Sunday, December 17, 2023

In Memorium

Tom Degan 


To all Tom’s faithful readers of the Rant, we are sad to announce that he passed away on December 7th, 2023. Thank you so much for the time and engagement with his blog, please know that every reader and every comment was a source of pride and excitement for him.  Sharing his thoughts, knowledge, and humor was his passion and we feel truly blessed that he preserved so much of himself here on the pages of the Rant. He was an original. He will be deeply missed by friends and family. 

Reposting his obituary below:

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Thomas Michael Degan, a devout Catholic, at 65 years of age on December 7th, 2023.  Tom was born August 16, 1958 to the late Susanne Elizabeth Degan née Clements of South Bend, Indiana and the late John R. Degan of Brooklyn, NY.  He attended St. John’s School and later Goshen Central High School. For most of his life, Tom proudly lived in Goshen. He is survived by his siblings Jack, Peter, Carol, Susanne, Jeffrey and Sarah as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and innumerable friends. He was predeceased by his infant brother Thomas Matthew.

From an early age, Tom developed an eager interest in film and a passion for music that would last his entire life. He was a lifelong fan of Charlie Chaplin and enjoyed projecting his films on a wall of his parent’s house on South Street in Goshen for his younger brothers and sisters. “Tommy” delighted in amusing his siblings with humorous home videos. A fundamental part of Tom’s personality was that he was always happiest when he was putting a smile on someone else’s face. He used his skills as a videographer to record weddings and parties for friends and family over the course of several decades because he understood there is no greater gift than the preservation of memories of time spent together in happiness. 

Tom had an ear for music and a gift for picking up and learning a new instrument so that he could perform for others. This also resulted in a discerning taste in music and all who remember him know of his passion for the Beatles, particularly John Lennon, but also Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Dylan, Bing Crosby, Glenn Miller, Buddy Clark and many others.

Although Tom was never married and had no children, his nieces, nephews, and children of his close friends will remember with great fondness his songs, jokes, and many lessons on musicians and modern historical trivia. There is more than one millennial out there with a knowledge of music that is just a little bit beyond their years because Tom saw the importance of sharing beautiful things with future generations.

Tom was politically inclined with a strong sense of social justice and he combined this with his passion for satire and history in the work on his blog, “The Rant” which he faithfully updated from 2006-2023. His regular readers will undoubtedly miss his humorous takedowns of conservative politics, celebration of his historical heroes from FDR to civil rights leaders, and his encyclopedic knowledge of American pop and political culture from the 1920s onwards.  He also highlighted the lives of comedians he felt deserved greater recognition for their works, in particular Ernie Kovaks and Lenny Bruce and his fight for free speech. Above all, Tom lived his life with the philosophy that whatever may divide us, common ground can be found in the celebration of art, music, and laughter.

If Tom could have written his own obituary, he would tell us that he died one day before the 43rd anniversary of the death of John Lennon. His family and friends would have informed him that like John Lennon, he is gone far too soon from our lives. Lenny Bruce once said that “there are never enough I Love You’s.”  Tom, however, cherished his friends and family, and he never left anyone in doubt of his affection and generous heart. We have been so blessed to have him in our lives -  may his memory and his example serve to remind us that truly, all you need is love.


At 2:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love you Uncle

At 6:47 AM, Blogger Elle Clancy said...

I was heartbroken to read about Tom's passing. I really enjoyed his post; we shared similar political views but I just loved his writing on all topics. I used to live in Warwick, and we would also share comments about our beloved NY area. Good too soon indeed. May Tom's memory be a blessing. ♣

At 11:02 AM, Anonymous Lori Paras Montazella said...

Tom Degan was a friend of mine. He made sure you knew that he cared about you. I spent lot of time with the Degan Family during my teen and young adult years and that time has made an imprint on my life.

I wish for peace and love to the family and friends that knew him well. It is a sad day for everyone who knew him and for Beatle fans everywhere. All my love , we will meet again.

At 5:49 PM, Blogger Darrell Michaels said...

Wow! I am truly saddened to hear about Tom's death. He and I agreed about almost nothing politically, but I always found his insights to be interesting and something on which to ponder. May God welcome him into his embrace and comfort those friends and family of his that he has left behind on earth to mourn and miss him.

God speed Tom! You were indeed an original, sir!

At 1:32 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

For once I echo Darrell's kind words. Almost all of them, except for agreeing "about almost nothing".

Darrell certainly has more class and decency than his fellow Trumpist Anonymous, practically gloating over Tom's passing and insulting his memory.

I share Tom's deepest hope and prayers that the millions of duped Trumpists seek the truth about him and summon the conscience to denounce his lies, hate, and division he inflicted upon our country. I share his dream for justice to finally hold Trump accountable for his crimes, and to judge him fairly on the facts and rule of law.

We are now locked in the greatest tragedy of our time.

Trump v United States of America. This is where we make our stand for truth, justice and democracy.

I pray truth prevails over his most vile and dishonorable lies, and I hope those who are captured and enthralled by his evil charisma and falsehoods of persecution open their minds and hearts to reality and the ideals of our constitutional democratic republic.

Farewell, Tom. We mourn the loss of a good and a true patriot.

At 10:06 AM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

I supported Tom's stance on freedom of speech. He demanded it. He enforced it. Unlike Dave Dubya, he never censored a post he disagreed with.

Gonna miss you Tom, you were very brave.

At 10:47 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

JTF just admitted he is the Trumpist Anonymous I was mentioning. He's upset I wouldn't allow a number of his anonymous deflections, racism, hate, and lies at my blog.

Tom did so because he enjoyed the contrast between his and the wiser and more intelligent comments.

It was NEVER just about "disagreement". He never had the integrity to cite my words he disagreed with and to offer a civil disputation to them.

I still have copies of his rudeness and hateful lies...and most of his other comments are still posted at my blog. He had a long history of posting under numerous identities.

I specifically stated racism and hate wouldn't be allowed in the comments. He offered many such comments.

At 2:29 PM, Blogger Just the Facts! said...

Dave just admitted he censors speech! SO much for democracy. Since we can't see what was posted how do we know the comments he censored were "racism and hate"? We can't.

He says that there are those who are practically gloating over Tom's passing and insulting his memory. Please provide those posts, cause I sure can't find any in this thread.

He claims to be a supporter of democracy, yet anything he disagrees with, any question he can not answer, he censors. Does he believe there is only one Anonymous?

Except for subject of music Tom and I rarely agreed. However I did thank him several times for his support of free speech, and his willingness to post views different from his.
He supported democracy. He was a brave man.


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