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With deep sadness and eternal hope, we announce the passing of Thomas Pusateri into the loving arms of his beloved Savior.
Tom is survived by his adoring wife Colleen; amazing sons Tom (Lauren), Justin (Nancy), and Bret (Kimberly); much loved grandchildren, Alexis (Michael), Ashlie, Isabella, Gianna, Averley, Ryan, Jonathan, Layla, great granddaughter Adelina; and wonderful brothers, Jon (Susan) and Richard (Judy) and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Pass the Gnocchi - Born February 14, 1948, to John and Mary (DeLuca) Pusateri, this Valentine baby was all heart. The youngest of three boys, Tom grew up in the Brookline area of Pittsburgh in a big, warm Italian household surrounded by food, family, and lots of love. His favorite memories include Sunday pasta dinners with copious aunts, uncles and cousins, rough-housing with brothers Jon and Richard, endless play and mischief outdoors with neighborhood pals, and his Italian-speaking grandmother spending hours on her knees praying at a small home altar.
Big Heart for Football - Zip, Zigzag, Whoosh! Who was that? Tom Pusateri, #22, blazing a path across the South Hills Catholic football field. Untouchable at barely five-foot-seven and 145 pounds. Former coach Jim Palmer admitted that “Pound for pound, Tom was the best player to ever play for the South Catholic Rebels.” He was a team captain and was nominated to the Big 33. Although he gained much success and admiration, Tom was always a defender of the underdog. He did not tolerate bullying and had the reputation of stepping in and challenging the tormentors. Tom graduated in 1966 and went on to earn a BS in Business Administration at Youngstown State University.
Finding God on the Field - Tom would later play semi-pro football for the East End Chiefs. It was during one of their practices that a friend and former player walked onto the field and shared with Tom how his life was transformed by the love of Christ. From that moment, Tom’s heart burned with a new passion. He hungered for and devoted his life to the Lord. His faith instructed everything he touched, including his work life. He worked as a retail manager for Kaufmanns and eventually transitioned to the insurance business, establishing a neighborhood office in Pittsburgh’s South Hills. He served and cared for his customers, and shared the love of God with a certain, special employee. Over the years he was involved in numerous churches, ministries, and theological studies, finally returning home to the Catholic Church where he shared his love and knowledge of God in men’s ministry, as a teacher in the RCIA, and with pretty much every person he ever met.
A Faithful Friend - Tom was a faithful friend to many for many, many, many years. He regularly got together with friends from grade school, high school, sport teams, and guys from his old stomping grounds in Brookline and Beechview. Over the years he developed strong bonds with work colleagues and the men of God he served with in ministry. Many of these men have become as close as brothers and are too numerous to list. You know who you are.
Intense Love of Family - Tom’s sacrificial and loving heart was the bedrock of our family. Even when he was disciplining or instructing, we didn’t like it, but we always knew we were loved. His greatest joy was spending time with and supporting all of us in our endeavors. He was the one who went to every sporting event, every dance recital, every concert. He loved to be with us. He loved to play with us. He lived for family vacations at the beach, and weekend getaways with Colleen. His was the loving face that gazed proudly upon us. His were the hands that held, and hugged, and cradled us. His was the steady voice that reassured us when we were lost, confused, or distraught. His were the knees bent daily in prayer pleading with God to keep us safe and to lead us closer to Him. His life was a beacon always pointing us toward heaven. May our Lord receive our Tom into His everlasting kingdom. And may each of us pick up and light our torches with the love of God and become the beacons he always prayed we would be.
Visitation Thursday 2-4 & 6-8 p.m. at the David J. Henney Funeral Home, 6364 Library Road (RT 88), Library. Mass of Christian Burial Friday at 12:30 p.m. in St. Thomas More Church, Resurrection Parish. www.davidhenneyfuneralhome.com