On November 28th “Papa Tom” Longo passed peacefully from this earth in his 90th year, with his beloved wife Margery at his side.
Thomas was born in 1930 in St. Catharines to proud parents James Longo and Celia (Fortura). Tom is the older brother of Bill and Anne Marie. Tommie spent his childhood in Thorold growing up amongst many family and friends in the same neighborhood where he would spend much of his life.
As a young adult he went off to the University of Toronto (St. Michael’s College), graduating from medical school in 1955. After marrying Margery (Coleman) in 1955 they went to Buffalo, New York where he interned at Mercy Hospital. After his internship they returned to Canada in 1956 with their first child. Shortly thereafter they purchased their family home at 20 Sullivan Avenue, just a block from where he had grown up.
The next few years were busy with raising their ever-expanding family and medical practice. When the family and practice grew, it required an addition on the house. When the practice continued to grow, he moved his practice into the house next door, before moving the office to the Pine Plaza, and eventually back to the original addition in the house.
Over 14 years, the family continued to grow to a household of nine children. He was a hard-working doctor, and a day didn’t go by that he didn’t have office hours to meet, a house call to make, or somebody to care for. But he always had time for his family. We all remember him coming home from work and rolling around on the living room floor with all of his kids . . . until someone inevitably yelled “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe”.
We all remember the “Tom-isms”, like “Be a good boy all of your life, not part of your life”, and “You’re a wonderful girl . . . full of wonder” and heard every morning while leaving for school, “Study hard”.
He was an avid sportsman, a hockey player in his youth who built us a rink in the backyard every year and would be out there with us every night, first tying our skates then either teaching the younger ones to skate, or showing the older ones some of his “stick skills”.
He loved to travel and walk the streets to see how other people lived. He enjoyed horse racing, and playing craps and gin rummy, and other than a short foray into owning a racehorse, he was pretty good at both of those endeavors.
He was always in good spirits, and never took a day off. Tom worked to alleviate people’s suffering in ways too numerous to mention. He didn’t complain, he just rolled up his sleeves and got to work. Dad kept his good spirits right up to the end.
A lifelong member of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Parish he received a Papal Letter and Medal from John Paul II in 2003.
Thomas will be remembered as the beloved husband of Margery (Coleman) for 64 years. Dear father to nine children: Jim (Janis Ellis), Janice (John Kingston), John (Krista), Mary Theresa (John Sipple), Anthony (Stacey), Joseph (Michele), Susan (Kim Milburn), Justin (Julie), and Elizabeth.
Proud Papa to Tyler, Amanda, Julia, Lauryn, Jack, Tom, and Claire.
Brother of Ann Marie (Harold Gallagher) and the late Bill Longo (Liz). Predeceased by dearly missed sister-in-law, Arlene Longo.
Uncle Tom will be missed by several nieces and nephews.
He lived a wonderful life, “full of wonder”.
A Funeral Mass was celebrated at OUR LADY OF THE HOLY ROSARY CHURCH, 21 Queen Street South, Thorold on Monday, December 2, 2019 at 11 a.m.
The Rite of Committal was held at Lakeview Cemetery.
In lieMemorial donations can be made to Christian Horizons, St. Catharines, or to the Holy Rosary Building Fund.
The family wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to Dr. D. Ralph, the personal support workers, the nursing staff at Hotel Dieu Shaver, Cousins Anne Atkinson and Celia Shepherd, and Sister Louise Dillon for their care and compassion shown to Tom and his family.