Colonie - Thomas Peter DiGiorgio was born June 8, 1931 in Elizabeth, NJ, son of immigrants Pietro and Agostilia Roccatani DiGiorgio, who imparted values of hard work, fairness to all, a love of good home-cooking and some homemade vino.
Tom trained as a cabinetmaker at Thomas Edison HS; served proudly in the US Navy (1951-55) as a metal smith aboard the Destroyer Escort Willard Keith; settled and raised his family in Rockaway, NY and later in Coram, LI. He later relocated to the Poconos. In 2015, due to advancing dementia, Tom came to live with his daughter Diane and family in the Capital District, where she ensured a safe, active and meaningful life, supported by a loving ‘village’ of friends and helpers.
Tom was an accomplished carpenter, and jack-of-all-trades; he built the family home in Coram, NY and built/remodeled many homes, restaurants and gas stations in the Rockaways/Five Towns, Long Island, the Poconos and eastern states. He later built a grand house in Tamiment, PA and remained active in the amateur dance circuit in PA and NJ. “Tommy Dee” LOVED his ballroom dancing!
He enjoyed listening to music, bantering in Italian and sharing time with loved ones at the beach. In 2005, Tom, with his daughter and family, made a trip to his ancestral village of Priverno, Italy, to visit extended family. In 2017, Tom and his daughter had the honor of participating in a Veterans’ Patriot Flight to Washington DC. Always quick with a witty remark or a story, Tom loved gathering groups of people for “happy noise”; his smile always radiated joy – and he was beloved by his many caretakers.
Survived by his children and their spouses: Diane (Dave), Peter (Sheryl), Thomas Jr. (Kathy) and Patricia (Brad); their mother, Beatrice Annarelli DiGiorgio, and a brother Carlo; also grandchildren Katie, Tom, Kristen, Bradley and Ryan, and many nieces and nephews. Tom was predeceased by his parents, a sister Anna Romel, and his partner of many years, Anne Popielarski.
He also leaves many fond friends from the dance circles in PA and NJ. We are grateful to the many friends and caregivers (our ‘village’) in the Capital District who have cared for and supported him/us these past 5 + years, notably: our friend Julie, and other caregiver supports and volunteer visitors; the Albany Stratton VA, especially the Adult Day program, Silver Team, Urology, and many wonderful specialty care and inpatient nurses/providers; caregivers at Home Instead, Eddy MGC and Hawthorne Ridge, Peregrine Sr. Living/Colonie, and Community Hospice.
Tom passed on January 10, 2021, from complications of prostate cancer.
A June memorial is anticipated in the Capital Region, with military burial at Calverton National Cemetery, Long Island.
Buona Notte Dad, I hope you dance.
Donations in Tom’s memory can be made to: Capital District Patriot Flight Inc. PO Box 13776, Albany, NY 12212-3776 - OR- volunteer/donate to VA Voluntary Service @ www.volunteer.va.gov.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thomas P. 'Tommy Dee' DiGiorgio, please visit our floral store.
Capitial District Patriot Flight, Inc.
PO Box 13776, Albany NY 12212-3776
VA Voluntary Service