Local Obits

Obituary of Thomas F. Walpole

May 18, 1964 — May 9, 2024
Thomas Francis Walpole was freed from ALS on May 9, 2024. He passed away peacefully surrounded by family. He faced his illness with dignity and courage for six years.

Thomas was born on May 18, 1964, with his twin brother, John. They were a surprise package to their parents. From the beginning, the twins were the life of the party. Tom grew up on the family farm, happily surrounded by nature, animals, family and friends. It was an idyllic childhood with loving parents and siblings. Tom attended school in Groton and Cortland. In Cortland, he was enrolled at Saint Mary’s School, his mother’s alma mater. He returned to Groton and graduated in 1983.

Like his grandfather and father before him, Tom enlisted in the US Army. He was trained as a Corrections Officer and served in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Mannheim, Germany, and Fort Riley in Manhattan, Kansas. While living in Kansas, Tom met many cherished friends and became a loyal fan of the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals. While he was stationed in Germany, he witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall and sent pieces back to his family.

After Tom was discharged from the Army, he returned home and immersed himself in small town life. He joined the C.W. Conger Hose Co. #2 of the Groton Fire Department and was an EMT for the Groton Ambulance. He served on the Parish Council for Saint Anthony’s Catholic Church. He was an active member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in Auburn, the Groton Rod and Gun Club, the Groton American Legion, and enjoyed his Thursday night bowling league. He was an avid supporter of the Boston Red Sox and Notre Dame teams. He cherished his role as “Uncy Tom“ to his nieces and nephews. He was their biggest cheerleader and confidante.

In 2019, Tom retired after a distinguished career as a Corrections Sergeant for the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office.

Tom married Cindee Rotunda in 2021. Additionally, he is survived by her daughter, Arienne, his twin brother, John (Barbara), sisters Bridget, MaryBeth (Constance), Nora (Allen) and Molly, mother-in-law, Nancy, and an extensive family of nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, cousins, in-laws and cherished friends. He is predeceased by his parents, John T. and Sally Casey Walpole.

Tom’s family thanks the numerous aides, nurses, doctors, and caregivers who were instrumental in his care for the last six years. Tom’s wishes of remaining at home were realized through their efforts.

Calling hours will be held at Saint Anthony’s Catholic Church on Friday, May 17, from 4:00-7:00 PM. A Funeral Mass will be held at Saint Anthony’s, 312 Locke Road (Route 38N), Groton, NY on Saturday, May 18, at 11:00 AM. The burial, with military honors, will take place at Saint Anthony’s Cemetery immediately following Mass. A reception will be held afterwards at the Groton American Legion (307 Main Street, Groton). Memorial donations, in lieu of flowers, are graciously directed to St. Anthony’s Church or the Groton Fire Department Ambulance Fund (PO Box 96, Groton, NY 13073).

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