Thomas M. Payette, FAIA, renowned Cambridge architect and founder of Payette Associates, died on Nov. 12. He was 90.

He grew up in East Grand Rapids, Mich. He met his wife Ginny in grade school and she became his lifelong sweetheart and best friend. They both attended Michigan State University, where he received a degree in structural engineering and was a world-class track and swimming athlete.

While courting Ginny, he built a summer cottage in Frankfort, Mich. He was a fine carpenter and knew how to get things done. This drive and energy propelled him to accomplish so much throughout his life.

Tom and Ginny married in 1954 and moved to Cambridge, where Tom attended the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He received his master’s in architecture in 1960. They lived in Cambridge for more than 65 years and raised their family in the house that Tom built.

After graduating, Tom began working at Markus and Nocka. By 1965, he became president of the firm. It would later become Payette, an international design firm of more than 150 people. His selfless leadership and passion guided Payette into what it is today: an award-winning firm known for its leading design in hospitals, laboratories and universities. Included in its notable work is the Aga Khan Medical Center in Pakistan.

He was a respected leader in the Boston architectural community, and was the president of the Boston Society of Architects from 1983-1984. In 2019, Payette won the prestigious AIA Architecture Firm Award.

He was an amazing man, devoted husband of 68 years to Ginny and a wonderful father. His loves were his family, architecture and gardening. He had a generosity, humility and boundless energy that will always be remembered. He was charismatic yet humble, had a strong work ethic and believed in the good in everyone.

Family gatherings made Tom and Ginny happiest. He loved the outdoors, creating beautiful gardens and having a family home with space for all to gather. Thanksgivings were large and filled with extended family. Christmas featured 18-foot tall Christmas trees in the grand living room he designed for their house in Cambridge.

In addition to Cambridge, Tom and Ginny created a family summer home in Vineyard Haven, where they have summered since 1974. Four generations of family still enjoy spending time there, soaking in the dazzling gardens that he lovingly created and tended.

Tom is survived by his wife Ginny of Lincoln; his children Scott Payette of Jamaica Plain, Monte Payette of Vineyard Haven, Shelly Payette of Phoenix, Ariz. and Jennifer Payette of Cambridge; his 10 cherished grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his siblings Robert Payette Jr., Mary Lou Campbell, Nancy DeVries and Peter Payette.

A celebration of life ceremony will be held in the spring.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Thomas Payette Financial Aid Fund at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.