It is with great sadness that the family of Thomas J. Phair Sr., 81, of Pittsfield, announces his passing from this earth on March 20, 2020, at his home with his family by his side, after a courageous battle with mesothelioma.
Born in Haverhill, MA on April 28, 1938 to William L. and Elizabeth Cahill Phair, Tom was the youngest of nine children. When he was a child, his family moved to Pittsfield, where he attended local schools and graduated from Pittsfield High School. He often spoke of his experiences growing up in a large Irish Catholic family, telling heartwarming and sometimes hilarious stories. It was a household filled with love and laughter.
He graduated in 1960 with a bachelor's degree in Management Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. While attending school, he met the love of his life, Carole (Cookie) DiNuzzo. They were married on September 16, 1961 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Watervliet, NY.
They returned to live in Pittsfield where Tom worked at the family electrical contracting business, William L. Phair and Sons, alongside his brothers Jack, Mike, and Kevin. In 1977, he began his own successful electrical contracting business, Monument Electric, in Bennington, VT. He was active in the Rotary Club and was honored as a Paul Harris Fellow for his outstanding charitable work.
Tom retired in 2002 and began taking care of his wife Carole, whose health had declined as a result of multiple sclerosis. He made it his goal to make her life as comfortable and enjoyable as he could, and at that he succeeded. He cared for her with such love and patience, and always with a sense of humor. Together they traveled often to Florida, Myrtle Beach, and Cape Cod, visited casinos and spent many good times with their friends at the American Legion. Tom loved being with people and he knew how to have a good time.
Tom's greatest joy in life was his family. He leaves behind his wife Carole and his two children, Thomas J. Phair Jr. and his wife Tricia of Burlington, MA, and Sheila Farry and her husband Bill of Pittsfield, MA. He felt blessed to have a daughter-in-law and son-in-law whom he loved as if they were his own. He also leaves his cherished grandchildren: Bethany Phair Hucker, Brendan, Sean, and Carolyn Phair and Tyler, Kayla, Lauren and Ryan Farry, and great-granddaughter Haruka Farry. They were truly the light of his life, and they in turn adored their "Papa Tom".
Tom loved Sunday dinners spent with his family, talking and laughing and sharing stories, having a few beers and playing cribbage. Some of his favorite times were family vacations at the beach where he would ride the waves with his grandchildren and, to their delight, even went parasailing and banana boating with them.
He was a lifelong Democrat, an avid Red Sox fan, and a proud Irish-American. In 2019, he visited Ireland with his son and grandsons and had the time of his life. He thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful land and heritage, the warmth of the Irish people, and many a pub along the way.
He was a communicant of Sacred Heart Church. His was a quiet faith which he showed by his nonjudgmental nature, his compassion and charity toward those less fortunate, and his unwavering devotion to his wife. He made the world a better place and will be missed by many.
He was predeceased by his brothers Jack, Mike, and Kevin, and his sisters Helen, Mary, Jane, and Joan, and is survived by his sister Margaret of Florida, and many nieces and nephews.
His family would like to express their profound gratitude to the staff of Hospice Care in the Berkshires for their exceptional kindness and support through this difficult time.
Funeral Notice: Tom Phair would have respected the precautions governing the public health and affecting public gatherings. Therefore, the Liturgy of Christian Burial will be private and for immediate family only. Burial will take place at a later date. A Public Celebration of Tom's Life will be scheduled and announced at a soon to be determined date and time. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to HospiceCare in the Berkshires in care of the DEVANNY-CONDRON FUNERAL HOME.
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