McMASTERS - Thomas I.
Of Orchard Park, NY, November 21, 2021, at age 80, in the home he shared with his devoted wife, Lula (Pat) McMasters. The date August 12, 1961 signifies the definition of Tom's life as it marked the beginning of his 60-year commitment to provide, protect, and love Pat and their five children, Tom, Mike, Tina, Pat, and Kim who all mourn his passing; along with his surviving sisters, Florence, Thelma, and Ruth; his 23 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Tom was a lifelong athlete. At age 40, he was still one of the fastest players on his fast and slow pitch softball teams and played the mound and hit homers in slow pitch into his 50s. At 79, he could still hit the golf ball over 240 yards, though if he ever hit a good chip, it was by accident. He carried a bowling average of over 180 well into his 70s and still competed in horseshoes until the COVID pandemic sent us all to our houses. The home he and Pat shared for 52 years, barely resembles the house they purchased in 1969. He remade the kitchen extending it into a mudroom, which now opens to the deck which he and Pat always enjoyed relaxing on while watching the birds and devising ways to keep the squirrels out of the bird feeders. You can tell that he never liked plumbing. Though he did remodel the bathroom. His five kids could never convince him to add the second washroom. Where he really excelled was his mechanical ability, always keeping the family vehicles in shape, and often spending time helping relatives and friends repair and maintain theirs. Tom retired from the Thruway and Bethlehem Steel, where he made many friends and was a well-respected Union Steward and Safety Representative. He spent many of his younger days and for the past 30 years supported the activities of the American Legion, even serving one term as the Commander of Hamburg Post #527. After a hard childhood, which he often said consisted of his surviving on coffee soup, he entered the U.S. Air Force at 5'9", 121 lbs., at 18-years old, and served his country directly for four years and in spirit his whole life. He left this world at 5'9", back again to 121 lbs. due to lung disease. Tom and Pat got the oppourtunity over the last few years to cruise Alaska, visit the National Parks in the Western United States and visit their children and grandchildren in Florida, Ohio and South Carolina. Memories of Tom will always be cherished. No prior visitation. Family and friends are invited to attend a Memorial Service at Big Tree Wesleyan Church, 4163 Fairview Pkwy., Blasdell, NY, Sunday, November 28, 2021 at 1 PM. Mr. McMasters was a parishoner of Big Tree Wesleyan Church. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Thomas I. McMasters may be made to Hospice Buffalo, Inc. or the Big Tree Wesleyan Church. Arrangements by: CASTIGLIA FUNERAL HOME, INC., 824-6435. Please share your condolences at: www.castigliafuneralhome.com
Published by Buffalo News on Nov. 25, 2021.