Thomas Louis Boccone, of Oceanside, New York--beloved father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, and friend to all he knew--died on February 10, 2021, after a long bout with cancer. He was 73 years old.
Thomas was born to Anthony and Phyllis Boccone, of Brooklyn, New York, in 1947, the first of their six children. From the beginning, he was a true survivor. He contracted polio and encephalitis before his fourth birthday and for a time he lay in a coma, his life hanging in the balance. With the tenacity that would characterize his entire life, he hung on and grew to be a handsome young man with big brown eyes, a dimpled chin, and a toothy smile that earned him the nickname “Beaver.”
Tommy, as he was best known, attended St. Thomas Aquinas grammar school and Midwood High School. After receiving an honorable discharge from the Army due to physical disability, he worked for years at the brokerage firm Merrill Lynch until his health forced him into early retirement. Tommy and his former wife, Cecilia Boccone, raised three loyal and loving children.
Despite his long medical record, Tommy was famous for his toughness. He wasn’t the fastest or most graceful guy on the block, but thanks to his enormous heart he was never the last player chosen in a pickup game of football. His appetite for hard work put men twice his size and half his age to shame. If you had furniture to move or walls to paint, Tommy would offer his help before you could ask for it.
Tommy, the unofficial “mayor” of South Brooklyn, spent his later years in Oceanside, where he was tenderly cared for by his children and their families. Wherever he lived, he made friends. No one had more friends. If you ran into someone from the old neighborhood who hadn’t seen him in 40 years, they would invariably smile and say, “How’s Tommy? Tell him I was asking for him.” Even when he was needling you with his sneaky wit or digging in his heels with the stubbornness that is the curse of all true Boccones, Tommy was never less than lovable. In his 73 years, he made a million friends and not one enemy.
Those who knew him will best remember not the suffering but the laughter. He could laugh at a good joke or an absurd situation until he was wheezing, with his eyes shining with tears. And he provoked the laughter of others, whether he was telling a story, trading zingers with his mother, or simply doing something ridiculous. There was only one Tommy.
His survivors take comfort in knowing he rests in the arms of a merciful God, without pain, without fear, where the Mets always win, where the buffet table groans under the weight of endless pancakes and lasagna, and where the light of his beautiful soul will shine down upon us to brighten our darkest days.
Thomas L. Boccone was predeceased by his father, whom he worshipped, his mother, whom he adored, and his brother and best friend John Anthony Boccone, whom he mourned for 50 years.
He is survived by his son John Thomas Boccone and his children Giannna, Madeleine, and Jack; daughter Jennifer Swincicki, her husband Damian Swincicki, and their children Damian Jr., Santino and Vincent; daughter Heather Ahearn, her husband Patrick Ahearn, and their children Cassandra, Joseph and Nicholas; his sister Christine Bressel, sister Lisa Boccone, brother Bud Boccone, and brother Robert Boccone; niece Melissa Vecchio, nephew Matthew Gunther, niece Gina Ruoti, and niece Cynthia Yovino.
We are a family owned and operated Funeral Home in Oceanside and we continue to maintain a long-standing tradition of personalized service that began with Mr. Earl Towers in 1933 and continued with his son Robert E. Towers. We are here to help you through this difficult time
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