Obituary of Thomas G. Westfall
Thomas (Tom, Gramps) Westfall, age 92, Johnson City NY, Lake Page PA, and Marco Island Florida, died on Friday January 15, 2021 at Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton as a result of complications from the COVID virus. Tom lived a happy and adventurous life surrounded by the love of his family and friends. He was born in 1928 in Susquehanna PA during the Great Depression, to Marie and Harry Westfall. Tom was the fifth of seven children and suffered the loss of his father in a train wreck in 1933 when he was only five years old. There were some tough years as a child of the Depression but Tom went on to become a self-made man. He was a graduate of Laurel Hill Academy in Susquehanna, worked for the Erie Railroad as an electrician, and then served his country during the Korean War. Upon his return From Korea, he joined the IBM Corporation where he had a very successful 39-year career rising to the level of Program Manager. Tom was lucky enough to marry his hometown sweetheart Jan Tierney and together they had 56 years of love and adventure and laughter. Jan passed away in 2009 and Tom has missed her dearly since then. Their marriage was blessed with four children who later brought their remarkable spouses to the family. (Jerry and Kate, Kevin and Roberta, Meg and John, Beth and Lou). The family has continued to grow with eleven grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren, with two more on the way. Fifty years ago, Tom and Jan were able to buy "the cottage" at Page Lake near New Milford and spent many wonderful summers there with family and new friends. It was especially meaningful because Page Lake was the favorite summer place for Tom and Jan growing up as kids in Susquehanna. The grandchildren fondly remember the cottage as a place of happiness, filled with treats, and boating, and bonfires. Tom made every activity special and reveled in his role as the leader of the family. To the grandchildren he was known affectionately by many names including Tom the Bomb, Tough Guy Westfall, and his favorite, Gramps. Later in retirement Tom and Jan were able to spend their winters in Marco Island, FL and discovered a wonderful new group of friends and a social life that was filled with sun and fun and laughs. After Jan died Tom started a new adventure and joined the Hilltop Community in Johnson City where once again, he made many new friends. Tom was definitely a people person and enjoyed the warmth and daily interactions and kindness shown to him by friends and staff at Hilltop. During the last two years Tom was blessed to make two new friends Joy Stento and Jody Cruz who he loved as daughters. Joy and Jody were so good to him making all the chores of daily life that much easier for Tom. His children used to laugh because Joy and Jody were usually listed before them in order of importance to Tom. Tom was a life long devout Catholic, who had a special devotion to St Padre Pio and if you ever ran into Tom he would love to talk to you about Padre Pio and give you a prayer card. Tom recently was hospitalized at Lourdes Hospital and the family will be forever grateful to the nursing staff and doctors who cared for him and comforted him during his stay. The family would like to thank everyone on the COVID floor especially his nurses Kristin, Ashley, Cora, and Morgan. Family friend Susie Ditmore Smith who also works at Lourdes saw to his daily needs as well as reassuring the family, was a special angel to Tom. Tom was at peace and happy at the end. The nurses told us that he woke up his last morning singing "You Are My Sunshine" and laughing and talking, had his favorite treat a strawberry milkshake, and a few hours later was gone. Tom died with a rosary in his hands and a picture of St Padre Pio on his wall. You see the signs around town that say "Heroes Work Here" and we all nod and say there are some great people out there and the Westfall Family will be forever grateful to those at Lourdes who cared and comforted Tom at the end when we couldn't be there. Tom was predeceased by his wife Jan, his brothers Raymond (Skippy), John A. (Curly), Ken, and John V. (Jackie), as well as his sister Marylou and her husband John Fogarty. He was also predeceased by his brother and sister in laws Pat and Jack Joseph, Kay and Ed Holub. He is survived by his children and their spouses and children, Jerry and Kate Westfall with children Matt and Caitlin, Kevin and Roberta Westfall with children Jeffrey and Brandon, Meg and John Catanzarita with children Sara, Sheila, Mary, Beth and Lou Martin with children Claire, Tess, Kate, and Annie. He is also survived by his sister Arlene and husband Jim Tobin, as well as sister-in-law Mary Westfall, and sister-in-law Iva Westfall, and his sister and brother-inlaw Bob and Ann Quinn. Tom and Jan lived by the words of "take care of each other "and Tom demonstrated that to his family and friends everyday with his kindness and love. Because of living in the time of COVID there will not be any memorial service at this time and the family will plan to get together in the future to cry and laugh and share their favorite Tom or Gramps story. The family would like to recommend that those wishing to remember Tom make a contribution to the United Methodist Homes Hilltop Resident Gift Giving Fund. This is a fund administered by Hilltop that ensures all Nursing Home and Assisted Living Residents receive a Christmas gift. Checks can be made payable to UMH – Hilltop, c/o of Faye Clark, 286 Deyo Hill Rd., Johnson City, NY 13790.
A Memorial Tree was planted for Thomas
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at J A McCormack Sons Funeral Home Inc