Submitted by his family
On November 30‚ 2003‚ Thomas W. DiOrio‚ Sr. died doing what he loved‚ volunteering as a Fire Policeman. He sacrificed his own interests during his entire life to provide for his family. Two years after retiring in 1991 from Conrail‚ he started volunteering for West Whiteland Fire Department as a Fire Police Officer. He became passionate about it immediately. In the 10 years he volunteered‚ he reorganized that department and became Lieutenant in 1999. Tom was to become Captain just weeks after his passing. The West Whiteland Fire Department has established the Thomas W. DiOrio‚ Sr. Fire Police Officer of the Year Award to be awarded every year.
Tom was always there for anyone in need. He dedicated his life to providing and caring for his family. He was a great husband to his wife Doris for 48 years‚ taking her everywhere from doctor’s appointments to the hairdressers. Doris has had several occurences of breast cancer and Tom was always on top of her appointments‚ checkups‚ medications and even did extensive research to find her best options. We are happy to say that Doris is doing very well and recently got a clean bill of health.
Tom was a great father. He was a fantastic role model and very loving to his four children‚ Linda‚ Lisa‚ Leslie‚ and Tom‚ Jr. If a firm hand was needed‚ we got it‚ if a shoulder to cry on was needed‚ we got it. We all knew we were loved and the most important thing in his life.
Tom‚ or ‘Poppy’ as he was called carried that over to his grandchildren‚ Tim‚ Evan‚ Alyssa‚ Stephen‚ Anna‚ Samuel and Thomas III‚ his other passion in life. He was the first one there on those occasional Emergency Room visits – especially in the middle of the night. If they needed medicine‚ diapers‚ formula‚ or whatever‚ Poppy was there. Poppy’s truck was the highlight of every visit. When he would leave‚ the grandkids would always say‚ ‘Do the lights‚ Poppy‚ do the horns.’
Watch out if a snow storm was coming. You could count on a phone call from Poppy making sure you had flashlights‚ water‚ milk‚ bread‚ etc.‚ etc. It became a constant joke in the family along with‚ ‘Which way are you going’ and ‘Watch out for the deer.’
Tom was born on September 24‚ 1933. He was the son of the late Nicola and Mary DiOrio‚ growing up in Wayne‚ PA. Tom graduated from Conestoga High School. He served in the Army during the Korean Conflict. He worked for Conrail for 38 years‚ starting as a clerk and retiring as Assistant Director of Data Processing.
Tom‚ ‘Dad’‚ ‘Poppy‚’ will be desperately missed by all who knew him. His family is beyond proud of all he has given and will continue to give. Loving‚ compassionate‚ selfless‚ dedicated and giving are just a few words to describe Thomas W. DiOrio‚ Sr. We love you and miss you.
The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to Chief George Turner and the entire West Whiteland Fire Company for all they have done for us.