Thomas (Tommy) James Main Jr., the beloved husband of Margaret Mary Main for 65 years, passed away to our Lord at home surrounded by his loving family Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021.
Tom was born of Thomas Sr. and Blanche Main Sept. 1, 1934, in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was the second born of five siblings - Blanche, Charlotte, Billy and Bobby. He grew up in Brooklyn, had a lot of friends and loved to play ball.
Tom joined the U.S. Army Sept. 11, 1952, where he served as a corporal in combat during the Korean Conflict. During this time, he earned the Presidential Unit Citation Award, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Star, Bronze Medal and many more.
Following the war, Tom soon found and married the love of his life, Margaret Mathias. They resided in Brooklyn until E. I. DuPont, Tom’s company of employment, transferred his family to Wilmington. They have four daughters, Kim, Susan, Jeanne and Lygia, who Tom doted on, worried about, looked out for, cherished and was proud of. They were his little angels.
Tom was razzed through the years for having four daughters and no sons, which made him especially proud of his seven grandsons, whom he was extremely close to. His three granddaughters were the apples of his eye. He adored them and bragged about them. They adored him as well. He loved looking out for them and never missed a chance to tell them he was proud of them. Tom was known as Grampy to his great-grandchildren, and he always made sure he had sweet treats for them when they came to visit. Everyone knew there were Devil Dogs and ice cream in the house. There was an instant bond between him and his great-grandchildren. They will remember him as they grow.
Tom was a serious sports fan. Being a true-blue New Yorker, he continuously followed the New York Mets and New York Giants. He was a loyal fan year after year regardless of how his favorite teams were doing. Throughout the years he enjoyed interacting with his grandsons over their favorite Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. teams. They all had fun with a true competitive nature. He also loved assisting sports practices with teams his grandchildren played on and attended every single game. All his grandchildren were active in sports, including softball, soccer, field hockey, ice hockey, football, and of course, baseball. PopPop was always there.
Tom so loved baseball that he coached a men’s softball team from 1978-94. He took his coaching seriously and made many close friends during this time. Tom loved gardening and growing tomatoes, which he did every year. He named his tomatoes “Early Girls” and “Better Boys” after his 10 grandchildren. He loved nature and sitting outside talking politics and current events with friends and family. He also loved dancing and playing music by Bob Seger, Abba (“Dancing Queen,” his favorite) and The Village People.
Dad especially loved the holidays, playing his favorite tunes from Dean Martin’s holiday albums including “Marshmallow World,” while enjoying his favorite spirit, Bailey’s Irish Cream.
Tom loved sharing his words of wisdom (and there were many) with his children and grandchildren. Sitting and listening to Tom/Dad/PopPop was a true experience and you never walked away not learning something.
He had an outgoing personality and if you ran into him while you were out and about, he was striking up a conversation whether he knew you or not.
Tom was a family man at heart, and his family always came first. Tom’s favorite times were when his family was all together for holiday gatherings or just a simple get together. That is when he was his happiest.
But most of all, Tom loved Marge and Marge loved Tom. He would give up the world for her and showed his love for her all the time. It was an everlasting love that will continue throughout a lifetime. It was a love that was felt and transcended through the entire family; it was a love that made us all so close.
Tom retired from DuPont and resided in the Wilmington area until 2020 when they relocated to Long Neck in southern Delaware.
Tom is predeceased by his parents Thomas Sr. and Blanche Main; his siblings, Blanche Forsyth, William Main and Robert Main.
Tom is survived by his wife Margaret, daughters Kim (Paul) Shimp of Warrenton, Va., Susan Anderson of Middletown, Jeanne Riley (fiancé Chris Hanyok) of Long Neck, and Lygia (Mark) deWit of Middletown; his youngest sister Charlotte Waldeck of Florida; grandchildren, Melanie Wright (Brian), Brandon Shimp (Theresa), Clayton Houser (Alexis), Denise Anderson, Bryan Shimp (Kate), Todd Anderson, Eric Riley (Megan), Tara Chapman (Shawn), Justin deWit and Jeremy deWit (Jordan); great-grandchildren Cierra, Colin, Austin, Luke, Dylan, Jackson, Carter, Scarlett, Sophia and Harper; and lots of nieces and nephews who reside throughout the country.
The family would like to send a special thank you to Dan Szymanski of Wilmington for his kindness, caring and help in the days that Tom needed it. We are truly grateful.
A celebration of Tom’s life will be held at 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 2, at the Long Neck Chapel of Melson Funeral Services, 32013 Long Neck Road, Millsboro, where friends and family may gather. In lieu of flowers, donations in Tom’s name to the Wounded Warrior Project by visiting www.woundedwarriorproject.org.