Obituary of Thomas Laffey
Thomas Laffey died peacefully on August 14th in the year 2019 surrounded by his loving wife and extended family at the age of 81.
Tom is survived by wife Eileen (nee O'Grady); siblings: Joseph, William, Mary Newcomb, Kathleen Kane; children: Philip (Neil Cox), Emmett (Karen), Mark (Claudia Poglianich), Brian (Beatrix Sebok) and Desmond (Brooke) and his grandchildren Morgan, Kieran, Finn, Jack, Connor, Shannan, Devon, Grant and Avery. He is preceded in death by his parents Michael and Catherine Laffey and brother Michael.
Tom was born on January 3, 1938 in Connemara, County Galway, Ireland to Catherine Coyne and Michael Laffey. He came from humble beginnings where fishing, farming and sheep herding were the way of life and the daily struggle. At 17, Laffey immigrated to the United States with nothing but determination. He was greeted by family, given a new suit and lived in Mineola with his aunt. In those early years, Tom worked hard, appreciating all that his new found country offered the young Irish immigrant. He had no preconceived notions, asked for nothing and was grateful for the opportunities. In a 1997 Newsday article, Tom is quoted as saying “I just thought I could get a job here and that I would do the best job I could”. Laffey served two years in the Army as a way to repay the country for the opportunities it had given him. He was just that grateful
In 1966, Tom married Eileen (nee O'Grady) whom he met at Jaeger House, a Manhattan Dance Hall for Irish Immigrants. After a few years in the manufacturing sector, Laffey found his true calling. He began working nights and weekends for Real Estate Broker Austin Leahy. In less than two years, Laffey opened his first office on Jamaica Avenue in Bellerose. Over ten years time, the couple welcomed five children into their home. His sons remember him as a driven father who encouraged them to pursue their goals.
Tom will be remembered for his love of family, Ireland, community and real estate. His work ethic and business insights helped create a business empire that still endures today. He will be missed for all that and so much more.
A funeral is scheduled for Tuesday, August 20th at St. Aidan’s Church, 505 Willis Avenue, Williston Park. Burial will be in Galway, Ireland
The family would like to thank the staff and doctors at St. Francis Medical Center for their efforts, care and dedication.