Tom was a loving husband of Cathie, & a wonderful father to Kevin & Daniel. He attended Cornell, rec'd a Master's degree at SUNY Binghamton. Very popular in school, college & community. Was a top level administrator at a small college in Edison, NJ. Tom now has an annual golf tournament named after him in Princeton, NJ, where he was a member of the Chamber of Commerce. Very active in community affairs, coaching soccer, swimming, other sports. The youth of the community thought highly of him.
He was known as the peacemaker in his community. In the PTA, on all committees, he could discern what both sides in a dispute wanted, present the matter clearly and fairly and helped discover resolutions acceptable to all.
He loved all animals but he didn't become a vet because a course required him to do dietary experiments with live animals & all in the study were then euthanized so that internal organs, rates of growth,etc could be charted. Dogs he really liked: black labs, Great Danes, boxers. He even kept tropical fish for a time.
He directed his energies to writing grants, education, community youth. He had a way with words. He & I once played Scrabble in Latin, German,& English-- the wildest I have ever played.
He believed so strongly in don't drink & drive, that, when he went to a friend's home the evening before, for his regular poker night, he took a 6-pack of cream soda for himself!!!
He had people literally from all over the world fly in for his memorial service. Throughout 2 days, 4 visitations at the funeral home, people stood in line for up to 2 hours in a cold March drizzle. This includes hundreds of teenagers & youngsters who had been coached by him. More than 1400 people were packed into the church, which the pastor offered to let the family use, knowing Tom's beliefs, also knowing the crowds who needed to say goodbye. But the effects of the crash in a small town in eastern Pa, which took the lives of 2 men in their prime (the 2 Toms, best buddies) was devastating. Both men were very much a part of the community & the college. In fact the college lost 1/3 of its administrative staff early that morning of 3/25! And, of course, the 23 yr old drunk didn't have even a bruise, although his passenger was injured. For once, a harsh sentence was given. The man served 3 yrs in the state pen. He had parents who had always managed to pay the fines, get a lawyer to plea, drove with or without a license--- familiar story of drunk drivers, isn't it? This time, the community as a whole was so outraged when the background of how many times he had been stopped & booked for DUI, that there was, finally, no out for the judge, or the parents who had done their son no favors in not facing the facts & punishment he should have had earlier.
That's the other sad part-- families find themselves caught up in the day-to-day, we turn around, & not only are they suddenly grown, but middle-age, then, in an instant-dead. And it's too late now.
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