The Honorable Thayer Fremont-Smith

  • Born: June 17, 1931
  • Died: March 31, 2020
  • Location: Melrose, Massachusetts

Gately Funeral Home

79 West Foster Street
Melrose, MA 02176

Tel. (781) 665-1949

Tribute & Message From The Family


The Honorable Thayer Fremont-Smith, Associate Justice of the Superior Court of Massachusetts (Retired), died peacefully on March 31 at his home in Melrose, Massachusetts surrounded by family. He was 88.

Mr. Fremont-Smith was born in Boston, Massachusetts on June 17, 1931. The child of Dr. Maurice Fremont-Smith of Boston and Mary Dixon Thayer Fremont-Smith of Philadelphia, Thayer attended Milton Academy ('49), Harvard College ('53) and Harvard Law School ('60). From 1954 to 1956, he served in the United States Army as an enlisted infantry medic. After law school he joined the firm Goodnow, Arwe and Ayer in Keene, NH, where he was also elected City Solicitor ('60-'63). Upon his return to Boston he joined the firm of Choate, Hall & Stewart, where he practiced as a partner for over 30 years. He was appointed to the bench in 1993, and served as Associate Justice of the Superior Court of Massachusetts for 10 years.

From a love of the law he was active in the legal community of Boston, a frequent lecturer in antitrust law (Harvard Law/ALI/ABA), a member of the Steering Committee on Civil Rights of the Boston Bar Association, the Catholic Lawyers Guild of the Archdiocese of Boston, the Pro Life Legal Defense Fund, and a past president of the Boston Inns of Court. He was also active in his home town of Melrose, Massachusetts, serving as a Chairman of the Melrose Planning Board, Director of the Melrose YMCA, as well as a Eucharistic Minister at the Incarnation Parish.

He was beloved for his gentle humility and personal warmth, his sense of humor, a habit of seeing the best in everyone, and an unwavering commitment to Harvard football. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. All who knew him will fondly recall many hours spent singing around his piano. He passed his love of music along to his entire family. He also had a deep love of the outdoors, and spent his free time hiking, sailing, or skiing at his home in Alexandria, NH.

Justice Fremont-Smith is survived by his wife of 59 years Anne Fremont-Smith of Melrose, Massachusetts; his son Mathew Fremont-Smith of New York City, NY; James Fremont-Smith of Newburyport, MA; Thomas Fremont-Smith of Newburyport, MA; Phillip Fremont-Smith of Belmont, MA; 9 grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Respecting current restrictions the burial will be private. A memorial mass and celebration of his life will be announced at a later date. The family asks that remembrances be directed to his favorite natural conservation charity, The Newfound Lake Region Association (Bristol, NH).


Condolence & Memory Journal

I think of Thayer often and try to remember some of the advice he gave me. He was what is the most valuable thing we can have - a friend. I miss his wit and wisdom. Alan Jay Rom

Posted by Alan Jay Rom - Chelmsford, MA - friend   March 27, 2021

I was one of Judge Fremont-Smith's clerks many many years ago. He was a wonderful and kind mentor and teacher and will be missed.

Posted by Evan Fray-Witzer - Lexington, MA   June 30, 2020

We will always remember Thayer for his constant smile, his unending energy and love for the outdoors. We shared many a passing smile and a rousing discussion over cocktails. He will be missed at The Ledges.
I will never be able to pass a Ledges wooden sign without seeing him bending over with his paintbrush on the ground to color the white sails and blue lake pictured there with the street name. Why did he do it? Because it needed to be done. That was Thayer. Farewell and Godspeed.

Posted by Judy and Jeff Neyhart - Alexandria, NH - Neighbor   April 24, 2020

Dear Anne, I would offer you and your family my sincere sympathy on the loss of your husband. May he rest in peace. Respectfully, Mrs. Paul Tighe

Posted by Sheila Tighe - Melrose, MA - Acquaintance   April 16, 2020

Dear Anne and family,

Thayer was a wonderful, kind, funny, smart and generous human. He touched all he met with his kindness, humility and the sheer force of his intellect. Some people come into our lives, stay awhile and move on. Others come and leave footprints on our hearts. I hope the memories of Thayer, what he stood for and believed in, his kindness and love provide you and your family comfort and support in these sad days.

Posted by Timothy O'Leary - Wakefield, MA - Acquaintance   April 13, 2020

My condolences to the Fremont-Smith family during this most difficult time. You are in my prayers.

Posted by Janet Surette - Melrose, MA - Acquaintance   April 11, 2020

We met this wonderful man at a most unfortunate time. Myself, Paul Heemskerk my partner Anthony Bongiorno were friends with his brother Dick Fremont Smith. Dick had recently passed and Thayer had a gathering at Dicks home shortly after his death. Thayer was a true gentleman and we had a wonderful conversation with him with regards to his brother Dick. We are sorry for the families loss. Thayer was a true gentleman, we only new him for a very short moment in time but he placed a very positive and memorable impression on us. Prayers and love go from the both of us out to the family.

Posted by Paul Heemskerk - Boca Raton, FL   April 11, 2020

Jamie, so sorry to hear about your dad's passing. My condolences to and your family.

Posted by Marybeth Macdonald - Methuen, MA - Classmate   April 07, 2020

I am sorry to learn of Thayer's passing. I first met him when he joined the planning board. He was a wonderful person and will be missed by all who knew him.

Posted by Leo Peters - Middleton, MA - Friend   April 06, 2020

Thayer was a teacher and a friend. He worked with me as co-counel on several civil rights cases when I was at the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. When he became a judge, he invited me to lunch with his family after he was sworn in. I visited him in chambers when I was in court and we had lunch a few times. I sent him a card and he called me and left a voice mail, and I saved that voice mail on my phone. He was highly principled and of good humor, taking his principles seriously, but not himself. I shall miss him but feel lucky to have crossed his path in my life. I learned a lot from knowing him. My condolences to his family.

Posted by Alan Jay Rom - Chelmsford, MA   April 05, 2020

So sorry to hear the news of Thayer's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with Anne and family. Warm memories are in our hearts.

Posted by Carol Vuillemenot - Kalamazoo, MI - Friend   April 04, 2020

Thayer was a terrific man, as loyal and kind as one could imagine. He was always first to step forward and he had a kind word for all. He was steadfast and true, a gentleman all could admire and wish for many more of his caliber.

Posted by Jim Arcand - Beverly Farms, MA   April 04, 2020

My condolences to your family.

Posted by Michael Santorsola - Maspeth, NY - Neighbor   April 04, 2020

We will always remember Judge Fremont-Smith as a kind and giving person. Chance meetings, whether at a local restaurant or on a sidewalk of Melrose, always brought a smile to my face. He contributed so much to so many, that his memory will continue for the great number of people that he touched.
Dick & Myra Lyons

Posted by Richard & Myra Lyons - Melrose, MA - Friend   April 04, 2020

A great neighbor and a kind man. I'm sorry to hear of his passing. Our condolences to the Judge's beloved family.

Posted by Veronica Meade-Kelly - Melrose, MA   April 04, 2020

We are thinking of you all during this sad and difficult time. We are so glad that you were able to be with your father during his last hours. Love and prayers to all of you. Tom, Lisa, Alyssa, and Annabella Palance

Posted by Lisa Palance - Ipswich, MA - Coworker   April 03, 2020

A truly great man and a tremendous loss for our community. I so appreciated and cherished his kind notes of advice and phone calls of support during tough times. In these troubling times we need men like The Judge more than ever.
My condolences to his wonderful family.

Posted by Rob Dolan - Melrose - Friend   April 03, 2020

Rest In Peace Judge. Thanks for all your hard work for good causes.Condolences to your loved ones.

Posted by Fred Harris - MA   April 03, 2020

I worked closely with Thayer when I was an associate at Choate Hall in the early 1980s. He was wonderful man, and acted as an informal mentor to me, which was greatly appreciated. My deepest condolences to his family.

Posted by Lee Gesmer - Dover, MA   April 03, 2020

To the Judge's Family:

Please accept our deepest sympathies. The Judge had a tremendous impact on the many lives he touched.

You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Sincerely,

Michael Sullivan
And the members of the
Superior Court Clerks' Assoc.

Posted by Michael Sullivan - Cambridge, MA   April 03, 2020

I send my deepest condolences to Ann and her 4 wonderful sons and their families. With tears in
My eyes, I remember happy times past with Thayer and Ann. He was such a wonderful, gentle human being. He was one of a kind . He will be greatly missed. Love to you, Ann.

Posted by Joanne Reilly - Boston, MA - Friend   April 02, 2020

Dear Jamie and FAMILY,
Please know how very sorry I am for the loss of your SWEET and CHARMIMG DAD. May HE rest in PEACE FOREVER.
Serenity,
Wilma

Posted by Wilma Gooby - Ipswich, MA - Friend   April 02, 2020

Dear Anne and family:

We are so sorry to hear of Thayer's passing and want to extend our deep and sincere sympathy to you and your family at such a difficult time. He was such an extraordinary and compassionate man who touched so many lives - he will never be forgotten and will always remain in our memories and love.

Myron & Rose Dittmer

Posted by Myron & Rose Dittmer - Melrose, MA - Family Friend   April 02, 2020


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