Thomas H. Dooley, 84, of Vernon, former CIGNA Corporation Executive Vice President and President of Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, died January 6, 2019 surrounded by his wife, Antoinette (Russo), and his loving family. Tom was born on September 22, 1934, in New York, New York, to Lawrence J. and Lauretta M. (Mulford) Dooley. Tom grew up in Middletown, NY residing with his maternal grandparents, Howard and Lillian Mulford. Tom received his high school diploma from Middletown High School in 1952. In 1956, Tom graduated from Clarkson being elected to the highest honorary society, Phalanx, and earning a B.S. in business administration. Tom served two years with the U.S. Army’s 8th Ordnance Battalion in Hanau, Germany. Following his service, Tom attended the University of Connecticut School of Law earning his law degree in 1964. While attending UCONN Law, Tom was the editor of the Connecticut Law Review, and was designated a Starr Fellow, the school’s highest academic award.
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A former practicing attorney, he was a partner at the Flaherty and Dooley law firm. he was admitted to the Connecticut Bar, U.S. District Court, U.S. Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He also authored several articles in law and tax journals.
Tom was active in numerous governmental and charitable organizations in the Hartford area, including serving as Chair of the Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board. In addition, he served as chair of the Business Advisory Council of Clarkson’s School of Business. His political career included two terms in the House of Representatives for the district of Vernon, Deputy Mayor/ Town Council member of Vernon, and former Town Attorney for the Town of Vernon.
Tom spent the majority of his career working for Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, (now CIGNA). He started in Claims Department as an Asst. Claims Examiner in 1959. After leaving in 1964 to practice law, Tom returned to Connecticut General as Assistant Counsel in the Legal Department. In 1973 he began his career in management as the Second Vice President of Group Ins. Operations, followed by a series of promotions until 1985 when he ultimately was promoted to Executive Vice President of CIGNA and President of Connecticut General.
After retiring from CIGNA in 1992, Tom served as Executive-in-Residence at the University of Hartford. He also taught at Manchester Community College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Graduate Center.
In 1991, he received the University of Connecticut School of Law’s Distinguished Alumnus Award and in 1999 he received an Honorary Doctorate from Clarkson University where he had also been elected Trustee Emeritus.
Tom was an avid book collector amassing over 5,000 books in his personal library.
Along with his wife, Antoinette, Tom is survived by his daughter, Karen Magoon and her husband Duncan, and son Lawrence and his wife Paula, all of South Windsor. He had six grandchildren, Jennifer Buckler, Michael and Kevin Lyons, and Thomas, Peter and Samantha Dooley. His survivors also include his two great-grandchildren, Rose and Evelyn Buckler.
Calling Hours will be held on Saturday, January 19, 2019 from 10:00 am-12:00 pm at Burke-Fortin Funeral Home, 76 Prospect Street, Vernon-Rockville, CT 06066. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the University of Connecticut School of Law in memory of Thomas Dooley. Please make checks payable to: The UConn Foundation, Inc. and forward to the following address: 2390 Alumni Drive Unit 3206, Storrs, Connecticut 06269. For online condolences please visit www.pietrasfuneralhome.com