Thomas Watson Cain Jr.

September 15, 1946September 12, 2020
Play Tribute Movie

Thomas Watson Cain, Jr., 73, was born on September 15, 1946 in Canonsburg, PA to Thomas and Margaret Cain. Tommy passed away at home in Jacksonville, FL on September 12, 2020.

Tommy graduated from Terry Parker High School in 1964 and was a proud graduate of the University of Florida in 1968 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. He served in the United States Army and was stationed in Chu Lai, Vietnam from October, 1969 to October, 1970 where he referred to himself as “The Chicken of Chu Lai.” Tommy enjoyed his work in journalism, including his time working for the Florida Times-Union. At the newspaper he wrote a humorous column called Raising Cain. A lot of his story ideas for the column were based on family, which sometimes got him into trouble with his wife. Tommy later moved on to the University of North Florida where he worked as an information specialist in Marketing and Publications. He retired from UNF in 2012.

Tommy was a master of storytelling. His family and friends spent hours listening to his hilarious stories told with his trademark quick wit. He was also well read, particularly in sports and history. This added to his great knowledge of trivia, which came in handy during the many Trivial Pursuit games played with friends. Tommy enjoyed sharing his knowledge by trying to stump others with his own trivia questions. Thanks to him many others now know the jersey numbers of historical baseball players.

Tommy’s love of sports knew no bounds. Many good days (and bad days) were spent cheering on his Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Steelers and Florida Gators. His passion for sports was passed on to his two sons who learned everything there is to know about baseball, football and other sports in between. Countless Saturday mornings were spent with him shagging fly balls, keeping their elbows up while swinging through the ball, and hustling no matter what.

Tommy enjoyed taking photographs and videos of family events. He was always behind the camera even if it meant getting run over by his daughter when she was learning to ride a bicycle. If there was a sporting event, a birthday party or any family gathering Tommy would be there with his camcorder and camera.

Tommy is predeceased by his mother and father. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Lynn; daughter, Laura Branson; son, Robert; and son, Timothy (Jessica); 2 grandsons, Jamison and Jacob Branson. He is also survived by his brother, Robert (Marsha), and his sister, Denise Caldwell. The family would like to thank his caregivers from Concierge Care, particularly Roneshia Linder, who took such good care of her ”buddy”. We will always remember his wonderful sense of humor and his compassion for others. Tommy’s faithful dog Brownie will always miss his love.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation or the Parkinson’s Foundation.

Arrangements are under the care and direction of HARDAGE-GIDDENS CHAPEL HILLS FUNERAL HOME, 850 St. Johns Bluff Rd. N., Jacksonville, FL 32225. (904) 641-9755


  • Visitation

    Saturday, September 19, 2020

  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, September 19, 2020


Thomas Watson Cain Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

June Kidd

September 23, 2020

I am thinking of you and your family at this difficult time in your lives. I was sorry not to be able to attend the service for Tom. May memories of good times in your 46 years together bring you comfort in days ahead. And like Kathy, I hope maybe we can reconnect again. With deepest sympathy.

Kathleen Garza

September 19, 2020

Oh my dear Lynn. I am so so sorry to hear of your loss. I just found out today otherwise I would have tried to be there. Such fond memories of those years of working together and being pregnant together. So sorry we have lost touch. I would love to hear from you. Please accept my sincerest condolences and prayers for you and your family.
Kathy Garza

Dan Dundon

September 17, 2020

I worked with Tom at the University of North Florida and have many memories of his love of the Pirates and especially the Steelers. Although a Jaguar fan, I would always look forward to Monday morning when we could swap stories about our teams. He would patiently listen to my sob stories while not being too boastful about the victories of his Steelers,
Tom was an excellent writer who knew how to capture human emotion in his writing. This probably explain why he was such a good storyteller.

Learn more about the Cain name