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1947 Tomas 2022

Tomas A. Cruz

December 12, 1947 — February 2, 2022

Tomas A. “Tom” Cruz, 74, of Norwich, passed away at Bassett Medical Center, in Cooperstown, on Wednesday, February 2, 2022. Born on December 12, 1947, in Manila, Philippines, Tom was the son of Dr. Primitivo and Edita (Asuncion) Cruz.

Tom is survived by his wife, Sandra Norwood-Cruz; children, Maximina Cruz, of Florida, Laura Cruz, of Florida, Stephanie Lafever, of Virginia, Dr. Tomas Cruz, of North Carolina, Jodi Taylor, of Virginia, and Trevin Cruz, of Norwich; grandchildren, Robert Haltner, Jr., Kala Haltner, Jesse Howes, Austin Lafever, Reid Lafever, Sawyer LaFever, Sophia Taylor, and Celia Taylor; siblings, Maria Angeles Cruz, Edita Bunag, Catherine Cruz, DVM, Victoria Cruz, MD, Primitivo Cruz, Jr., John Cruz, MD, Kevin Cruz, Bernard Cruz, Philip Cruz; and Claire Cruz-Brown; and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Tom was predeceased by his stepmother, Theresa (Holleran) Cruz.

Tom fought a short battle with cancer. He fought with dignity and died peacefully surrounded by his children. Tom was proud of all his children and grandchildren and his job here on earth was done as he prepared for his death. He had a larger-than-life personality and a voice that commanded your attention and a wicked sense of humor. His heart was big and generous to anyone that needed his help. Tom always remembered everyone’s name and was well known everywhere he went. After his retirement from corrections, he remained in contact with all is friends from corrections, often spending hours on the phone, gathering them for luncheons just to keep the camaraderie going. He had a life well lived and left this world on his terms.

Tom was famous for is fabulous cooking and the many parties and pig roasts he held throughout the years. It was often said that the best restaurant in town was Tom Cruz’s house. He enjoyed being with his family and friends, laughing and talking over food, beer/wine and bonfires.

Tom was a naturalized citizen of the United States and proud to put on the uniform every day for work, but he never forgot his roots in the Philippines and returned home occasionally to visit family and friends. He loved to talk about his adventures growing up on the island of Manila. By the time he was a teenager, he’d established a bad boy image in the Philippines, so his father, Primitivo Cruz, brought him to Norwich in an attempt to straighten him out. From the stories his friends and family tell, it didn’t work. Tom was a rascal and wore that label like a badge of honor. He loved life and lived it to the fullest. Tom was a complicated man and private with his personal feelings, but always willing to listen to other’s express their feelings. He was fun to be around unless you made him angry, then you’d better watch out.

In addition to cooking, Tom enjoyed hunting and fishing and watching cop shows and nature shows on TV. He lived and loved with his whole heart and was the type of person that made a lasting impression on you. He was wise and wicked in a devilish way that made him a good friend and a powerful ally to all who were lucky enough to be called his friend. Tom was the king of remotes and had a remote control for everything, so when he sat in his recliner, he was a happy man.

After Tom retired from corrections he relaxed for a few years, but Tom’s rambling spirit compelled him to return to work, because as we all know he had too much energy to sit at home. He loved his job working for the Chenango Health Department Family Enrichment Network driving special needs children to nursery school. Tom loved the kids and they loved him. He never forgot a birthday or holiday, always buying special gifts for his kids. Tom lived his life the way he wanted and left his world the same way.

He was perfectly imperfect.

On Wednesday, February 2, 2022, a private prayer service was held at the Wilson Funeral Home where the Very Rev. Steve White, pastor, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, officiated. A burial will take place at a later date at St. Paul’s Cemetery. There will be no calling hours. Contributions in Tom’s memory may be made to the Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 37 West Main Street, Norwich, NY 13815 or to the Chenango Health Dept. Family Enrichment Network, 21 South Broad Street, Norwich, NY, 13815.

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