Thomas Durkin, proud Irishman

January 6, 2014

Thomas Durkin, 81, dearly beloved husband of Patricia (Pat) Durkin and father to Colleen, Thomas, Mary Beth, James, Martin and Julie Durkin, passed away Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Millsboro, surrounded by his family after a courageous battle with cancer.

Tom was born May 5, 1932, in New Rochelle, N.Y. He attended Blessed Sacrament High School and was a standout athlete in baseball, basketball and football. He later served two years in the U.S. Coast Guard. He was a talented electrician and worked all over New York for more than 25 years, which included the New Rochelle School system.

He married Margaret Hennessy in 1954 and raised their family in New Rochelle, White Plains, Rye and Armonk, N.Y. Tom coached his children’s sports teams, served as a volunteer fireman, was devoted to his church and served as a commander of the Armonk American Legion Post. After he retired, Tom and Margaret moved to New Windsor, N.Y. and then to Millsboro. Margaret passed away in 2008 after her own battle with cancer.

In Millsboro, Tom continued his community service being an active member of his church, an officer on the condominium board and a member of the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus. He met Pat Leahy during his winter trips to Florida and married her in 2011, expanding his already large family to include Pat’s four daughters and 10 grandchildren. Tom and Pat split their time between their homes in Delaware and Florida, visiting their many friends and combined 10 children and 20 grandchildren. Tom was known for his booming deep voice, caring nature and commanding presence. He always had your back. Tom was a proud Irishman who loved the New York Giants and Yankees, Notre Dame, the communities where he lived and most of all, his large family.

Tom is survived by his devoted wife Pat; his sisters, Marie Durkin Cohan and her husband, Edward, of Danbury, Conn. and Catherine Durkin Birns of New Kingston, N.Y.; his six children mentioned earlier and his 10 grandchildren including: Patrick, Sofia, Valita, Liam, Fiona, Marty Jr., Julia, Taylor, Meagan and William (Billy) and numerous loving friends, family and neighbors. Tom Durkin will be missed.

His Memorial Mass will be held at Mary Mother of Peace Catholic Church, 30839 Mt. Joy Road, Millsboro, at 11 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 25, where friends and family may call after 10 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to either Transitions Life Center, PO Box 236, Ocala, FL 34478 or Special Olympics DE, 619 S. College Ave., Newark, DE 19716 c/o Ann Grunert. Arrangements by the Long Neck Chapel of Melson Funeral Services.