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Sharon's (Sharonjo ) brother Tommy


Maryanne

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I am sorry to inform you that Sharon's (Sharonjo) brother Tommy lost his fight with Lung cancer on June 29th.

We were just with him at our luncheon in Philly on the 21st. It' s so hard to believe that we met him and now that fast he is gone.

Our deepest sympathies goes out to Sharon( who is fighting her own battle with LC) and her family.

Here is Tommy's Obituary

Thomas R. Allen

ALLEN

THOMAS R., June 29, 2008 of Roslyn. Beloved husband of Silvia (nee Grossmuller). Father of Kristin (Brent) Gragert, Jennifer (Shayne) Donski and James. Grandfather of

Gavin, Connor and Hannah; also survived by 2 brothers Steven Maines and Nicholas Cipriani and one sister Sharon Kauffman; 2 nephews David and Codi. He was predeceased by nephew Sean. Relatives and friends invited to his Memorial Service Thurs. 11 A.M. JOHN R. FREED FUNERAL HOME, 124 N. Easton Rd., Glenside. Int. Hillside Cem. Friends may call after 9:30 A.M. No flowers, instead send donations to American Lung Assoc., 527 Plymouth Rd., Suite 403, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462.

Published in the Philadelphia Inquirer & Philadelphia Daily News on 7/1/2008.

Guest Book • Flowers • Gift Shop

Here is his guest book.. http://www.legacy.com/philly/GB/Guestbo ... =112578342

Sharon I am so sorry for your tremendous loss. I am honored I got to meet him at our luncheon and what JB wrote about him in that email was priceless.... I could see what a special man he was. He certainly loved life and did not let this disease stop him from living the time he had left.

My heart to yours girlfreind,

Maryanne :cry:

PS. Please go to members photo album to see how good Tommy look. Thank you Katie for posting the picture.

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I'm so sorry Sharon. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

Please accept my condolences.

P.S. Maryanne sent me a pic and I posted the one of you all at Kildares when you guys got together. It's in the Member Photo Album. Tommy was there. It's a wonderful picture.

(((hug)))

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Thanks to everyone who posted offering condolences and sympathy. We knew when my brother stopped treatment that his death was inevitable. We just didn't think it would be so soon. I just thank the Lord that he went quickly and with dignity. I gave a eulogy at my brother's memorial service. I am going to copy it below. Sorry it is long. I just wanted to post this tribute to my brother.

Hi, I think most of you here know me. For those of you who don’t I’m Tom’s younger sister, Sharon. I’m going to begin with a poem I found online that I like and think it is appropriate for Tommy. It’s titled “Not how did he die, but how did he live?”

Not how did he die, but how did he live?

Not what did he gain, but what did he give?

These are the units to measure the worth

Of a man as a man, regardless of birth.

Not what was his church, nor what was his creed?

But had he befriended those really in need?

Was he ever ready, with word of good cheer,

To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?

Not what did the sketch in the newspaper say,

But how many were sorry when he passed away.

We are all gathered here (family & friends) to celebrate the life and times of my brother Tommy Allen. And I know that Tommy has touched all of your lives in some special way just as he has touched mine.

When we were kids - of course he would tease me ungodly. (like all big brothers are want to do) But he was my hero too - - my protector, my knight in shining armor. He was the self-appointed righter of the wrongs done to me by my other big brother Steven. (Oh did I forget to mention that I had 2 big brothers who teased me while growing up? Well I did, but back to Tommy.)

Tommy was a child of the 60’s. It was the era of peace, love, and Woodstock. Music was a great influence in his life. And as a teenager he learned to play the guitar and grew his hair out long. He ditched high school until the school finally expelled him and then he practiced his guitar religiously and really became quite good too! (All of this thrilled my parents to no end I‘m sure). Tom had a great ear and could listen to a song a few times and then play it -- all without reading a note of music! And the song we heard most often was Gloria by Van Morrison. (Tommy played it for me just a week before he died).

At the tender age of nineteen, Tom enlisted in the Marine Corps and made us all proud. He spent the majority of his time in Okinawa (far from Vietnam, Thank God) and came back with a newfound maturity AND a tattoo. After a while he settled down and married his teenaged sweetheart, Silvia. Tom was such a family man and he had a great love of children. Well that was understandable - he was a child at heart himself. After several false starts, Tom and Silvia eventually became the proud parents of three great kids: (my nieces Kristi & Jen and my nephew Jim). Tom was a hands on father and reveled in his new role as dad. His kids are a testament to the fact that he was such a wonderful father. They have all grown up to make him very proud. Kristi and Jim have each served their country in the United States Navy and Jenny has become not only a very talented dancer, but also a teacher of dance to young students.

Tommy was a also great uncle to my three boys. He and Silvia often took my eldest son Sean, (who is Tommy’s godson) for overnight stays at their home when he was young. And my younger boys will surely look back on all the happy times when Uncle Tommy was around because he was so funny and so much fun! In fact we have tons of video tape of Uncle Tommy along with their crazy father (Dave Kauffman) making fools of themselves during several summer parties at our house. They have just about worn out those tapes from watching them so much!

I think that Tom was most proud of his more recent role as grandfather to Gavin, Connor, and Hannah, and has eagerly anticipated the birth of his 2nd granddaughter Valerie. Sadly Tom will miss her arrival, but I’m sure that somewhere he will be looking down and smiling as she makes her way into this world later next month.

When Tommy & I were diagnosed with lung cancer within a week of each other, we became comrades-in-arms against this disease. We served as cheerleaders, each for the other in our small triumphs over the progression of our tumors and commiserated with each other at the betrayal by our own bodies when the tumors inevitably grew. Through it all Tom was a warrior like no other. Somehow he found the courage to keep on living in the face of adversity. Each time that his scans showed growth, Tom just kept on plugging with yet another chemo -- hoping that this one would be the magic bullet to stop or even just slow the growth of this relentless enemy.

Even as he made the decision to forgo treatment, he never seemed to despair. While Tom was still alive, he was going to LIVE.

I found a quote by Aristotle that really says it all about how Tom faced this disease with so much poise and dignity:

“The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with composure one heavy mischance after another, not because he does not feel them, but because he is a man of high and heroic temper.”

I can only hope that I can be so valiant when my time comes.

I guess what I will miss the most about Tommy is how much he made me laugh. He had a great sense of humor and the stories he told were priceless. (Well you all know). I’m sure that many of you can remember countless times laughing so hard that tears were coming out of your eyes at a Tommy story. And I think that’s just how Tom would want us to remember him:

as a wonderful and loving husband… father… grandfather… father-in-law… son… brother… uncle… nephew… cousin… and friend -- one who could tell a great story and make people laugh!

I’m going to end here with a quote that I think says how we all feel:

“Say not in grief ‘he is no more’ but live in thankfulness that he was”

Hebrew Proverb

Thank You,

Sharon

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