Thomas (Tom/Tony) Anthony. Leen of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania died peacefully on January 4, 2021 at the age of 88 at Chestnut Hill Hospital. He was preceded in death by his parents Thomas and Mary(Brosnan) and his siblings Billy, Dermot, Paddy, Josephine, Philomena and Mary. He was a beloved husband of Carmel (Codd) and dear father of Tommy, Larry, Teresa and Mary. Tom was a cherished grandpa to Katie, Anna, Libby, Penny and Emmett. He is also remembered by his extended family; sister-in-law Anne, son- in- law Dean Kline, daughter-in- law Kathleen, nieces Mary Jo, Mary, Kathy, Janet, Peggy, Elizabeth, Helen, and nephews Danny, Harry, Tommy, Billy, Terry, Eddie and Brendan.
Tom was born in Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland on June 12, 1932. He was a Kerryman who proudly touted his “Kerryness”. His connection to and love of Ireland were with him always. He frequently returned to Ireland for visits with family. He cherished walks on what his father called the “sunkissed beach of Ballyheigue strand” and would challenge any taker to a hike up Caherconree.
Tom emigrated to America in 1955 and often spoke of the experience of his ship passing the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. He joined the Air Force in 1955 and was stationed in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where he “flew a desk” for 4 years. After completing his service, he and his brother Paddy drove to San Francisco in their Bel Air.
Tom met Carmel in 1962 when he was a photographer at a christening and she was the godmother. Struck by Carmel’s beauty, Tom described the scene as “the Madonna and child”. They married on April 4, 1964. Married 56 years they raised 4 children together across 5 cities. Though the family moved often the stable strength of Tom and Carmel ensured that everywhere felt like home. Their marriage was a spirited, dedicated one grounded in faith and unconditional love.
Tom worked for Westinghouse (Frasier and Johnston/Thermo King) for 35 years specializing in Human Resources and labor negotiations. He was a committed volunteer with Habitat for Humanity in Appalachia, Meals on Wheels, and many other community outreach programs.
Tom lived his life with courage, infectious enthusiasm, intelligence, a tender heart, and an incredible sense of humor. He was a family man and a devout Catholic in faith and practice. He was a man who loved an adventure and loved to include others in the fun. Tom was a role model to many.
He loved to travel, tackle mountains, go for walks, play cards, debate, chat, play sports, listen to music and spend as much time as possible with loved ones. He had a fearless sense of adventure throughout his life that legendarily defied his age.
One of Tom’s greatest passions was to bike. His love of bike rides had been a theme throughout his life. Once retired, he took this love of riding to the next level. For 19 years he rode an annual bike ride for Multiple Sclerosis. His first epic ride was the MS 150 in Minnesota. Once he learned of the ravages of MS, it became a life mission of his to raise money to help find a cure. His dream was that someday MS would stand for “Mystery Solved”. Over the next 2 decades, Tom raised over $120,000 for MS through the donations of people supporting his bike rides. His rides included nine solo 600 mile quests from Boca Raton, FL to Charleston, SC and five solo 300 mile rides from Kerry to Derry in Ireland.
He lived like he loved, faithfully and powerfully. He will be missed.
Services and Interment will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Tom's name to the MS Society of America.
Condolences may be shared at www.kollerfuneralhome.com
KOLLER FUNERAL HOME
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