Thomas Aldo Valentine, age 78, passed away on August 4, 2020 at home surrounded by his loving family.
"WE HOPE YOU HAD THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE."
Our father was many things to many people. The word most used to describe him is “generous”. We also remember him as quite witty, adventurous, hardworking, and daring. Though we called him dad, he was known to others as Mr. V, Valle, Papa, and Farmer.
Dad was a man devoted to his family, work and community. An entrepreneur at heart, he welcomed challenges, was a passionate life-long learner, persisted through failure, forged forward even when others didn’t see his vision and jumped at the opportunity to bring improvement to people and his community. He changed the lives of many and imparted the values of hard work, persistence, and leadership to those that crossed paths with him.
Dad was born in Springfield on October 30, 1941 to Aldo Valentine and Rosemond (Johnson) Valentine. He shared his childhood with his siblings Marjorie “Teddy” Cuzzone, Robert Valentine and Daniel Valentine. As he often described to us kids, he met and married the love of his life, Sandra (Sanchez) Valentine. Happily married for fifty years, together they raised four children and seven outstanding grandchildren; Marlaina, Michael, Ryan, Logan, Cody, Raina and Marissa.
A working man, Dad still placed family first. He was dependable; always there when we needed him to lend an ear, offer advice, hold our hand, and support our goals. He delighted in attending church services every Sunday followed by family dinners. Our family hosted many holiday gatherings and cookouts at our grandparent’s property in Hampden. Those are cherished memories.
Dad was actively involved in all our lives. He gave us many opportunities and experiences to learn and spread our wings. Never too busy, he celebrated our successes and cried with us during our losses. He extended this philosophy and care to many, including nieces and nephews that he held close to his heart.
Dad was a work hard, play hard subscriber. Family and friends enjoyed time with him boating, fishing, riding motorcycles and traveling. He was a firm believer that travel was very educational, so we visited many places and felt fortunate for the experiences.
Dad was a veteran of the US Air Force for four years and upon returning to civilian life he earned his degree in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester College. Though he enjoyed the creativity and problem-solving nature of engineering he longed to blaze his very own trail.
As a native and resident of Springfield, MA most of his life, he began his real estate career with a desire to provide quality inner city living for his community. This kept him busy but didn’t stop him from spreading his wings even further. Over the years Dad became a licensed Public Fire Loss Adjuster, partner in a solar resource company, a foreign goods trader, a pioneer in OCR digital scanning, and a long-time owner and promoter of the former Paramount Theater in Springfield. Dads final career chapter was serving as the founder and CEO of MAPLEGATE Rehab Inc.; a successful multi-disciplinary rehabilitation facility for 22 years.
Dad was a highly social gentleman well known by many businesspeople and city leaders in Springfield. He was easily recognized walking down the street in his fedora. He was known for his firm handshake, big heart and faith in humanity. He looked forward to participating in the Springfield parades, waving to everyone with a huge smile.
He had such pride for his community and great hope to see it flourish. Early in his career he served as a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee, the Special City Council Committee and the Springfield Historic Committee addressing housing issues, planning urban housing projects and restoring historic properties back to their glory. He was a great supporter of the revitalization of Springfield and participated in many local business events.
GOODBYE FOR NOW.
Dad, you will be deeply missed by many. We sincerely thank you for all your love, support and great care. We know you will continue to “dream big” in the after-life. When we meet again, we look forward to seeing what you accomplished in this, your next chapter.
Forever grateful. All our love, your children: Elaine Cindy, Tawyna Adele, Valerie Dalena and Thomas Aldo Valentine II.
Relatives and friends are invited to gather on Sunday, August 9, 2020 from 2 – 6 PM at Forastiere Smith Funeral Home, 985 220 North Main Street, East Longmeadow, MAa. His burial will be private at the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Agawam. Masks and social distancing are required. In lieu of flowers, our family requests that memorial donations be made to a charity of the donor’s choice. For more information or to leave a condolence, please visit www.forastiere.com