Thomas Patrick Lally, loving husband to Wanda Lally, devoted father, brother and grandfather passed away on February 2, 2013 following a short illness. He was 73 years old. Tom was born on August 30, 1939 in Bridgeport, CT to Alice and Thomas Lally. He attended Sacred Heart Grammar School and Bassick High School in Bridgeport, CT. Tom proudly served in the United States Marine Corps between 1957 and 1961. Tom met his first wife, Maureen O’Hara Lally, in Bridgeport, and they were married in 1964. Tom and Maureen raised four children together. Tom studied mechanical engineering at the Bridgeport Engineering Institute while working at Sikorsky Aircraft. For over 25 years Tom worked in the Stratford, CT area for Sikorsky, and later, founded a machine and manufacturing business which serviced the aerospace industry. He moved to Mesa, AZ, in 1990, accepting a new role at McDonnell-Douglas Helicopter, now Boeing. Tom was an internationally respected expert in the aerospace industry. Over his 50 year career, he made several contributions in the advancement of military and commercial helicopter transmission design and maintenance. Tom met his wife, Wanda Wills Pierce, in Phoenix and they were married in 1994. Tom and Wanda spent two years living in England where Tom worked on the UK Apache helicopter program.
Free time for Tom was spent reading, wood-working, rooting for the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks, enjoying the outdoors and loving his family. Tom is survived by his wife Wanda Lally; first wife Maureen Wetzel of Bonita Springs, FL, their four children John Lally (Rebecca Lally) of Seattle, WA, Robert Lally (Sarah Lally) of Trumbull, CT, Mary Beth Ryan (Phil Ryan) of Trumbull, CT and Ann Brown (Jeff Brown) of Center Harbor, NH; four stepchildren, Kelly Maguire (Joe Maguire) of Gilbert, AZ, Kristine DeBrock (Rick DeBrock) of Phoenix, AZ, John Pierce (Natalie Pierce) of San Antonio, TX, and Anne Sanford (Tom Sanford) of Phoenix, AZ. He is also survived by his adored grandchildren who called him “Papa Tom”: Lauren Lally, Matt Lally, Claire Lally, Patrick Ryan, Peter Ryan, Liam Brown, Ryan Brown, Hannah Maguire, Haley Maguire, Heather Maguire, Brianna DeBrock, Pierce DeBrock, Samantha Pierce, Zach Sanford, Aidan Sanford, Ben Sanford, and Will Sanford. Additionally, Tom is survived by his sisters Alicia O’Donnell (Robert O’Donnell), Marcia Maxwell (Harvey Maxwell) of Stratford, CT and several nieces, nephews and cousins. Tom was a wonderful father, husband, Papa, brother and a friend to many! He will be missed, loved and celebrated for lifetimes to come! A Visitation will be held on Friday, February 8th from 6:00pm – 9:00pm with a Rosary at 7:30pm at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 East Indian School Rd., Phoenix. A Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, February 9th at 10:30am at Brophy Chapel, 4701 North Central Avenue, Phoenix. A memorial service in Connecticut will be planned at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions may be made in his memory to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund, https://newtown.uwwesternct.org/.