Thomas Andrew Wallon

February 12, 1943March 11, 2023
Obituary of Thomas Andrew Wallon
Thomas Andrew Wallon, of Englewood, Florida, better known as Tom or T.A., passed away on March 11, 2023 after complications from surgery. He had been looking forward to his 80th birthday which unfortunately took place in the hospital on February 12th (his Buffalo Bills nor Jacksonville Jaguars were in the Super Bowl that day). He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Diane Gillespie Wallon of Mansfield, PA; his daughter Dru Wallon of Telluride, CO and more recently Sarasota, FL; his son Shea and daughter-in-law Betsy Wallon of Wilton, CT; his grandkids Natalie and Davis Wallon; sister-in-law Sharon Furman and Nathan Pendleton of Venice, FL; and family and friends in western New York, Maryland and all around Florida. He was predeceased by his parents Andrew and Helen Wallon of Olean, NY and then Holiday, FL; and John P Kolata of Olean, NY who was more of a brother than an uncle. Tom graduated from Olean High School in 1960 & Mansfield University in 1965 where he met Diane. He was a starting forward on the Mountaineer’s 1964 basketball team that advanced to the quarterfinals of the National Championship. An achievement he still spoke of fondly in recent years. He started teaching in Corning, NY before pursuing graduate/doctoral studies in education in Albany, NY which led to a position of elementary school principal at Avon Central School in 1973. He loved his job, the teachers, administrative staff and the students at Avon until he proudly retired in 1998. Also during this time, he and Diane caught the entrepreneurship bug and got into the marina and restaurant businesses on Conesus Lake which filled up his time after school and on the weekends. After retiring from Avon, he and Diane then embarked on their next adventure with a move to Florida to enjoy the warmer weather and to pursue his love of golf with the goal to shoot his age at least one time. He also decided to take on another principal position at Windy Hill Elementary in Jacksonville, FL to see if he could apply his long-term skills in a new environment. He found this experience to be rewarding and like at Avon made long term friends. He retired for good in 2006 to really kick his golf game into high gear making several hole-in-ones! Tom dedicated his life to his family, friends, education, golf, his dogs and his passion for all water sports. After a long day on the water he would enjoy the company of family and friends around a bonfire singing songs (his favorite “Cat’s in the Cradle”) and telling jokes. He raised Dru and Shea to have the skills that would allow them survive in a James Bond film – alpine skiing, sailing, water skiing, scuba diving, snowmobiling and windsurfing. He also had a fix for anything even if his solutions were ‘creative’ and made sure to pass those skills on to his kids. After his final retirement, he and Diane moved to Englewood, FL where he enjoyed living on the water again, taking boat rides on Lemon Bay, golfing with his best buddies in The Groves League, and taking his dog Jaxie for her evening run down the street with his golf cart. His Philosophy of Life framed in his office stated “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body; but rather to ‘skid in’ broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proudly proclaiming, ‘Wow ! What a Ride!’” His family truly believes he lived this to a T. Since his passing, the family has been reminded of his zest for life, kindness and the laughter he brought to us all. Tom did not wish for a funeral nor memorial service. His family will be holding a celebration of life party next fall. With respect for his passions for education, golf and dogs his family have set up a couple memorial funds in his name. Please see those "Links" below.

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