his own, he cherished the time he spent with my children and his four grandchildren.  The little ones always surprised and delighted him. When little Preston wanted Grandpa Tom to give him his bath, Tom stepped up despite his trepidation and they had some watery fun. His avid interest in politics lead to much angst in the last five years, but he lived to see Trump kicked to the curb and could celebrate the change.  He was a loving, kind, fun, smart, sexy husband and I will hold him in my heart forever.

A Re-encounter in Cambridge

Shared by Scott Campbell on February 14, 2021
I remember well the event my brother Jim mentioned above.  Our dad had an impressive intellect and it came clear to me that day, maybe for the first time, that our cousin Tom did too. I could rarely hold my own in an argument with my dad, but Tom was fierce.  I had the good fortune to meet up with Tom again years later, because of our connection through MIT, where I worked.  I remember having lunch with him in Cambridge when he was back on campus to do some recruiting (I think) and we had a fascinating time comparing notes on our shared history.  He was smart and funny and insightful and I hoped we'd have occasion to get together many more times, but unfortunately time and geography didn't cooperate.