The Bristol Tramps Sports Reunion Committee members are saddened by the death of our chairman, Thomas Murrone.
Tom’s contributions to and for many local organizations has been invaluable. His continued support of Julie Larese’s vision has made the Bristol Tramps Sports Reunion a better organization because of his exceptional, dependable leadership and guidance. He will be sorely missed.
Here’s a tribute written and read during our annual dinner by Donna Papazian:
On March 7, the Tramps lost our much beloved friend and chairman, Tom Murrone. What can we say about a man who has given so much to so many people during his lifetime?
Born and raised in Bristol, baptized in St. Anthony’s Church, Tom came from a very close-knit family, growing up on Gaylord St. together with the D’Amato family. As a young man, Tom worked selling vegetables going door to door in his truck. His family was devastated when Tom’s older brother Jim was killed on Iwo Jima while serving with the Marines; his younger brother Vito worked with Tom at the Plainville Spring Co.
Tom was always first and foremost a true family man: a respectful son and brother, a caring father, grandfather and great-grandfather and a loving and loyal husband to Patricia.
He was a dedicated community leader, a tireless volunteer, a sincere and trusted friend. And he accomplished all that he did with a quiet grace and dignity, never seeking the limelight, never looking for credit. He was a true humanitarian.
One of Tom’s many passions was his involvement with the Elks Club. Over the years, he held many positions in that organization; and, as Bob Montgomery said in his column: quote: “He brought goodness and happiness to many. The Elks Christmas party was one of the best days of the year for Tom.” Tom also enjoyed being an “uncle” to hundreds of young athletes at the Eastern Regional LL Tournament here at Bristol’s Giamatti Center every August. He did this for the past 16 years. He loved everything about that tournament: the games, the spirit and most of all, the kids. At our last meting, Maryellen told us how every morning, Tom would sit in his folding chair outside his boys’ dorm, reading his newspaper and, with that winning smile of his, he would say: “There’s nothing better than this.”
And each year at Christmas time, Tom would pay a visit to Don Soucy, Director at Giamatti, and proudly share the many cards and letters he had received throughout the year from players and families that he had befriended the previous summer. Don said that each time he would shake his head and say, “This was the best team I ever had.” And, of course, he said that every year.
And, finally, the Tramps. Tom faithfully and diligently carried out the legacy and wishes of Julie Larese and helped to grow our organization to what it is today. Tom struggled to attend our December meeting. He wanted to be sure to wish everyone a ‘Merry Christmas’ and thank us for our work over the past year. Even in the face of great adversity, Tom Murrone showed up to do what he felt was right. That was the kind of man he was. It would be his final meeting and the last time we would see him.
And so, what do we say in memory of this remarkable man? To the Murrone family, we say “thank you” for sharing him with us all these years. We hope that by recalling our memories of Tom and all of his good works may, in some small way, help to sustain you in the weeks and months ahead. And, from the Tramps, we say to Tom, simply, “Thank you so much.” We will always remember the life’s lessons that you stood for. We cherish your leadership, your sprit and your kindness. We praise you for the example you set for us. And, we will never forget you, Tom.