Thomas J. Garforth, age 82, husband of Eileen Scanlon Garforth, died peacefully on June 23, 2019, in Pataskala, Ohio. He was born October 22, 1936, to the late Thomas A. and Claire (Remerowski) Garforth in Pittsburgh. A devoted family man, Tom is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years, Eileen; his daughter Leah (Jim) Kelly of Pickerington, Ohio; grandchildren Thomas Kelly of Cincinnati, Patrick Kelly of Chicago, and Hannah Kelly of Pickerington; sister-in-law Connie Garforth of Pittsburgh, brother-in-law Frank Curl of Mercer, PA, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Preceded in death by his parents, sister Barbara Curl, brothers William and Gerald Garforth, and sister-in-law Phyllis Garforth.
He was a graduate of Central Catholic High School. Tom touched everyone he met with his friendly smile, sense of humor, gentleness, and enthusiasm for life. His vocation was as a driver/salesman for Pepsi Cola, where he worked for 40 years. His avocation was helping to shape the lives of many young women as their basketball coach at St. Sebastian School and Vincentian Academy in the North Hills.
Tom and Eileen complemented each other. He introduced her to sports – Pitt and Duquesne men’s basketball and as a 64-year Steelers season ticket holder. Eileen sparked Tom’s interest in music – Symphony Pops and Oldies Pops concerts – and travel. Together, they visited and toured 37 U.S. states and Ireland, his only trans-Atlantic flight.
Tom cherished his lifetime friends of the Royal Outing Club, where he was a member for over 50 years. He was an avid golfer, basketball player, and softball player – hitting the ball numerous times over the left field fence at West Penn Field on Polish Hill.
No tribute would be complete without mention of his love, devotion, and generosity to his mother, daughter, and grandchildren. “Thanks, Pap, for showing us how to live lives of virtue, loyalty, and service to others.” Described by many as a gentleman and a gentle man, he will be dearly missed.
A memorial Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday July 30 at Our Lady of Angels Church in Lawrenceville, 225 37thStreet, Pittsburgh, PA. 15201. Family and friends are invited to a celebration of life luncheon, to honor Tom, immediately following Mass at Sieb’s Pub and Restaurant, 3382 Babcock Blvd. Pittsburgh, PA 15237. Those wishing to attend the luncheon are asked to RSVP to Eileen at 614-762-2628 or Leah at 614-397-3131 by Tuesday, July 23. Family and friends are invited to make a donation in Tom’s honor to Vincentian Academy Athletics, 8100 McKnight Road, Pittsburgh, PA, 15237.
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