Thomas De Cair ’72

Tom DeCair, 77, of St. Pete Beach, Florida, died June 12, 2022 following a brief illness. DeCair came to the Holland Sentinel in 1965 as an intern from Kalamazoo College and later served as the Sentinel’s sports editor. After service in the U.S. Army he returned to Holland to attend Hope College where he received his B.A. in January 1972. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior and received a plethora of other academic honors and graduate fellowship offers. He declined those offers to join the Nixon White House Press Office, writing press releases and wrangling the press corps, culminating in his being named Assistant Press Secretary to President Gerald Ford.

He left the White House to help Governor William G. Milliken host the 1977 National Governor’s Conference at Detroit’s then-new Renaissance Center. He returned to Kalamazoo briefly in 1977 when he was named president of Gilmore Advertising. Subsequently, at the U.S. Department of Justice, Tom was the first non-lawyer given the John Marshall Award for Outstanding Service to the Law.

Tom spent his retirement as a part-time helper for over 14 years at the St. Pete Beach Public Library. He is survived by daughter Sara DeCair  ’96 (Chris Sobota) and granddaughter Taylor DeCair Sobota, both of Washington, D.C. who served as his end-of-life caregivers.

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