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Whalen & Ball Funeral Home

168 Park Ave, Yonkers, NY

OBITUARY

Thomas J. Swetz

March 19, 1938April 2, 2020

Thomas Joseph Swetz, age 82, an exemplary human being, son, brother, husband, father, uncle, cousin, in-law and friend, died on April 2nd, from complications of COVID-19 at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton, PA., surrounded physically by the medical professionals in the Intensive Care Unit, and surrounded in prayer and in the thoughts of all who loved him.

Tom’s indomitable spirit and generous nature endeared him to scores of people in all segments of society.Tom, son of Thomas (Tim) and Frances (Sajdak) Swetz, was born in Yonkers, New York on March 19, 1938. He attended Roosevelt High School, and entered the Army in 1956 to 1958, achieving an E5 rank. He was stationed at a Nike Missile Site in Cromwell, Connecticut. Tom met his future wife Carol, at a dance in Connecticut…..and the rest, as they say, is history. Thomas Joseph Swetz married Carol Ann Mangan on April 22, 1961. They remained a solid example of a wonderful marriage until Carol’s untimely death in April of 2013. Tom, a true man of faith, was very involved in St. Bartholomew’s Parish in Yonkers. He was a long-time member of the Holy Name Society, and a founding member of Broadway at St. Bart’s. He was a fixture at the church and elementary school, where he could fix anything, build anything, and created amazing scenery for the various musicals and school plays. Who can forget the St. Bartholomew Family Picnics? Tom worked at Timex and at Oil City in Yonkers and Greenwich, CT, as the carwash repairman for many years, before finding his niche at the United State Post Office in Harrison, where he was a gifted mechanic.Tom and his beloved wife moved full time to Gouldsboro, PA upon their retirement, and lived life to the fullest, making strong bonds of friendship. Tom always had a love for music, and played the clarinet and saxophone all throughout his life. In his retirement he joined many a community band such as the Yonkers Pops, The Yonkers Military Band, The Bronxville Pops, The Mount Pleasant Community Band, The Broome Street Bands, and many others. He was a great deal better musician than he thought he was. He will be remembered for the pride he had in his family, his ability to fix anything, his fantastic cooking and entertaining skills, his stubborn independence, huge heart, colorful personality, warm and welcoming nature, ability to make friends easily and his devotion to his family and faith. Let’s not forget that gorgeous head of hair and substantial mustache, the two-door, candy apple red Mazda Miata convertible, OR that booming voice on his answering machine: “Hello it’s me, Tom!” Left to honor his memory and continue his legacy are his daughter Donna M. Reynolds and her husband Andrew, his son Thomas Paul Swetz, and his wife Jacqueline, and his grandchildren Samantha A. Rothstein and her husband Brandon, Kenneth Joseph Clark, Patrick Michael Clark, and Thomas Joseph and Brandon Michael Swetz. Also his brother Edward Swetz, and wife Angelina, brother James A. Swetz, sister-in-law Wanda Swetz, niece Stacey Mulvaney and her husband William, and great niece Lia, niece Megan Swetz, and nephew Matthew Swetz, companion Dorothy Gentile, plus extended family and an inordinate amount of friends and fellow musicians.We send our heartfelt gratitude to the ICU Unit of Geisinger Community Medical Center, and the EMTs who assisted Tom in his hour of need. Special shout out to Ken Clark, for rushing to Tom’s aid, putting eyeballs on him, and reporting to his children. We are forever grateful. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there will be no traditional services at this time. The family is planning a virtual memorial in the short term, and a HUGE celebration of Tom’s life in the long-term, once life gets back to some semblance of normalcy. Stay tuned. The family requests donations to be made, in Tom’s memory, to The Geisinger Health Foundation. www.geisinger.org Scroll to the bottom of the page. Under CONNECT, choose Make a Gift. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Whalen & Ball Funeral Home 168 Park Ave. Yonkers, N.Y. 10703 (914)965-5488 www.whalenandballfh.com

Services

  • All services are private.

Memories

Thomas J. Swetz

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Jamie German

April 14, 2020

To a friend who never judged me, always showed a great interest in everything I did, was kind to my family, loved cars and music. It felt like I knew you my whole life. Thanks Tommy for including me in your life. I will miss you. ❤️❤️❤️😢 Jamie, Beth, Brittany and Amanda German.

Ron LoPinto

April 14, 2020

Sincere condolences from all of the musicians of The Bronxville Pops Concert Band. Tom was a longtime member of the band and he will be sorely missed. Al Mingrone and Ron LoPinto

Chet Varner

April 13, 2020

Aileen and myself were devastated to learn of Tom's untimely passing. We have many fond memories of him from the Moonlight On The Poconos Band and The Stardust Orchestra (Hudson Valley Swing Band). Tom loved theater and plays and we enjoyed attending "The Color Plaid" Play together and going to Friendly's afterwards for some eats.
Tom and his wife Carol were both beautiful human beings with unselfish, giving hearts. Tom's personality and smile were just simply contagious.
Tom was always one of the last to leave a musical performance because he would stay behind and help musicians put things away or pack up.
We love you Tom and will always hold you close in our hearts. We extend our most sincere heartfelt condolences and prayers to the entire Swetz Family.
Rest in Peace Tom,
Chet & Aileen Varner (Chet-vocalist drummer with the swing bands)

Henry Grilk

April 11, 2020

My Friend, Tommy, is probably playing lead alto sax in God's Big Swing Band right now! For many years (10+) Tommy played in my band, the Moonlight On The Poconos Big Band, and we had ball playing some of the greatest music ever written. Mere words just aren't adequate enough to express your thoughts, memories, sadness, and yet thankfulness that our lives came together in the sharing of music. I'll miss you, my friend... I'll miss you a lot! Rest in Peace.

Walter Hertman

April 11, 2020

We are so sorry to hear of Timmy’s passing. I first met Tommy and Carol when I joined the Moonlight on the Poconos Big Band in 2012. With our infant son, Ryan, in tow, my wife, and eventually our newest addition , Madison would accompany me to rehearsal each week. Tommy delighted in seeing our young family growing and listening to the band over the years. He was always genuinely interested in the kids’ latest tales of their experiences in school and life, and they basked in the attention. We were devastated when Carol became ill and passed away, seeing our dear friend grieve so deeply. We were inspired by watching Tommy continue to find meaning in life, despite the loss of the love of his life. When I saw Tommy last summer at a big band gig celebrating our mutual friend’s retirement, I hadn’t a clue it would be the last time we would see each other. We will miss the laughs we used to share together. We will miss your kind nature. But most if all, we will miss you, Tommy. Thank you for the gift of your friendship— memories we will always cherish.

BarbaraAnn Little

April 11, 2020

To my band mate and friend. I am so very very sad to hear this news. A shining light while on this earth. RIP sweet Tommy

Richard Kennedy

April 11, 2020

Tom was always bright and bubbly, with a great sense of humor. He always was patient especially with children who wanted to learn.
I will miss him dearly.

Betsy Krakowiak

April 11, 2020

I am so sorry to hear about dear Tom. He was such a wonderful person and valued member of the Broome Street Bands in Port Jervis, NY. My condolences to his family and all of his friends. Our woodwind quartet will never be the same without him. With Love from Betsy <3

Janet Corvini

April 10, 2020

My deepest condolences to the Swetz family on the loss of Tom. He was kind, gentle, compassionate, a life-long advocate of music and a wonderful clarinetist. Tom was my first stand partner in the original Yonkers Pops Band when I was a high school student. Over the past 48 years I had the privilege of sharing a stand with him many times, most recently in the Bronxville Pops. His beloved wife, Carol, was also a dear friend and a great support to me during my time as the Elementary Band Director at the Bronxville School.
My thoughts and prayers are with you during this very difficult time. May the happy memories that you have bring you comfort and may time bring you peace.

Anna Nelson

April 8, 2020

My heartfelt condolences go out to his family. I joined the Mount Pleasant Community Band this year - playing in the band brings so much joy to me as I know it did to him. I am heartbroken to know that he will no longer be at practices, but his memory will live on in the hearts of everyone that knew him. May God bring him and your family comfort during this truly difficult time.

FROM THE FAMILY

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