Former Advertising Executive and Sailing Great Hazelhurst Passes

Sunday, November 25, 2018


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Advertising great Hazelhurst

Tom Hazelhurst, accomplished sailor, Navy veteran and top advertising executive in Rhode Island for decades passed away.

A member of the Brown University Athletic Hall of Fame and Intercollegiate Yacht Racing Hall of Fame, Hazelhurst was a passionate sailor for decades.

He was the co-founder of the advertising and public relations firm Potter-Hazelhurst which was a top firm in Rhode Island and helped to build some of the best-known brands in the region.


Thomas Edgar Hazlehurst, 84 of Wakefield, formerly of North Kingstown sailed away peacefully on a sunny Saturday morning, November 17, 2018. Born in Providence he was the son of the late Thomas P. Hazlehurst and the late Hope C. (Kelley) Hazlehurst. He was the husband of the late Carol Kenyon. They were married for 27 years prior to her passing in 2014. 

After high school at LaSalle Academy, he attended Brown University, graduating with his Bachelor’s Degree in 1956. He was the Captain of the Brown Sailing Team in 1955 and 1956. He then went on to serve in the U.S. Navy from 1956-1959. He is a member of the Brown University Athletic Hall of Fame, a member of the Intercollegiate Yacht Racing Hall of Fame, a winner of the 1956 Olympic Finn Dinghy Trails and a finalist for selection in sailing in the 1956 Olympics. 

Tom was an avid sailor and much of his life was dedicated to promoting sailing and the ocean. He served as President of the Narragansett Bay Yachting Association. He was the founding secretary of Save the Bay. He was the Commodore of the East Greenwich Yacht Club. A trustee and Fleet Captain of the New York Yacht Club. A member of the Rhode Island State Yachting Committee. A chairman of the Newport to Bermuda Race and also the Fleet Captain of Cruising Club of America. 

He was a man of great class and respect. Besides his passion for sailing, he was the CEO of the largest independent advertising, marketing, and public relations agency in Rhode Island, Potter Hazlehurst. 

He was the beloved father to his three daughters, Lynn Hazlehurst, Nancy Deutsch, and Pam Thompson. He was the loving grandfather to his six grandchildren, Alex Hood, Alyssa Flynn, Jared Cross, Leigha Shanahan, Heather Cross, and Martina Cross. He also leaves three great-grandchildren Kyler, Leighaunna, and Jameson. 

A Celebration of Tom’s life will be held at a later date. Donations can be made in his memory to Sail Newport, 72 Fort Adams Drive, Newport RI 02840 or Save the Bay at For online expressions of sympathy please visit


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