Tom passed away peacefully on Thursday, June 16, 2022 after a gradual decline in his health at the ripe age of 91. He was a Pittsburgher through and through having graduated grade school from St. Rosalia in Greenfield and Central Catholic High School. Tom was a master handyman and was a valued asset to many churches in the area where he was the magical fixer and for which he performed general maintenance.
He was the 5th child of Francis and Mary Agnes Barry. He was predeceased by his four siblings, the Honorable Francis A. Barry, Patricia, later known as Sister Johanne Barry IHM, Mary Agnes Dixon, and Rita, later known as Sister Janice Barry IHM. Also, he was predeceased by two nieces, Rita Barry and Martha Dixon. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, her son, Mike Hoffman, and 14 nieces and nephews; Margaret Barry Byrnes (Alan), Edward Dixon (Donna), W. Timothy Barry (Diane), Paul Dixon (Gayle), Thomas Barry (Tess), Janice Smith (Terry), Sheila Lipp (Gary), Kevin Dixon(Lisa), Francis Barry (Beth), Joanne Giarla, Patrick Barry (Diane), Monica Dentino (Drew), Eileen Andreola (Michael) , Mark Dixon (Susan), many great nieces and nephews and a few great, great nieces and nephews.
Tom was an avid golfer and passionate Pittsburgh sports fan. Special thanks to his wife's son and stepchildren, Mike, Denise, Kim, Dan, Cathy, and Connie who over 20 years ago accepted Tom into their family, treated him as one of their own and graciously looked after him in his later years.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the SZAFRANSKI-EBERLEIN FUNERAL HOME, INC., where family and friends will be received on Sunday, June 19, 2022, from 1-5 p.m. at 101 Third St., Carnegie. Mass of Christian Burial in St. Raphael the Archangel Parish, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church on Monday, June 20, 2022, at 10am. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery.
Donations may be made to the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, IHM Center, Development Office, 2300 Adams Ave. Scranton, Pa 18509
We are here today to honor the memory of a man who really led two lives and if you are a Barry or Dixon niece or nephew, you know exactly what I mean. When Tom was just 14 years old and his only brother was fighting in WW2 in Africa, his father died. Life was never the same for Tom. It's never the same for anyone who loses a parent at a young age as Mike can attest to and that's even more true if you lose both parents, as the Hammels did. But somehow, someway most people get throught it and come out the other side. Not so for Tom. Everyone handles these things differently and unfortunately Tom took a 40+ year left turn which at one point involved a split from the family. But sometime in the mid to late 80s Tom, to the surprise of everyone found a way, with a little help from a novena and a warning from his doctor, to straighten up and fly right. Life #2 Tom was a model of
consistency for over the
next 30 years. He seemed like he enjoyed life, his friends, his golf, Anna May for a short period of time and Marilyn for a wonderful stretch of over 20 years. He especially relished his new extended family who by the way took him in and treated him as if he was one of their own. I must say he was a real delight to be around For me, Tom was special. When Paul and I were exceptionally young and Tom was working night shift at a bakery.....this would have been late 50s... Tom whose coworkers affectionately called him Tom the Bomb....and who lived a block away, would teach us the sport of baseball and what I was able to realize even at age 5 or 6 was that Tom did not treat me differently, he did not tell me that I had limitations that other kids didn't have or that I shouldn't play sports. Instead, we just played ball and he instructed us on the basics. That set the stage for everyday ballgames at Dixon stadium for the better part of the next decade. He also took me to see the Pgh Hornets play hockey. I credit Tom partially with starting me on a journey and helping me with that sports mindset never realizing what he was doing to himself at the time. He also kept change in my pocket from regular cigarette runs,
an acceptable practice at the time. So, I was pleasantly pleased when he turned things around although he carried around guilt for his earlier transgressions. Thank the good Lord for Marilyn. Tom later became more than an uncle. He was a friend. With his deeply imbedded Pgh Greenfield accent, he would argue his point about the Steelers, Pirates and Penguins with passion and conviction. We bantered endlessly and we kidded each other without mercy. He was that way with everyone. He was free spirited, a free wheeler. Great temperment. Much like his mother. Ironically, he lived a long and in my opinion, fulfilling life in the last third of his life. In a way, I thought it was inspiring. He often lamented that he didn't acheive the things he should have but Tom's life in some ways could serve as a model for others. For that reason, I honestly believe and I told him so that he had atoned for the past and that he had be become a really good example. It's never too late in life. In concludimg, I thought we were lucky to have a guy like Tom
in our Iives. Tom would appreciate that we felt that way. Thank you