Thomas J. Cacaci, Sr.
February 24, 1941 – June 12, 2020
When someone is identified as a natural leader, certain images come to mind. First thoughts are of a no-nonsense, tough-minded, dedicated, and disciplined person. This description accurately fits Thomas J. Cacaci Sr. who will be remembered as being highly organized, practical, and realistic. He was a person who always carried a strong sense of duty with him throughout his life. Possessed with traditional “old school” morals, everyone knew him as a well-respected man who was a stable force in his community.
Thomas was born on February 24, 1941 in Brooklyn, New York to Anthony William and Catherine Bridget Cacaci. Thomas was raised in "Bed Stuy" Brooklyn with three brothers and two sisters: Anthony, Mary Ellen, John, James, and Anne. As a young boy, Thomas liked to spend his time playing stick ball, volleyball and building things. He was also an altar boy at his church.
Thomas's matter-of-fact attitude about most things was developed during his childhood. As a young boy, Thomas enjoyed being part of teams, organizations and groups with other kids who shared similar interests. Thomas' memorable achievements included, awards from his high school for achievements in Volleyball of which he was a member of the school team. In school, Thomas developed into logical and focused thinker; his personal motto could well have been, “Do it right the first time or I’ll do it myself.” He graduated from Chelsea Vocational High School in 1959 and his favorite class was his automotive class. Shortly after graduating from High School he enrolled in Culinary School with plans on being a chef, he attended only 6 short months before being drafted into service.
Thomas was a U.S. Army Veteran. His sense of duty helped lead him into the military where his understanding of rank, his willingness to abide by rules and regulations and his desire to follow orders was admired by his fellow service men and women. He was in the U.S. Army from 1964 to 1969 and was stationed in Fort Benning, Georgia and Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Thomas saw action during the Vietnam War. Through his hard work and dedication, he achieved the rank of 13D2N - Missile Crewman and SP-4 Private. He received several awards recognizing him for his heroism, including medals for Rifle Marksmanship and Pistol Marksmanship.
An objective and conscientious individual, Thomas reveled in the security of his family. On June 17, 1972 Thomas exchanged wedding vows with Carol Marie Morelli at St. Matthias Church in Ridgewood, Queens, New York. Before having children Thomas and Carol shared their love with Ginger a German Shepard who they had for four years. In 1976 along with his wife and young daughter, he relocated to Queens, NY. When it came to his children, Thomas was ever watchful and was deeply concerned for their development as they grew up. He maintained a firm hand in their upbringing. Thomas and Carol were blessed with two children: a daughter, Mary, and son, Thomas Joseph Jr. They were also blessed with two grandchildren: Catherine Marie and Thomas Joseph III. Their family was rounded out once again with the love of a dog, Freddie a Jack Russel Mix, who always kept his eye on “Grandpa” and who now senses someone missing from his life.
Being a hard worker who praised efficiency, Thomas was an excellent and cooperative coworker, and he expected the same from his colleagues. In both his personal and professional environments, Thomas upheld his standards. He worked primarily as a plumber and was employed for 27 years with the New York City Department of Corrections. Thomas was a team player who certainly lived out the motto of, “Give me a job, and I will get it done.”
Recreationally, Thomas liked to go hunting, and was also fond of drag racing. Whenever he got the opportunity, he’d either take to the track, where he won many trophies or he would watch NASCAR and NHRA races. He was a lover of classic cars and attending car shows, he was one of the founding members of both The East Coast Car Association as well as The Crossbay Cruisers Classic Car Club. Throughout his years, along with being a member of the American Legion Post 104, NYC Plumbers Local 1 Union, Thomas was also an active member of other clubs namely, Big Apple Region Car Club, and Mustang Club of America.
Faith was important to Thomas. He held high moral standards and was worried about the moral decay he saw around him. For that reason he held deep spiritual beliefs that he was willing to share. He was a member of St. Matthias Church for 50 years.
As someone who placed a high value on showing gratitude, Thomas could graciously accept a “thank you” extended to him by those he helped. However, individual recognition wasn’t a motivating force for Thomas; rather, when he saw that there was a need to get something done, he was more than willing to give his time and energy in order to see it accomplished. Thomas received numerous awards and commendations from the City of New York.
When Thomas’s retirement finally arrived in 2000, he found new pleasure in attending car shows and traveling with his family. Favorite vacations included Wildwood, New Jersey, Orlando, Florida, and New Bern, North Carolina. In many ways, Thomas loved retirement. It provided him with the opportunity to catch up with his friends, attend functions and group outings, and tackle new interesting activities. One of those new interesting activities was relocating in 2015 with his family to, Las Vegas, NV.
Thomas passed away on June 12, 2020 at St. Rose Dominican Hospital – Siena Campus in Henderson, Nevada after a valiant fight with dementia and heart disease. He is survived by his wife, Carol; children, Mary and Thomas; grandchildren, Catherine Marie and Thomas III; daughter-in-law, Linda; and sister, Anne. Services were held at Palm Southwest Mortuary in Las Vegas, Nevada. Thomas was laid to rest at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City, Nevada.
All who knew him would agree that Thomas was a pillar of the community. He lived his life with his feet firmly on the ground. He had a strong work ethic, was pragmatic in his thoughts and acts, and constantly sought the means for self-improvement. He was willing to share his ideas and knowledge for the benefit of others, so that they could accomplish more in their lives. Thomas J. Cacaci Sr. did his best to ensure that his family, friends, loved ones, co-workers, and everyone whose life he touched was given the chance to become a better person.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Thomas J. Cacaci, Sr.
June 26, 2020
Thomas was my favorite of our brothers. We looked the closest even though we were 16 years apart. I loved him and will miss him dearly. Rest In Peace " Fuzzy" Tommy
June 25, 2020
Dear Carol, Tommy, Linda, Mary, Anne, Catherine, and Tommy III,
May God offer you comfort during this time. I know how close you all were with Tommy, Sr. He loved his family. He had a strong personality (he definitely got that from his mom). He was a hard worker. He was a leader of his family. His grandchildren meant a lot to him. They were the twinkles in his eyes. I'm sorry I couldn't be with you in person, but I am so glad that I was given the chance to witness his going home ceremony. Know that my prayers are with you always, By the way, I loved the movie tribute, especially the wedding photo (I remember Mrs. Cacaci showing it to me). I also loved the pictures with just the three Tom's. That is truly a treasure.
Love, Francesca (Serrano) Randolph