Posted by cathy gowdy on Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 11:36:29 :
San Rafael Independent
Monday, April 16, 1945
Major Thomas Cuffe Succumbs After A Lengthy Illness
An atmosphere of sorrow pervaded the halls of the San Rafael High school today. Boys and girls and teachers alike went soberly to their classes and there were many lapsations as thoughts turned to other than academic subjects and the particular studies of the moment.
For one of the best known and highly esteemed faculty members was dead. He was “Major” Thomas P. Cuffe wo breathed his last here Sunday after an extended illness, at the age of 72 years.
Born in Ireland on September 25, 1873, Cuffe became a teacher in 1918 and filled a position at the old Tamalpais Military Academy, after a period of Army service, before going to San Rafael High in 1918.His first association with SRHS was as physical education instructor after which he was assigned to the study hall and more lately, the book room.
The body is at Keaton’s in San Rafael with funeral arrangements pending.
Major Cuffe is survived by his widow, Mary S. Cuffe and two sons, Frank C. and Thomas E. Cuffe. He was a brother of Mrs. Jane Eldridge and Miss Theresa Cuffe.
The following eulogy of Major Cuffe was submitted today by Harold MacChesney, fellow member of the San Rafael High School faculty and one of his assistants who knew him best.
“Thomas P. Cuffe is gone. He passed away quietly yesterday morning after a long illness.
“Known and loved as ‘Major’ or ‘Maj’ by thousands of alumni and students and teachers of San Rafael High school, his passing will be keenly felt.
“Maj was a happy man and he shared his happiness with his student friends. He wa a kindly man and often his words of encouragement helped students and faculty members over rough spots.
“He had a keen sense of humor which found an outlet in choice little verses about the school and its personnel to the delight of all who read them.
“He will be missed for a long time at San Rafael.
“Maj was a patriotic man and at times spoke to the assembled students love of country and duty, in recent years urging them to designated tasks in support of the war effort.
“The flag raising ceremony at the beginning of the school year and the lowering ceremony at the close belonging to Maj. After a short speech about the meaning of the flag and America and our duty toward it, he would direct the students and faculty to positions around the flag staff and while all stood swiftly at salute he would direct the raising or lowering. He helped make better citizens. The picture of Maj that most of us remember best is his soldierly figure, stiffly at attention, his hand raised at salute, his eyes on the flag he loved. We salute you, friend who has gone.”
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