Thomas Patrick Farrelly
March 17, 1947 - September 11, 2001
In April 1978, Tom was working as a math teacher. Before a school field trip, he wrote a "permission slip" to the nurse's parents, who were deaf: Could she go as chaperone? On condition, he added, that she marry the teacher?
Tom proposed to the nurse on top of the World Trade Center.
By September 11, 2001, Tom was a computer programmer at Accenture in the World Trade Center. He and his wife, Virginia, had four nearly grown children. The daughters ran on their college cross-country teams. The sons were Eagle Scouts. In August, Mr. Farrelly took his sons and fellow scouts, who called him Smiles, kayaking in Maine. "He always told us to keep smiling," said his oldest child, Erin, 22. "It was the way he approached things."
Ms. Farrelly suspects her father would have remained a math teacher had the salary allowed him to raise his large family. He was good at it. He had tutored his children, their cousins, his friends' children. "I think teaching was what he liked best," she said.
He coached cross-country, too, and attended the children's meets. Personal bests impressed him. "He always asked if we did a P.B.," Ms. Farrelly said.
Thomas P. Farrelly — the P is for Patrick — was born on St. Patrick's Day. His mother used to tell him the parade was for him. For a while, Erin Farrelly says, he believed it.
Tom had a wonderful disposition, a warm Irish smile, an easy laugh, and was known for his kindness. He was a devoted husband, father, and friend. Tom was 54 years old.
I remember Thomas Patrick Farrelly.
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
The sun shine warm upon your face,
The rain fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand
- Traditional Irish Blessing
Source: New York Times Tribute
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