Thomas Dwyer, age 72, of Radnor, PA, formerly of Jersey City, NJ, passed away on April 6, 2021 of Alzheimer’s disease. Born in Philadelphia, PA, he was the son of the late William and Mary C. Dwyer (nee Long).
In addition to his parents, Thomas was predeceased by his brothers, Joseph Dwyer, William Dwyer and his sister, Nancy Sykes. He is survived by his beloved wife, Susan Wagner and his devoted siblings Robert Dwyer (Barbara), Francis Dwyer (Margaret), Margaret Welsh (Joseph) and Patrick Dwyer. Also survived by his loving sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, many cherished nieces and nephews and a favorite morning coffee partner, mother-in-law, Kay Wagner.
Tom served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam era. His first job in New York City was with Bantam Books marketing division. He later became a journalist and wrote about news, travel and music. He was the long-time lead writer for Hudson County’s Riverview Observer where he loved covering the vibrant political and art scene of New Jersey’s “Gold Coast”; he once travelled to the royal palace in Monaco to write about Princess Grace’s Irish Library for Philadelphia magazine and he introduced New Jersey Monthly readers to Dizzy Gillespie’s hospital wing for musicians. Tom also wrote for TV including Good Morning America and his many articles about scuba diving appeared in leading travel websites (having learned to scuba dive at 50). Tom is the author of the novel, Broad Street, and won a NYC theater award for his one-act play, The Widows Club.
In addition to his writing, Tom was honored to be a member of ASCAP, the professional organization of songwriters and composers. Tom was a gifted composer and singer, trained by jazz icon pianist and composer, George Handy. One of Tom’s proudest accomplishments was helping Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies secure Handy’s music and papers for their Archives. In addition to composing popular songs, Tom co-wrote a musical that appeared on New York City’s Theater Row, and his children’s song “When I See You” was featured in a revue that travelled around the country to entertain military families. Thanks to digital media Tom’s voice and music can be heard around the world as soundtracks and themes in everything from feature films to shopping malls.
But equal to his talents was another mark that Tom leaves on the world - he was a tough, smart and opinionated man but there was an ease one felt in his presence, the encouragement to “go for it” whatever it was. Be who you are. Tom was a world-class listener, not a center of attention seeker but one who often made you feel like you deserved the limelight. Susan liked to describe Tom to the many caretakers who first met him when Alzheimer’s progressed, in the words her mother once used: “Tom is such a worthy guy.” It was a delight to his family how so many of these wonderful people agreed.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit the family Wednesday, April 14, 2021 10:00-11:00 AM at St. Katharine of Siena Church, Lancaster and Aberdeen Avenues, Wayne, PA and to his Funeral Mass at 11:00 AM. Interment Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken, PA.
Masks are to be worn when visiting the family, to the Funeral Mass and Cemetery. Social Distancing is to be observed.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Tom’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association, 399 Market Street, Suite 102, Philadelphia, PA 19106 would be appreciated.