Cover photo for Thomas Michael Scanlan's Obituary
Thomas Michael Scanlan Profile Photo
1953 Thomas 2023

Thomas Michael Scanlan

October 9, 1953 — August 11, 2023

Las Vegas, NV


Thomas Michael Scanlan, 69, a resident of Las Vegas, Nevada since 2016, passed away unexpectedly at home on August 11th, 2023. 

Tom is survived by his two children; son Christopher M. Coffey and his long-time partner Mitzi Buckner of Clarksville, Tennessee, and daughter Rachael A. Scanlan and her long-time partner Greg Colligan of Acushnet, Massachusetts.  Tom held many titles in his life but by far, his favorite and most important role was being a father.  He was an incredibly loving Dad; never failing to say out loud, "I love you" or show his affection.  Tom loved quality time with his children from the moment they were born.  They were the "light of his life".  He was there for their ups and downs, and encouraged them to enjoy every moment life has to offer.  Tom's confidence, strength, love, kindness, generosity, and incredible sense of humor will live on through his children.

Thomas, fondly known as Tommy in his youth, was born on October 9, 1953 in Boston, Massachusetts to the late Lewis and Vallerie Scanlan.  He was the oldest of three children.  He lived his life in Boston, Massachusetts (Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, and Hyde Park) until 2016 when he decided to move west to be near and help care for his mother. 

When Tommy was a young boy he enjoyed his summers away at camp and visiting with family up north.  He often spoke about fun memories with his cousins, aunts, and uncles.  At around 10 years old, Tommy began working at Mullen's Bakery in Jamaica Plain after school; this work sparked his love for kitchens and cooking. 

Tommy attended Boston Trade High School and graduated in 1973 with a concentration in Cabinet Making.  While in high school he began working at the Ritz Carlton in Boston and was able to nurture his love for cooking.  He would say he "stole the trade by watching the great cooks and chefs in the Ritz Carlton kitchens".  He loved his time cooking at the Ritz; made wonderful friendships - some lifelong, and was very proud of being an employee there.  Tommy continued to cook in other kitchens across Boston and Brookline, and carried his passion for culinary arts throughout his life.  

Tom also worked in the carpentry business for a few years.  He was an excellent painter and great with a hammer and saw.  For many years, Tom helped a family member by walking their dogs during the day.  This job did not feel like work to Tom.  In 1992, Tom was offered the opportunity of his lifetime and began working for the M.B.T.A.  He spent 23.5 years working for the "T"; first, as a Collector handling tokens and later as a CSA.  Tom met lots of interesting people and tourists over the years and enjoyed helping customers find their way around the city of Boston.  In 2015 Tom was fortunate enough to retire from the M.B.T.A. and was excited for his future.  

Tommy spent 18 years of his life with the mother of his children, Mary Ellen Kirby (Coffey).  While they were young, they built a wonderful life together raising their two children; Chris and Rachael.  Times were not always easy, but they made the best of them; creating many, beautiful memories as a family.  Years after they separated they were still great friends.  They showed each other love and respect as they successfully, proudly, and admirably co-parented their children.  

Later in his life, Tom met Laura P. Anderson while working for the M.B.T.A.  He asked Laura to accompany him on a trip to one of his favorite islands; Aruba!  Their friendship flourished and took off from there.  Tom and Laura spent about six years together as partners in life.  They enjoyed traveling the world, indulging in different and delicious foods, shopping together, and loving one another for who they truly were.  Tom and Laura remained excellent friends even after they decided to go their separate ways and kept in touch until the end.

In Tommy's late teens and early twenties he had an incredible group of friends he loved and cherished. He referred to them as the "Newbern Gang!"; named for the street he grew up on in Jamaica Plain, MA.  He often spoke of the times he had with those friends, retelling stories and laughing hard while thinking back on his memories made with the "gang".  He appropriately earned the nickname "Stoney" with this crowd (for obvious reasons) and he happily and proudly carried that nickname throughout his life.  Tommy was an excellent friend.  If you needed anything and he knew it, he would do his best to help you.  He was loving, kind, and caring, but "took no shit" and expected the same of others.  If you were a friend of Tommy's, you were one of the lucky ones.

For many years Tom was like a father to James Mckuskie.  For the better part of a decade, Tom was a part of James' daily life providing his love, support, and care.  They maintained a connection even as James entered adulthood, sharing jokes, memories and well wishes.  

Tom had an incredible zest for life.  He loved the sun and spending time soaking up the warmth and rays of its light.  Traveling was one of his biggest passions.  A few of his favorite, most frequently visited places include Aruba, Jamaica, Mexico, Netherlands (Amsterdam...many times), Germany, Italy, Sweden, Estonia, and Norway.  Tom encouraged those around him to travel and see the world anytime they could.  Some of the best days of his life were spent adventuring and exploring the world.  He felt incredibly grateful to be able to travel and was always thinking about his next trip. 

Tom's other passions and hobbies included hiking and spending time outdoors, improving his home and patio space, cooking and creating new recipes, playing cards and games, dancing, and spending quality time with his friends and family.  While living in Las Vegas, Tom really looked forward to Saturday nights, where he caught up with friends and played cards and dice games each week.  After moving out west, he returned to the Boston area every year to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with his daughter and family.  Tom cherished his time at home for the holidays and they will never be the same without him. His love for cooking and helping in the kitchen, as well as his love for Christmas and its traditions, will be missed forever by those who love him.

Tom had a deep love for music.  No matter what he was doing he had music on in the background and was not afraid to move his body to the sounds and lyrics; as if he felt them in his bones and to his core.  His music tastes were eclectic, to say the least!  Some of his favorites included Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Eagles, Elton John, The Doors, Eric Clapton, and Credence Clearwater Revival.  You'll also find artists like Sade, Bob Marley, Joni Mitchell, Arthur Brown, Air Supply, Millie Jackson, Celion Dion, Marvin Gaye, Savoy Brown, Rose Royce, Al Green, Carly Simon, and Exposé in his music collection.  Willing to give anything a listen or try, as he would say, Tom was always open to hearing new music and artists.  He was never afraid of voicing his opinion, either.  Tom relied upon music to get through the seasons of his life; helping him through the good, the bad, and the matter what happened in life or how he may have felt, Tom always had his music. 

Tom was famous for his humor and jokes.  Excellent with a punch line and always having a funny phrase to share - you were sure to laugh if you spent any time with Tom.  He'd always say "Good Morning," regardless of the time of day.  This often got different reactions from people, which was part of the fun for him. He had a smile and laugh that was infectious and added to the beauty of his humor.  Tom was also well known for his generosity.  He was always there to lend a hand and if you needed a "loan" until payday, he was happy to help people he could trust to pay him back.  Tom always said "people deserve help if they need it, especially if they ask for it, and if I can help them, I want to."  In July of 2022, Tom lost his spunky, handsome, cat, Henry whom he adored.  They spent 18 years together as pals.  Tom's heart was gold and the warmth of that will be missed ALWAYS and forever.

There is a Celebration of Life in honor of Tom, scheduled for Sunday October 29th at the U.S.S. Jacob Jones V.F.W., 84 Eastern Ave, Dedham, MA 02026.  Tom's family understands this is Halloween weekend and would like to remind everyone that Tom enjoyed Halloween, immensely...they would rather you arrive in costume, than not at all!  You are welcome to attend anytime from 1:30 P.M. until 10:30 P.M. Bar service will be available from 2 P.M. until 10 P.M. (cash bar).  Eulogy and readings will likely occur between roughly 4 P.M. - 5 P.M.  There will be refreshments throughout the day, music, and dancing!  We hope you'll be a part of this special day to help celebrate the high-spirited life he lived that has been taken far too soon. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas Michael Scanlan, please visit our flower store.


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