Obituary for Thomas J. Beirne Jr.
A Milford Legend
Thomas Joseph Beirne, Jr., age 81, passed away surrounded by family on February 19, 2018. Tom lived a charmed life. His quick wit and eternal humor brought laughter to all he knew.
Fresh out of college, he joined an insurance company. Here fate – in the form of a car accident –brought him to the home of the love of his life, Sheila Logan. Sheila had been on a date with the driver when they were sideswiped by another car. Ever sharp, Tom realized that the company had not taken this Sheila’s statement. She lived up in Bronxville, outside of his NYC territory, but the unfailingly kind Tom volunteered to take her statement so that the covering agent could get home to his family for dinner.
When he arrived at Sheila’s address, he was greeted by her grandmother from Ireland. Hearing her brogue, he responded “may you be in Heaven a half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead!” Sheila’s grandmother was delighted to hear this Irish blessing and shot back, “An Irishman! Are your parents from the old country?” “Of course, hand and hand off the boat,” Tom replied in an adopted brogue of his own. Though this was not strictly true since his parents were from NYC while it was his grandparents parents who were from Ireland, Tom was never one to let reality get in the way of a good quip. And no one minded.
Sheila - “the most beautiful girl I ever saw,” as Tom described her - entered the room to find her grandmother having a scotch with this gorgeous young man. After sharing a drink with the two ladies and barely discussing the car accident, Tom headed home and Sheila’s grandmother declared, “that’s the one for you, Sheila!” They were married 7 months later.
Born in New York City to a large Irish family, he lived a blessed childhood surrounded by his 5 sisters and brother. His father and namesake, the politically skilled leader of the Teamsters Union, passed tragically when Tom was 13. His tough-as-nails mother, Elizabeth, held the family together despite pressure to divide the children among family members. Tom persevered, graduating at the top of his class from Manhattan Prep and Manhattan College.
He served in the United States Navy Reserve during the Korean War and worked on the New York Stock Exchange before marrying Sheila and settling in Bronxville, NY. Four children later, Tom and Sheila knocked down their beach house in Milford, CT to build one that better fit their quickly growing family.
Devoted to his community, Tom served as the Chairman of the Bay View Board of Governors for 30 years, Chairman of Milford's Board of Alderman, as a member of the city pension board, and in many other public roles. He was grand knight of the St. Mary's Knights of Columbus Council, in addition to planning and personally financing historical reenactments around town. On top of this extensive public service and his many business successes, he found time to help write a best-selling history book – all while consistently putting his family first.
He is survived by his wife and best friend, Sheila, his four beloved and incredibly accomplished children, Thomas III (Colleen), Deirdre, Sean, and Brian Logan, and two grandchildren, Thomas IV and Collin. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, February 21st at 1pm directly at St. Mary’s Church and interment will follow with full military honors.
As kind as he was brilliant, Tom was beloved by his family, many friends, and community.