Tom Paquin. Fashion Icon. I’m convinced that Tom single-handedly kept the mock-turtleneck industry in business. Maroon mock-turtlenecks, navy mock-turtlenecks, white mock-turtlenecks, yellow mock-turtlenecks…His closet was a rainbow of mock-turtlenecks.
Thank you everyone for coming. I know that my dad would be incredibly touched and appreciative to have all of you here today, but I have no doubt that he would have told each and every one of you that you should be doing something better, like being at work or on the golf course. Because that’s the kind of guy he was. Tom never wanted to be the center of attention, never wanted to live the good life, and refused to do things the easy way. He relished being the guy who never took vacations, was always working, but yet he found just enough time to squeeze in 18 (or 36) holes on the golf course with his friends. And though he’d never admit it, he had a LOT of friends. I remember coming home shortly after he got sick and saw a STACK of cards. Literally over 100. Mostly from his friends from Cummaquid Golf Club. There was also a neverending stream of visitors to our house after he got sick. Many of whom were armed with a pie, lasagna, or some sort of edible, that we usually fed to whoever visited next. Thank you to all of you who did that. I know that brightened his days.
My dad was a simple man. He was a self-proclaimed ‘humble country lawyer’, who boasted about living within a couple miles of everything he needed…His office, the golf course, the post office, and (of course) the cemetery. Tom was old-school. Unless he was golfing or at home, he’d usually be wearing a blazer and dress pants. He’d always order for my mom, and he’d always treat everyone with respect.
He loved his family above all. He, of course, loved his wife, his children, and his grandson Aiden, but also his siblings, his in-laws, and their kids. After family, he loved his friends, his job, his clients, Notre Dame football, Boston sports, cigars, cheap booze, port wine, music (whether it was soul, classical, or musical theatre), Mel Brooks movies, Ronald Reagan, and of course Golf. Inexplicably he also got into reggae over the last few years, but I can confirm that it wasn’t because he was smoking anything funny. Trust me, I tried getting him to try medical marijuana, but he had no interest.
We respected and admired Tom for his incredible work ethic, his never-ending honesty, and of course his unwavering loyalty to his family, friends, and clients. But we loved him for his quirks. If you knew Tom, you know exactly what I’m talking about…
-For starters, he raised a family on Cape Cod but hated the beach.
-Let’s be honest, he wasn’t the most flexible guy. It was his way or the highway. His way was usually the straight & narrow, but that is all you can hope for in a parent, sibling, spouse, or attorney.
-He despised the Cape Cod Times but read it every day.
-He refused technology but had a son who works for Apple.
-He would get up at 4am every day to go to the gym even though he worked for himself and could go into work whenever he wanted.
-He would never admit to being republican, but was vehemently opposed to any democrat. And he would watch Fox News religiously.
-He absolutely loved Thanksgiving and cooking Tom’s Turkey, yet it always seemed like the most stressful day of the year for him.
Of course there are too many fond memories to share, but here’s a few funny ones that come to mind.
-He was an incredibly competitive card player. He would never take it easy on my mom or I, so a few years ago, I started dealing from the bottom of the deck so he’d get the worst hand. My mom and I loved seeing his reaction as soon as he picked up his hand. He’d get so pissed. He usually had some choice words like ‘are you shittin me?! Did you rig this deck?!’ We actually never told him that we did. He probably would have had a stroke if we did.
-Like I mentioned, he loved smoking cigars. But he also loved smoking cigars in places that weren’t exactly acceptable. At least today they’re not. He used to smoke cigars in his office, when he worked with Bob Bianchi. I would walk in and it was just a cloud of smoke. Many times they were either playing chess, or he’d have his feet up on the desk. I can only imagine what his clients thought. // He would also enjoy cigars at my little league games & my sister’s field hockey games when we were growing up. As you might expect, this did not sit well with the other parents and athletes. He actually got yelled at by one of my sister’s teammates, who was on the field at the time. My dad was baffled. I think he said something to me along the lines of ‘how sick is this?! we’re outside!'
-He had a dark, yet funny, sense of humor. He often referred to himself as ’The Prince of Darkness,’ and some of his favorite one-liners were gems like ‘none of us are getting out of here alive’, ‘don’t be alarmed when your time comes’, and ‘my clients are dying to see me.’ Assuming you know what he did for a living, you’d realize how twisted these were.
-Along those same lines, him being the glass-half-empty guy that he was, he would proclaim every year on the solstice, the longest day of the year, ‘well, the days are starting to get shorter!’ That never went over well with my mom, sister, and I.
-He didn’t like to travel, but he always had a great time once he got there. But no matter where he went, whether it was South Bend Indiana, Ireland, or most recently, Italy, he always speed walked ahead of the rest of the group that he was with. I have no idea where he was going, and neither did he, but you could always count on him to do that. I think he liked to pretend that he was in charge or had some sort of plan.
Tom the bomb, as we knew him, was a role model to my sister and I. His lessons to us were: "always tell the truth, always do your best, clean as you go, turn off the lights when you leave the room, your mother is not your slave" and more. He always declared his most recent trip, where ever it was...his last, and always declared his current car his best. Of course, he’d always demand on spending Thanksgiving each year AT HOME and that he would only leave our house "carried out by the handles."
And so it was.
We’ll miss you, Tom, but we will celebrate you and your life for the rest of our lives. Thank you for everything. We’ll see you soon.