Thomas F. Ardito Thomas Francis Ardito died peacefully on July 22nd, 2014, at his home in Deerfield Beach, Florida. He was 86.He is survived by his beloved wife of 29 years, Margot Ellison, of Deerfield Beach; his elder sister Nina Rose (Ardito) Gambardella of Creatville, N.J.; his son Thomas Ardito of North Kingstown, R.I.; his daughter, Holly Ardito, of Belmont, Mass.; and three grandchildren. Tom was born in New Haven, Connecticut, on May 2nd, 1928, the youngest child of Charles F. Ardito and Nancy (Routolo) Ardito. Tom remembered the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 well. He was in elementary school, As the storm rose, the teachers decided to evacuate the school. Tom was on the school's safety patrol, and a teacher told him to guard a small bridge, to be sure that none of the children crossed it when leaving the school. The children and teachers fled, and Tom was left alone, a ten-year old boy guarding a bridge as the hurricane hit When the bridge washed out he walked home through the storm to an anxious mother. Tom was always drawn to ships and the sea. During the Second World War, he went to the Admiral Billard Naval Academy in New London, where he crewed on the schooner Yankee, made famous by Capt. Irving Johnson who made several voyages around the world. In the 1940's Tom's father purchased a monument shop, where Tom learned the art of stone carving and developed a life-long love of art, particularly sculpture. On completing high school at St. Mary's Academy in New Haven, in 1946, Tom enlisted in the Army. He served in Yokahama during the occupation of Japan, as a military police officer. He then attended the University of Miami on the GI Bill, earning a B.A.degree in Business Administration. Afterwards Tom returned to the construction business, with L.G. DeFelice & Son of New Haven, building some of the first interstate highways in the Northeast, including sections of the N. Y. State Throughway and Mass. Turnpike. He was an expert in blasting and concrete construction. Later he worked in heavy equipment and hardware sales; management consulting; and, after relocating to Florida, worked as an executive for Goodwill Industries in Miami until his retirement. Tom and Margot led an active life in retirement in Deerfield Beach with many friends, traveling throughout North America and Europe. He rekindled his love of art, working primarily in clay, and won several awards for his sculptures at art shows at Century Village-East.. Tom will be remembered for his friendship and sense of humor. Like others of his generation, he lived through depression, war, and peace. He was very independent enjoying every new experience and living life on his own terms..
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Published in Sun-Sentinel on July 23, 2014