Thomas L. Aho (Hautaaho) , “Uncle Tom”. It is with profound sadness that the family and friends of Tom announce his passing on February 28th at the age of 74 at his Marlborough home. Born in Boston, he is predeceased by his parents Gustie H. (b. Gloucester, MA) and Marion (Troop) Aho (b. Boston, MA). He was predeceased by his brother Edward G. Aho and his sister Patricia A. Cunningham. He is survived by his nephews, Glenn Aho of Auburn ME and Richard Cunningham and his children Brett and Samantha Cunningham; and nieces Christina Cunningham, and Heather Bishop and her son Matthew, all of Brockton MA. Other family who are fortunate to have had Tom in their lives include Sara-Lee and Bruce Beller and their children Jonathan of IN, and William and Joesph of TN; Leslee and Ron Kelley and their children Garrett and Lindsey, all of Scarborough, ME; Virginia Beal of Old Town, ME; Vicki Curry of Hampden, ME and their families and countless others including his Bose family.
Having built his first analog computer in 1962, Tom graduated from Boston Technical High School that same year and worked for Block Engineering before entering the US Army to join the 56th Military Police Company at Fort Richardson, Alaska, where he was recognized as an Honor Graduate for not only his extraordinary work and achievement within the US Army Strategic Communications Command but also for completing the necessary coursework in half the time and with a score of 97.3 out of 100. His achievements earned him distinction from several unit command officers including the Brigadier General.
Tom then started what would be a 40-year journey with the Bose Corporation where he was widely acclaimed for his co-invention of an actuator (US. Pat No: 6,597,145 B1), an integral component of the famed Bose 901 speaker that can be heard throughout the world in premium home and auto audio systems.
Tom’s more than four-decade career at Bose Corporation started in an unassuming way. In 1972 he joined Bose as a staff technician, equipped only with his training as a military radio technician. Very quickly though he demonstrated an intelligence and work ethic that greatly impressed Bose’s MIT founders. He became a key contributor to an effort to develop the innovated manufacturing processes needed to produce the actuator at the heart of the Bose 901 loudspeaker. The Bose 901 speaker was the product that launched Bose’s premium home audio business. The 901 actuators were also a key enabler for Bose to launch its automotive business. One of the founders of Bose offered that Tom was one of the most intelligent people he has ever met and a vital contributor to Bose’s success. During his four decades at Bose, Tom continually reinvented himself and found ways to make contributions to the company and its customers. He made significant contributions in manufacturing equipment design, power electric, and high-performance computing during his career. By the time he retired in 2016, Tom, who was self-taught, had achieved one of the highest Research Engineer grades at Bose. Tom was always generous with his time to help his coworkers, in both corporate and their personal endeavors.
Tom had an insatiable curiosity that resulted in him being extraordinary at anything he explored, whether it was technology, electronics, hydronics, automotive, genealogy, DIY projects, photography, Comic Con, Anime, world events, and more, such as farming where he raised animals and planted and harvested acres of wheat. Tom had a penchant for intellectual and fun conversation and a keen sense of cultural awareness that opened him to learn from everyone he encountered.
Those who knew Tom referred to him as the “the Fun Uncle”—meaning way cooler and more fun than other uncles. He was warm, humble, known to spring into dance, and always possessed an eagerness to help anyone in need. He loved his family and friends but Ford Mustangs, his Goldwing, his Redwings, and especially his Dunkin Donuts travel mug were all a close second.
Services for Tom will be held later this spring in Forest Hills Cemetery, Jamaica Plain.
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