Obituary: Thomas Barefoot, 1946-2022 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Thomas Barefoot, 1946-2022

Entrepreneur and activist always sought to be of service to others

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Thomas Barefoot - COURTESY
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Thomas E. Barefoot III, 75, passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, April 5, 2022, surrounded by loved ones.

Tom lived his life with conscious intention. He was remarkable and accomplished, a gracious and considerate person who always sought to be of service to others. He will be remembered for his warmth and generous friendship.

Born on October 8, 1946, in Washington, D.C., Tom was raised in Alexandria, Va. He attended the Loomis School in Windsor, Conn., and completed his undergraduate studies at Tufts University, first majoring in particle physics and then graduating with a degree in philosophy. Tom earned a master's degree in human services administration from Antioch University New England.

Tom shared his time and expertise with numerous organizations, all working toward a kinder, healthier and more compassionate world, embracing the importance of economic and social justice. He served on the board of VPIRG and cofounded GNH USA, actively engaging in research and legislation to improve the well-being of others. Tom was an active member of the Mad River Valley Ambulance Service.

Tom began studying meditation and yoga in college, and in 1970 he joined Ananda Marga, a meditation and social change organization based in India.

He established Universal Micro Systems in 1980, one of the first companies in Vermont to sell personal computers. Over the years, UMS grew to offer networking solutions, programming and repairs to Vermont state agencies, as well as businesses across Vermont and New England.

Tom is survived by his wife of 46 years, Joni Zweig, of Warren, Vt.; his daughter, Madhurii Barefoot Maves, of Fayston, Vt., and her husband, Tyler Maves; and his beloved grandchildren, Skye, Griffin and Gus Maves.

Please join us for a celebration of Tom’s life on Saturday, May 7, at the Inn at the Round Barn in Waitsfield from 2 to 5 p.m. ( In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Amurtel, one of Tom’s favorite charities (

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