Tag Archives: Thomas P. Reilly


6 May

What am I doing? That’s a wonderful question to ask. (I often wonder.)

The past week and a half, I’ve been working as an intern at The Riverdale Press in Riverdale/Bronx, NY. As I mentioned in earlier posts, it’s a weekly community newspaper. Here are some things I contributed to this past week’s issue:

Bin Laden’s death leads to thoughts of lives lost (My contribution is at the end of the story.)

I’ve also had the chance to write two obituaries.
Beloved Horace Mann teacher dies at 85

Thomas P. Reilly, who worked at Horace Mann for 44 years, died at St. Joseph’s Medical Center on April 27. He was 85.
Mr. Reilly retired from Horace Mann in 1996. He served as chair of the upper division foreign languages department for 32 years and worked as a foreign language teacher there for 44 years.
“Tom was not only a dedicated, skillful teacher of foreign languages, a fastidious scholar — he spoke 11 languages — but he was also … a compassionate advisor to generations of students,” Bernice Hauser, Horace Mann’s director of intercampus activities, wrote in an e-mail.
Born in Waterbury, Conn. on July 7, 1925, Mr. Reilly attended the University of Connecticut, Middlebury College, University of Grenoble-France, Laval University, University of Mexico, Columbia University, New York University and Naugatuck High School. He served in the army during World War II.
Mr. Reilly was an avid traveler who liked to tell stories. During his lifetime, he visited more than 150 countries and every continent. One of Mr. Reilly’s hobbies involved traveling on each of his milestone birthdays. On his 40th birthday, he traveled to Timbuktu, his 50th was celebrated on the shores of the Amazon, his 60th in Russia and his 70th birthday in Turkey. Mr. Reilly also enjoyed diverse foods, lighthouses and bridges, his nephew, Jack Rutigliano, said.
Mr. Reilly served as president of the Kingsbridge Historical Society for 13 years and was a member of the National Rail Society and Canal Society.
Mr. Reilly is survived by his sister, Ann Rutigliano, and her husband, Frank, of Watertown, Conn., his brother, Eugene J. Reilly, of Prospect, Conn. and several nieces and nephews. Mr. Reilly was predeceased by his sister, Mary Mukosey.
Mr. Reilly’s wake was held at Buckmiller Funeral Home in Prospect, Conn. on May 2. His funeral took place at St. Mary’s Church in Naugatuck, Conn. on May 3. He was buried at St. James Cemetery in Naugatuck.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation or Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Scoutmaster Jack Tobin touched many lives
Jack Tobin, a past Riverdale resident and scoutmaster, died at home from cancer on April 19. He was 69.
Mr. Tobin was a Boy Scout scoutmaster for Troop 240 during the 1960s, according to friend Arthur J. Pann.
“We have lost a friend, a larger then life individual. Someone who had an impact on so many lives and that impact most of the time we didn’t even realize until much later in our lives,” Mr. Pann wrote in an e-mail. “He was so important to many of you in helping to make each of you what you are today. He helped me in so many ways. Jack was everything to me. He was my dear friend, he was like an older brother and I guess a father figure as well. Whatever it was, I loved him and always will.”
Serving more than 10 years as the troop’s scoutmaster, Mr. Tobin impacted many lives, young and old.
“Jack’s presence inspired and helped me carry out the task put in front of me,” Avi Rubinsztejn, one of Tobin’s acquaintances, wrote in an e-mail. “Leadership is not always the spoken word, but the supportive feeling of encouragement.”
Born in New York on Sept. 14, 1941, Mr. Tobin attended DeWitt Clinton High School and New York University.
He moved to Margate, Fla. in 1970. He was heavily involved in local politics and the Florida House of Representatives for 16 years.
Mr. Tobin is survived by his wife and childhood sweetheart of 49 years, Lesley, and children, David Tobin, of Boca Raton, Fla. and Lauren Adam of, Margate, Fla. He is also survived by four grandchildren, Mollie Adam, Shaina Tobin, Ben Tobin and Mitchell Tobin.
Mr. Tobin’s funeral was held at Temple Beth-Am in Margate on April 22 and more than 600 people attended, according to Mr. Pann. His burial followed at the Star of David Cemetery in south Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Scout Troop 240 is planning to honor Mr. Tobin in the near feature.
“The impact he had on hundreds of boys that grew up in Riverdale is still going on,” Mr. Pann said.

I also wrote a small brief about a boy in the area who was collecting books for his Eagle Scout project.

Boyle collects books for needy
John Boyle, a local teen and Boy Scout, is involved in nearly every sport his high school has to offer but still manages to find time to help the local community.
For his Eagle Scout project, John organized a children’s book drive that amassed more than 1,600 books for children, young adults and adults. On May 1, John and his troop met at the Church of the Visitation to sort and pack the books so they could be sent to hospitals, homeless shelters, community centers, correctional facilities and other organizations.
To collect the books, John distributed flyers asking for donations throughout the community, his apartment building and fellow troop members’ buildings. Although John’s original goal was to gather 400 books, he quickly surpassed that number.
“He realized there was an interest. The people and children couldn’t believe [the books] were free,” John’s mother, Peggy Boyle, said. “He wanted to launch a bigger project for his Eagle Scout project and expanded the drive to other agencies and organizations in the Bronx.”
“He’s a very reserved and humbled kid with a good heart, and he takes his community service serious,” she added.
More than 10 agencies and organizations, including Fordham Bedford Children’s Center, Refuge House, Montefiore Children’s Hospital, Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, Westchester Medical Center Children’s Hospital and Bedford Correctional Facility Children’s Center, will receive books.
Bedford Correctional Facility Children’s Center will give the books to incarcerated mothers, who will tape themselves reading and give the tape to their children to bring home on Mother’s Day.

At this point, I’m sure you’re marveling at my masterpieces. Please take into consideration that this is my first week on the job. As a lowly intern. 

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