Thomas P. Rowan
September 13, 1920 – March 29, 2020
Thomas Peter Rowan died peacefully at Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ on 3/29/20 at the age of 99. Tom was a resident of The Chelsea in Fanwood since 2013. He moved to NJ to be closer to his daughter and grandchildren. He quickly became known and loved at the Chelsea as well as the community. He was known for his humor and quick wit, many of his friends at the Chelsea would say “he keeps this place lively”. He loved a good party and would perform at the talent shows, and dance at all the events at the Chelsea. He loved playing blackjack every Wednesday with his friends but mostly enjoyed his time with his family. He was known as Papa by his family. He would notably be seen sitting out front of the Chelsea on “his bench”.
Born in Glasgow, Scotland 9/13/1920, named after his father and grandfather. After his father perished in the coalmines when Tom was 5 years old, his family emigrated to America. Tom at the age of 97 was able to visit Ellis Island in 2017 with his children, and see his name engraved on the American Immigrant Wall of Honor.
``He grew up in Long Island city. He worked after high school to support his mother and siblings, until WW2 broke out. He then enlisted in the army and served 1942 until 1946 in the 389th infantry. After the war he took the civil service test for the NYPD, and shortly after was sworn in. He began his NYPD career assigned to the midtown precinct, which was his favorite assignment. He was promoted to Sergeant 11 years later and was transferred to 23rd precinct in Spanish Harlem, followed by 112th in Forest Hills. Promoted to Lieutenant and went on to finish his career years later at the 75th followed by the 69th precincts in Brooklyn. He retired in 1977 after a 30 year career.
` After retiring from the NYPD he worked security guard jobs at Entenmanns, Hazeltine and retired after working several years at the Stony Brook Carriage House museum.
``Tom met his beloved wife Germaine Palmer and married her at the age of 41 . Together they raised their 3 children and moved to Stony Brook, Long island for a better life. He and his wife Germaine downsized from their home in Stony Brook to a perfect retirement home in Port Jefferson Village in 1994. After Germaine died in 1996, Tom attended church at infant Jesus RC church daily at the 9am mass. He was involved in meals on wheels for many years and established a wonderful group of friends. He was well loved by his neighbors. He was known in Port Jefferson Village, as he walked the harbor several times a day with his beloved Yorkshire terrier, Dudley.
Tom was an honest man, a man of routine, and a man of faith. He was extremely social, would strike up a conversation with anyone. Even on his way to a table in a restaurant he would stop and have a few words with others dining. He was referred to by his family as legendary. He loved animals especially dogs, would refer to them as “beautiful creatures’. Tom was also charitable. He donated regularly to his church as well as several other charities including Maryknoll and Indian tribes of western US. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him, we will mourn his death but celebrate the life he had. Remembering what he taught us, “This too shall pass”.
He was predeceased by his wife Germaine. Survived by his sons John Palmer, Thomas Bruce (Nancy) and his daughter Paula Jane Charos (Kevin). Grandchildren Connor, Brendan, Kevin, Laura, Ned and Lydia. Sister Jane and brother Edmund, predeceased sister Sally. Loving nieces and nephews and a multitude of friends.