Thomas SR

Thomas Sciarrino SR

1928 - 1992

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Obituary of Thomas Sciarrino SR

WESTFIELD - Thomas K. Sciarrino, 82, of E. Rt. 20, Westfield and Whisper Circle, Sebring, Florida, passed from this life peacefully at home in Westfield on Tuesday, January 25, 2011. Our beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and husband had been a resident of Westfield since 1985 and before that of Brocton since 1962. He was born May 11, 1928, in Mt. Morris, New York, one of eight children of Joseph and Mary (Belliotti) Sciarrino. After graduating from Mt. Morris High School in 1946, he received a bachelor's degree from Syracuse University in 1950. On July 1 of that year he married Betty Jane Taylor of Syracuse and took his first teaching assignment in Addison. His one-room schoolhouse at Woods Corners featured a pot belly stove and outhouses. In the meantime, he graduated with a Master's Degree from the State University of New York at Geneseo. A job at East Corning followed where he was principal/teacher, and then a job selling insurance for two years for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. in Syracuse. His love for the education field brought him back to an Elementary Principal job at Mount Upton for two years, where he also taught art. He called that job a "teaching phenomenon" because he was colorblind. "I missed teaching so much that I had to go back to it; it was my vocation," he commented. He then became Elementary Principal in Avoca, New York, for four years, but finally settled in Brocton, New York, with his 6 children (three more to follow there) in 1962. He faithfully held the job as Elementary Principal there until 1969 when he became Superintendant. He also served as the district's Business Manager and director of federal projects and transportation. While Elementary Principal he completed his Specialist in Administration degree at the University of Buffalo. The Brocton school saw many improvements under his guidance. Retirement followed in 1983 but not for long. He and his wife Betty immediately purchased a newsroom in Westfield and named it Sciarrino's. Taken over by his son John in 1985, it just recently closed in 2010. The last 25 "retired" years of his life have been very full. Even a 1985 heart attack could not slow him down much. He joined the ranks of substitute teachers for a while: "I realized again what hard work it is to teach and that no matter what type of educational programs there are, if you don't have good, interested teachers in the classroom, you can forget the program." He also took a position as part-time coordinator for the Westfield Chamber of Commerce. Always community-minded, his activities have included Brocton scoutmaster, Brocton Little League, Brocton volunteer fireman, Chairman of the Brocton Salvation Army Unit, the Lions Club, the Rotary Club, the Knights of Columbus, the Holy Name Society, Westfield Moose Lodge No. 118, and the Southwestern Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa. His professional associations included: the Chautauqua County Superintendants (president), Chautauqua County Elementary Principals (president), Chautauqua County Teachers, New York State Teachers, and the New York State Council of School District Administrators. In addition, he wrote a column for the Westfield Republican for years. And just this month his book DOUBTING THOMAS was published. Sports, both local and national, were ever a part of his life. He was an avid golfer and bowler, being proudest of his 214 triple. He followed the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres religiously and was even known to play a little ice hockey with his sons in the back yard. Some would say his favorite team to follow was the Syracuse Orangemen, which one might guess from the Syracuse jacket and hat he often wore; in fact, he watched two of their games the last week of his life. But most knew that the Yankees were number one in his sports heart; rarely would he miss one of their games on TV, and a great joy of his involved a family train trip to Yankee Stadium in 2008 to celebrate his 80th birthday. Education, community, and sports were important in his life, but nothing was more cherished by him than family. Whether it was sitting around the family table with his nine children and, later, in-laws for a Sunday spaghetti dinner; or barbecuing on the patio he himself built for family picnics; or attending the many school plays, sporting events, and recitals of his children and grandchildren, or giving them wagon rides on the land he cleared, his family members were ever number one in his heart. All will long remember his diligence with birthday, anniversary, and Christmas cards after his first wife Betty died. And the many Nutcrackers he gave to his grandchildren and great- grandchildren at Christmas will long sit in honor to him during Christmases to come. His generosity during holidays put smiles on many faces. Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his beloved first wife Betty who died March 21, 1992; a brother Anthony who died in childhood; his sister Angeline (Leo) Downey; and his sister Mary (Ricardo) Estruch. He is survived by the second love of his life, his wife Patricia, whom he married March 8, 2003; his children: Joanne (Vincent P.) Martonis of Gerry, Donna (Michael) Cook of Collins, Thomas K. of Tampa, Robert (Sumonnut) of Marshall (MI), Ellen (Jeffrey) Gerould of Westfield, John (Linda) of Marshall (MI), Mary Elizabeth (Donald) Szwejbka of Painesville (OH), Christopher (Elizabeth) of Rochester, and Taralee (Robert) Morello of Brocton; his grandchildren: Heather (Douglas) Johnson of Wells (ME), Stephen (Diane) Martonis of Longmont (CO), Daniel (Liane) Martonis of Little Valley, Cheryl (Scott) Sulock of Kissimmee (FL), Michael (Carly) Cook of Westland(MI), Victoria Cook of Collins, Joseph (Megan) Cook of Gowanda, Thomas K. Sciarrino III of Tampa (FL), Jeremy Sciarrino of Tampa (FL), Robert (Alexis) Sciarrino of Dunkirk, Marissa Sciarrino of Albany, S. Alexander Gerould of Westfield, Brittany Gerould of Rochester, Nicholas/Matthew/Samantha and Kyle Szwejbka of Painesville (OH), and Sydney/Andy and Tyler Morello of Brocton; and his great-grandchildren: Bryanna/Holldan/Nicholas and Ella Martonis of Little Valley, Camden/Aidan and Kaelin Johnson of Wells (ME), Eva and Alden Martonis of Longmont (CO), Christian and Jackson Cook of Gowanda, Joshua and Anna Cook of Westland (MI), and Mikaela Sciarrino of Dunkirk (just born Jan. 26); his step-children: Debra (James) Simpson of Westfield, Suzanne (Martin) Wilder of Westfield; his step-grandchildren: Wendy (Can) Tenamore, James (Lindsay) Simpson, Shawn Wilder, and Jessica Wilder; three step-great-grandchildren; and his brothers: Angelo (Rosalee) of Syracuse, Anthony (Carmella) of Union (NJ), Joseph (Sue) of Ponce Inlet (FL), and Raymond (Joyce) of Livonia. Friends will be received Sunday, Jan. 30, from 2:00 to 4:00 and from 7:00 to 9:00 at the MASON Funeral Home, 37 Clinton Street, Westfield, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted on Monday, Jan. 31, at 11:00 a. m. at St. Dominic's Catholic Church, Union Street, Westfield, NY, with Fr. Marius J. Walter officiating. Burial will be in St. James Cemetery in Westfield. A Parish Rosary will be held Sunday afternoon at 1:30 PM followed by a Service by the Fr. Daniel Early Council 3100 Knights of Columbus. The family encourages that memorials be contributed to the Thomas K. Sciarrino Education Scholarship Fund. This was set up as a gift to him from his children and is given each year to a graduating senior at Brocton Central School who is going into the field of education. Contributions should be mailed to the fund in care of Community Bank, Main Street, Brocton, NY, 14716. Log on to to send the Sciarrino family a message of sympathy.
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