Thomas E. “Tom” O’Connor, of Elmhurst, NY, passed away on August 26, 2020, at the age of 64. Born October 30, 1955 in Queens, NY, he was the son of the late Eugene T. O’Connor and Margaret Flynn O’Connor.
Tom grew up in Middle Village, NY. He was a great big brother who was a ready reinforcement to defend his little sister and her friends in their childish “battles” with the kids on the next block.
Tom attended Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School in E. Elmhurst, NY, and received a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from C.W. Post College, Long Island University. Tom was waiting to follow in his father’s footsteps by joining the NYPD when he began working at a club owned by an entrepreneur named Ian Schrager. When Schrager later opened Studio 54 in Manhattan, Tom signed on as a bartender at what would become the world-famous disco. The legendary club proved to be an exciting and lucrative environment for an incredibly handsome young man who loved nightlife, beautiful women, and the finer things in life.
Tom went on to work in some of New York City’s most famous establishments, including P.J. Clarke’s, Regine’s, Memphis, and Gallagher’s Steakhouse. He was a bartender in the classic, old sense of the word – a funny storyteller who was smart, urbane, and more than occasionally, profane. He was not a “mixologist.” He was often kind and generous to the back of the house staff, such as bar-backs and restroom attendants. Tom was known to randomly drop a crisp $100 bill on his then college-aged sister.
He is survived by that sister, Jean M. O’Connor and brother-in-law, Richard Bastone, of Ossining, NY; his aunt, Eleanor Rogers of Southbury, CT; his first cousins, Margaret Wronker of Redding, CT, Maureen Mirand of E. Amherst, NY; James Marron of Stewart Manor, NY; Susan O’Brien, Natalie Hookey and Jacqueline Kovacs, all of Long Island, NY.
A Funeral Mass to celebrate Tom’s life will be held at a future date.
Contributions in Tom’s memory may be made to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance: DBSA, 55 E. Jackson Blvd., Suite 490, Chicago, IL 60604, or online at www.dbsalliance.org/support/.
Condolences and memorial tributes may be shared with the family at www.williamsfuneralhomes.com.
Arrangements by the Williams Funeral Homes, Onancock and Parksley, VA.
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Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)
55 E. Jackson Blvd., Suite 490, Chicago IL 60604