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Thomas Jerome Maguire III "Magoo", aged 80, of Hershey, PA, unexpectedly danced his last dance on December 5, 2023, while with his wife and dear friends in Chincoteague, VA. Born September 30, 1943, to Pearl (Freed) Maguire and "ole lad" Thomas Jerome Maguire II, he was a "Daler,” having been raised in the coal region on the "Red Row" of Locust Dale, PA - also called "Patchers."
An active and devilish boy, he would recall escapades of carrying five-cent buckets of beer home for dad, collecting metal along the tracks to sell, feeding and walking mules to the entrance of the coal mine, drinking "Moxie" and swimming in the lake. He went to grade school in Centralia and Aristes. At age 11, the family moved to Hummel St., Harrisburg, PA, where he joined the Boys Club. Membership in this club is how he got his nickname "Magoo." Later, Tom went to (John) Harris High School, where he played basketball and track.
Tom served for four years, 1962-1966, in the United States Navy, plus two years in the Reserves. He was a crewmember, as a Damage Controlman, on the "USS Intrepid" CV-11. For his service, Tom received the Vietnam and National Defense Service Medals. A highlight of his tour was the successful recovery of the Gemini capsule with astronauts Virgil Grissom and John Young on March 23, 1965. Prior to his discharge, his ship docked near Yokohama, Japan, where he was able to stay with his Uncle John P. Maguire, Director of the North Tier Army Port, and cousins before returning to the USA.
Tom worked for the US Postal Service for 33 years as a carrier and supervisor in Harrisburg and surrounding areas. He always worked Christmas mornings so his postal co-workers could be with their families. During this timeframe, he had a brief two-year stint in hairdressing night school.
In 1983, he purchased a summer cottage on Beech Island on the Susquehanna River. For 40 years, he watched the water’s ebb and flow with beverages and friends, jet skiing and boating, and talking to the hummingbirds. Tom enjoyed having visitors at his Tiki bar, giving his advice when asked, and was dubbed “The Mayor.” He lived there all summer while commuting to work by boat and then by car.
Then, through mutual friends, he met Joan. She went to a party he was having on the island for his classmates. She never left. They were married on "Lake Frederic" with a flotilla of pontoon boats tied together. On his wedding day, he secretly asked his friend Melinda Haid to shave a heart shape on the back of his head. He wore his signature heart for her for the rest of his life.
Tom was an avid golfer and hit a mean long ball. He had a hole-in-one at a tournament in Maryland and an actual "birdie" (seagull) in New Jersey. Following his retirement, he was a regular in the Sportsman’s Golf Course Senior League. A "bar room" athlete in his earlier years, "Magoo" was a pool shark and an accomplished dart player with several league and tournament championship titles.
He was a lifetime member, for 57 years, of the American Legion Post 1500 and the VFW, Linglestown Post 272, and with the National Association of Letter Carriers for 53 years. His activities also included Moose Lodge 3000, Sons of Italy Lodge 2857, Tri-County Boat Club, Beech Island Association, Goldsboro Fireman’s Club, and the Senior Men’s Golf Association at Sportsman’s Golf Course.
"Magoo" was a man with his own unique style: wearing flat-topped cadet caps, golfing with hats with spiked hair out the top, coordinating head bandanas, t-shirts, bathing suits, tie-died crocs, bow ties, short-brimmed fedora hats, and suspenders.
His most requested song was “Pain” by the Ohio Players; James Brown was a close second. Detailed, talented, curious, and smart, he lived life that was in front of him, his way.
Tom would often break out in song - whether in a crowd or when he woke in the morning. At any given time, he would recite old-time riddles. Known as "the finder," Tom could find you anything you were looking to buy at rock-bottom prices.
He loved to travel anywhere that had a water view –Chincoteague, VA, the Outer Banks, NC, Mexico, even captaining a houseboat with friends in the Exuma Islands.
Tom handmade his own cards for Joan. This past Valentine’s Day, he presented her with a wood plaque inscribed "Be My Valentine Forever."
In his last few months, Tom did everything he loved: time with family and friends, walked on the beach picking up shells for Joan, petted and fed Chincoteague ponies, held baby goats, watched a parade, talked to Santa, played pool with his buddy, went to the race track, drank and ate French fries at the Legion and VFW, had great seafood, played golf, did woodworking and bought bargains.
Tom is survived by Joan, his best friend and wife of 24 years; daughter Suzanne Lyn Carney (Scott Shober); three granddaughters, Candace O’Donnell, Samantha Tinglof (Christopher), and Gillian Lyn Bouma (Ben), along with three great-grandchildren Killian, Korin, and Lily. Tom cherished the times when Killian stayed with his Pap. He was also Uncle to Mikel Zimmerman and Char Molique, Rachel Liesau Goldstein (Cole Hastings), and Sarah Liesau Blackburn (Timothy). He leaves behind many cousins who can tell great stories, buddies, "adopted" sons, good friends, and awesome neighbors who were like family to him.
Following his last dance, doing their best to honor Tom’s joyous dance moves, Joan and dear friends danced down the dock of the Grey Heron beach house on Chincoteague Island to the music of Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up.” They sprinkled some of his iconic heart hair clippings into the bay. With his favorite PA Dutch Salted Carmel filling his gold challis, they drank a toast to his life and danced “Magoo Style” back up the dock, honoring his spirit and life, before bringing him home to Hershey.
A celebration of life will be held in June for family and friends at the Hershey residence.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Harrisburg, 1227 Berryhill Street, Harrisburg, PA 17104. Please note “in memory of Thomas Maguire”. Or, use www.bgchbg.org (Angio Club House). Contact Mark Hawthorn, Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-234-3268 for more information.