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Dr. Thomas S. Tullis, Ph.D.
  • As Tom was an incredibly logical and compassionate person, the family is asking that in lieu of flowers, donations in his name are provided to the Global FoodBanking group.
    70 E. Lake Street
    Suite 1200
    CHICAGO, IL 60601

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Message from the Family

Thomas (Tom) Tullis was famous for tucking his children into bed every night, taking an unnecessary amount of photographs of landscapes and of his family, as well as helping to build a Space Station and generally being a geek. He was a pioneer in the


Memories & Candles

“Tom was a mentor to me. Even though, most of our time together was online, he always had wise advice to share and I can say for sure he was 100%...Read More »
1 of 27 | Posted by: Debora Carvalho - School

“My condolences to Tom's family. I worked at Fidelity and had the pleasure of working on a few projects that included Tom as the expert. I also...Read More »
2 of 27 | Posted by: Maura Cassidy - Barrington, RI

“I bumped into Tom accidentally in 2018 at UXPA. He was a kind and humble person. Losing such a person is definitely not easy. My condolences go to...Read More »
3 of 27 | Posted by: Amin Alhashim - Norman, OK

“My heart goes to Tom's family, I am so sorry to hear that he passed. During my time at Fidelity as a designer I could see what a difference he made...Read More »
4 of 27 | Posted by: Gilberte Houbart - Cambridge, MA

“I am so sorry to hear of Tom's passing. Sending love to everyone who is grieving his loss. ”
5 of 27 | Posted by: Michelle Pontbriand - S Easton, MA

“I'd like the family to know of the fond remembrances we have from interacting with Tom over the years. My wife Laurel Allender and I were fellow...Read More »
6 of 27 | Posted by: Rene de Pontbriand - Bel Air, MD

“I met Tom in 1964 when he began 7th grade at East High School in Memphis, TN. He had said recently, that he planned to attend our 50 year (1970-2020...Read More »
7 of 27 | Posted by: Lester Goldsmith - Friend

“I had the great privilege of being Tom's colleague and technically his boss when I ran the Fidelity Center for Applied Technology, until my...Read More »
8 of 27 | Posted by: Charlie Brenner - Weston, MA

“I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Tom. My condolences to Susan, Cheryl, Virginia and the Tullis family. Tom was always very kind to my family...Read More »
9 of 27 | Posted by: Sandra Firestone - Athens, AL

“Susan, Cheryl and Virginia, I am so sorry for your loss. Tom was a true inspiration as a friend and an example of what being successful was all about...Read More »
10 of 27 | Posted by: Andrew Wood - NY - Friend

“I had the honor of working with Tom as a college intern and then subsequently when I returned to work full time at Fidelity. He was always patient...Read More »
11 of 27 | Posted by: Kirsten Laaspere - Boston, MA

“I have been part of the utest community for decades, from the time I was a newbie just starting out in the field. Tom was always kind and generous...Read More »
12 of 27 | Posted by: Kayla Block - Sacramento, CA

“My condolences to the entire Tullis family on behalf of Elsevier Publishing. ”
13 of 27 | Posted by: Steve Merken - Cambridge, MA

“I went to school with Tom. He was a person of many accomplishments. He was someone who could be successful in wherever he wanted to achieve...Read More »
14 of 27 | Posted by: Thomas Neiman - Friend

“So sorry for your loss, Tullis family. I worked with Tom at Fidelity for a long time and always found him to be both a gentleman and a gentle man,...Read More »

“I met Tom when I started at Bell Labs in 1977. Our group was called Personnel Subsystems. We designed a user interface for telecommunication...Read More »
16 of 27 | Posted by: Peter Mirabelle - Morris Plains, NJ

“I introduced Tom and Susan while we were all students at Rice University. We stayed in touch only occasionally over the years. Because Tom and I were...Read More »
17 of 27 | Posted by: Rodney Hoffman - Los Angeles, CA

“Like so many others in the UX community, Tom was a trusted mentor and colleague. I interned with him at Fidelity and was lucky to work on one of his...Read More »
18 of 27 | Posted by: Jacqueline Stetson - Gainesville, FL

“I was privileged to know and work with Tom over many years. I first met him when he moved his family to Boston to take the job at Fidelity. He was...Read More »
19 of 27 | Posted by: Joe Dumas - South Yarmouth, MA

“Dear Cheryl and family , we are very sorry to hear about your dads passing.. sending love.. ”
20 of 27 | Posted by: Cindy & Jeff Goldberg - Easton, MA

“Susan and family, Rusty and I are so sorry for your loss. We are praying for you during this difficult time. ”
21 of 27 | Posted by: Stephanie Termin Mullens - TX

“I want to send my condolences to the entire Tullis family. I was Tom's classmate in the 1970 graduation class at East High School in Memphis, TN....Read More »
22 of 27 | Posted by: Carol Ann Burns - Cordova, TN

“So sorry to hear of this. Love and prayers to the family during this terrible loss. ”
23 of 27 | Posted by: LeAnn & David Wetherell - MA

“Could not have any prouder of my Beloved Cousin, Tom. It was such a pleasure spending quality and fun time all the way from early years thru High...Read More »
24 of 27 | Posted by: William Samuels - Family

“Tom was very special to the Munro family giving of his talent w photography at ALL of our Father Daughter Dances for The famed photo booth'. He was...Read More »
25 of 27 | Posted by: Mike and Nanci Munro - WB, MA

“I'm so sorry for your loss, Virginia. ”
26 of 27 | Posted by: Amy Lefebvre - Braintree, MA

“I met Tom when we were freshmen at Rice in 1970. He lived in the same stairwell as I did, right below me. I remember him fondly as a bright,...Read More »
27 of 27 | Posted by: Jerry Brodkey - Los Altos, CA

EASTON—-Thomas (Tom) Stuart Tullis, Ph.D. (April 16, 1952 - April 29, 2020) was renown around the world for his intellect, humility, and terrible jokes. Tom was born in Memphis, TN, to Isaac Frank Tullis, Jr., M.D., and Selma Virginia (Samuels) Tullis. While earning his bachelor's degree from Rice University in the early 1970's, he met his wife, Susan Cheryl (Richardson) Tullis, with whom he spent 47 joyful years of marriage. Tom delighted in his children, Cheryl Marie (Tullis) Sirois (along with her husband, Craig Ernest Sirois, Jr.) and Virginia Susanne Tullis. He is also remembered fondly by his brother, Kenneth Frank Tullis Sr., M.D., his sister-in-law Madge (Wood) Tullis, his nephew Kenneth Frank Tullis, Jr., his nieces Meg (Tullis) Morris and Mary (Tullis) Barker, and his sister Kay (Tullis) Ledbetter.

In 2017, Tom retired from his position as Vice President of User Experience Design at Fidelity Investments. During his 24 years with Fidelity, he was instrumental in the development of the company's User Experience department, and founded its usability labs. An icon in his field, he was recognized in 2011 by the User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA) with a Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2013, he was also granted the honor of becoming a member of the CHI (Computer-Human Interaction) Academy. As an Adjunct Professor at Bentley University and a guest lecturer at many other schools, he was beloved by his students for his willingness to hold lengthy discussions about user experience, and his ability to consistently provide geeky trivia questions and answers. Over the years, his accomplishments included assisting on the design of the original NASA Space Station, publishing over 70 papers and articles in numerous scholarly journals, holding eight patents, writing two books, and speaking at a multitude of national and international professional conferences.

Tom was a collector of many things. He repaired vintage cameras and miscellaneous pieces of old technology in order to sell them online (he considered the money made from these sales his "lunch money"), actively researched facts regarding his genealogical ancestry, and owned over 150 baseball caps. He was an avid photographer, and would often cause his family to wait patiently while he took a seemingly longer than necessary amount of time in ensuring that he got "just the right shot."

As Tom was an incredibly logical and compassionate person, the family is asking that in lieu of flowers, donations in his name are provided to the Global FoodBanking group. A small outdoor ceremony for the family is being held on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, in Easton, MA, and a larger public celebration will be held at a later date.