Submitted by his wife
Tommy DeAngelis‚ was and always will be our three son’s hero. Words cannot express the sadness that our family‚ friends and his fellow firefighters feel each day. There is an empty space left in our hearts that will never be filled.
Tommy collapsed of a sudden heart attack while at work on June 23‚ 2004. It was the birthday of our youngest son‚ Joseph‚ who turned 5 that day. He answered his last fire alarm on June 22‚ 2004 at approximately 9 p.m. and was not feeling well enough to respond from the station to a second fire call only hours later at 2 a.m. on that morning of June 23‚ 2004. In the subsequent days‚ a final tribute was paid to his life-long dedication to the fire service with a formal fire fighter funeral complete with honor guard service. The show of support‚ respect and formal tribute given to Tommy‚ re-enforced our feelings of what a wonderful person he truly was. I was overwhelmed by the tremendous and heartfelt response from family‚ friends‚ firefighters‚ and neighbors from near and far.
Tommy was an active member of Independent Hose Company #2 (Fleming Park Fire/Rescue) for the past twenty five years. He dedicated countless hours to the fire service and to helping the citizens of Stowe Township and surrounding communities. He worked his way through the ranks since becoming a junior firefighter at the age of 16‚ and held various fire officer positions until earning the position and respect of Fire Captain. As Captain of the department‚ Tommy helped organize and was an integral part of the department’s rescue dive team and Rapid Intervention Team. In addition to his fire officer position‚ Tommy was also a member of the Board of Directors and provided a key role in the administrative duties and fund raising activities of the department. Captain Thomas DeAngelis was a 3rd generation firefighter proceeded by his father‚ Dominic (Timmy)‚ and grandfather‚ Felix DeAngelis‚ who helped organize the department’s first hose cart.
As I confirmed by talking with many people who knew Tommy‚ life will never be the same. He had touched so many lives in his 40 years. He was always the life of the party and if you were down and out‚ you could always count on him to lend a helping hand or make you laugh. His laughter is no longer with us. He was the town’s handyman. Whenever someone needed something repaired; they knew Tommy was their man. Many will never find a replacement as hard working‚ caring and dedicated as him. This showed in many aspects of his life including the fire service‚ his employment as an electrician for 15 years‚ and life with his family and friends.
Tommy was a devoted husband to me‚ Cheryl‚ his loving wife of thirteen years‚ and he was a devoted and caring father to our three wonderful sons; Dominic age 11‚ Thomas age 7‚ and Joseph age 5. Even though he spent countless hours at the fire station‚ he always saved time for his family. We sadly miss those times that he spent with us as a husband‚ father‚ and friend but will always cherish them in our hearts and memories. The sadness lingers on and it seems that nothing will ever be normal again as we knew it whenever Tommy was on this earth. However‚ with continued support from family‚ friends‚ and his fellow firefighters‚ we will weather the storm together.
While we mourn his death‚ Tommy’s dedication‚ leadership‚ and friendship will live forever in our memories.