On the morning of 11/3/19 I received an email from my good friend Tom DeMali. It was from his email address, and it was all in CAPS, as he usually did because of his affliction with Parkinson's disease.
But, it wasn't from Tom. As I read the short message it became evident who it was from. Linda, his wife, wrote that Tom had passed away the night before.
I was not surprised, because the last time that our good friend, Jim Harpley, and I went to see him, at home, he was not doing very well. But I was naturally stunned. It is a feeling that is hard to describe, which I'm sure that many of you reading this have had.
Needless to say that feeling stayed with me for quite awhile, and it is still embedded in my memory from that morning.
I knew Tom for a long time. I believe I met him on the public bus line when both of us were working in downtown Akron. He was working at Goodrich, where he did for quite a few years, and I was working for Danner Press/Akron Typesetting. We both lived in Ellet, but he was living in a house with his parents and sisters a little southeast of where I was at with my family.
He graduated from Ellet High School, and I graduated to Archbishop Hoban High School I lived a block away from Ellet, but went to Hoban.
The more I got to know him, the more each of our friends joined the group. Tom liked to fish, but he was also an avid golfer. We golfed together quite a bit. I was not into the fishing, but I did go to a fly-in lake in northern Canada with him and his father, and brother in law. It was a great trip, but I almost fell out of the airplane. That is another story!
Tom and I both liked to smoke cigars, and have a couple of beers now and then after golf.
We both got married to women who knew each other from working together at City Hospital. And we both got divorced from those two women. He remarried. I almost remarried a couple of times, but didn't.
Tom was into sports. He ran track at Ellet. And we both were Cleveland Indians and Browns fans. We had season passes in the 70's, and 80's with a couple of other friends to Browns games. Every Sunday home game we would head up to Cleveland. And we also had the distinction of going to the first ever Monday Night Football game which they won.
Tom worked at Goodrich who became Michelin Uniroyal Goodrich (MUG) until he was laid off. And I ended up working at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company until I took a voluntary (Sort of) retirement after 36 years of service.
Tom got remarried to his wife Linda, who incidentally worked in the same department as I did (Joe Buz) at Goodyear.
Tom leaves his sisters Bonnie, Judy, Janice, and Debbie. He had a daughter Kathy, and sons Tom, and David from previous marriage. He leaves 8 grandchildren, and 5 great grandchildren in total combinationof the entire family.
I am going to miss him very much even though we didn't see as much of each other since we first met.
But I will never forget the good times that I had with him, and all of our friends.
Even up until a couple of weeks before he passed away he would send me emails about the Browns. They were short, and in caps , but he still would watch the games, and was still interested in them. But most of the time he was complaining when they lost.
We called him " Tommy D", and he liked it! TOMMY D R.I.P.
There are a few pictures below. I plan on adding more. If anyone he knew has any more pictures please send them to Geezersniteout@aol.com