Legal 04

Thomas F. Fay

October 13, 1940 ~ January 31, 2020 (age 79)


LINCOLN- Thomas F. Fay, 79, former Supreme Court Chief Justice, passed away Friday, January 31, 2020 at Grandview Center, Cumberland. He was the beloved husband of Paulette Fay for 54 years.

Born in Lincoln, he was a son of the late Joseph and Ethel (Lupton) Fay. He was a lifelong resident of Lincoln.

He graduated from Central Falls High School (1958), Providence College (1962) and Boston University Law School (1965). He started his legal career with Oster Espo Fay & Groff while representing District 72 in the House of Representatives. He was sworn in as an Associate Justice of the R.I. Family Court in 1976 where he championed many changes to the juvenile justice system. In 1986 he was elevated to Chief Justice of the R.I. Supreme Court where he served until 1995. He subsequently served as a consultant to many profit and not-for profit entities throughout Rhode Island. He will be remembered for his caring and compassionate demeanor both on and off the bench.

He is survived by his wife, Paulette Fay, his daughter, Kelly Ann Fay of Lincoln; his son Thomas J. Fay, Esq. and his wife Melissa, of Somerset, Massachusetts; three grandchildren, Leah Pepin Day of Warwick, John R. Silvia, Jr. and Madison E. Silvia, both of Somerset, Massachusetts; and his sister, Patricia Jarbeau of Lincoln. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Joseph Fay, Jr. of Modoc, South Carolina.

Relatives and friends are invited to a visitation on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. at Bellows Funeral Chapel, 160 River Road, Lincoln. His funeral and burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations to the American Cancer Society, 931 Jefferson Boulevard, Suite 3004, Warwick, R.I. 02886 would be appreciated.

To send flowers to Thomas' family, please visit our floral section.


February 5, 2020

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Bellows Funeral Chapel
160 River Road
Lincoln, RI 02865

Private Services

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