Thomas F. Sage

Passed 04/20/2023


Obituary For Thomas F. Sage

Thomas Francis Sage, age 78, of Rockland, Massachusetts, passed away peacefully early in the morning on April 20, 2023, surrounded by his family laughing, crying, and sharing stories of an incomparable man.Tom might say he lived an extraordinarily ordinary life. But it was an ordinarily extraordinary life. Because, as he always said, “Everybody has a story,” and “There are no insignificant people.” He loved hearing stories, reading stories, and sharing stories - so here, we share his story.Tom was born January 19, 1945, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Thomas and Helen (Chevalier) Sage, and grew up in Covington, Kentucky. He was the oldest of three boys, and he and his brothers, Michael and Patrick, surely gave their mother a run for her money. He was so proud of his mother for raising three boys on her own after the very early passing of her husband. Tom loved to share stories of running to the store for cigarettes for the cast of characters in his extended family, being educated in Catholic schools with fear of the strict nuns, and generally causing innocent mayhem with his brothers.Tom graduated from Covington Catholic High School and joined the United States Navy, where he served for four years. He always received highest marks on his performance reviews, except for sometimes in the area of maintaining his personal appearance, which was never his top priority as anyone who has seen his hair styling can attest. His time in the Navy took him to the Mediterranean and the Caribbean and gave him a chance to see the world. But more importantly, it led him to his wife.Tom met his Massachusetts-native wife, Marilyn Wood, double-dating with his Navy buddy, “Buddy,” who was dating Marilyn at the time. Tom and Marilyn realized after a short time that they were a better match and had a whirlwind courtship. After just a few months, Tom told Marilyn he had a gift for her and provided a few hints: It was round, and shiny, and had a hole in the middle. Marilyn, both excited and nervous for a proposal, was shocked to discover that the gift was a vinyl record and not an engagement ring. He quickly realized his error, and the two were married in a private elopement ceremony just seven months after they met, on June 11, 1966. Tom found that though he had settled in a new state far from home, he had a whole new cast of characters to contend with in Marilyn’s family, including his most beloved partner in sarcasm and wit: his mother-in-law, Eleanor. He grew to love Marilyn’s family just as his own.Shortly after being married, Tom and Marilyn discovered that their family would be growing. When the time came for the baby to be delivered, Tom waited at the bar Eleanor tended. When he received the shocking phone call that the baby was, in fact, twins, and that they had arrived, he promptly bought Marilyn some lovely plastic flowers and was safely driven to the hospital to meet his new children, Tommy and Robin.Tom settled into what, though he might not have said it out loud, was his most treasured and important role - that of family man. The small family spent hours and days on Nantasket beach, escaping their tiny Hull apartment for the salt air and waves. He provided firm discipline when necessary, like soap in the mouth for using bad language, but could never be upset for long, and showed his continued love with Oreos to take the soap taste away.The family later moved to Marshfield, where the twins grew older. Tom helped them wake up early to do their paper route, putting all of the papers into plastic bags before they woke so they could sleep just a bit later. He worked at the shipyard as a licensed electrician, and grew into his own as a family man. And these were the years when he found his faith.Though Tom grew up Catholic, he was born again as a Christian when his children were young and was a devoted follower of Christ throughout his life. His faith in God was evident in all that he did - how he served others, never made a judgment or had a harsh word, and gave without ceasing. He was an integral member of South Shore Baptist Church in Hingham and served as a Sunday School teacher, deacon, elder, missions committee member, potluck supper-server, clean-up crew member, and in any other capacity necessary. He was always willing to get his hands dirty for God. One of his most treasured experiences was traveling to Brazil with a church group in the early 2000’s to help build a new church.Long before that trip, however, Tom and Marilyn’s family continued to grow. Twelve years after the birth of the twins, they welcomed their second daughter, Heather. Two years later, their second son, David, was born. They purchased their home on Liberty Street in Rockland to make room for a family of six. Four years after their son, their daughter, Mary, was born. All together, Tom had five children spanning 18 years.Tom and Marilyn found themselves raising a whole second generation of young children alongside their teenage twins. Tom worked at the Prudential as an electrician, commuted home, and shared a family dinner each night. Family devotions and prayers were a part of each day. He put the younger children to bed each night, always including a story. He introduced them to the Chronicles of Narnia and the fairy tales of George MacDonald and J.R.R. Tolkien. Then he headed downstairs, where the children could hear him rooting for the Bruins or Red Sox while they drifted off to sleep. Life was ordinary, but wonderful. Tom worked hard to support his family, providing for every activity, event, youth group trip, and college education his children requested. He worked hard to maintain their home, rising early on weekends to fix shingles, hang sheetrock, and mow the lawn. He gave his time to church events and service projects. And he loved his leisure time. He looked forward to coming home from church each Sunday, making a sandwich with slightly burnt toast and a pickle on the side, and dozing off to a baseball game. He loved weekend trips to Sturbridge with Marilyn, who he adored. He loved dancing in the kitchen with his wife, hosting cookouts for his friends, playing wiffle ball in the yard, and drinking root beer floats from Dairy Queen. He found joy in the little things, and he radiated contentment. Not long after his youngest child was born, Tom became a grandfather when his son, Tommy, had his first child. He was a bit shocked to have both a toddler daughter and an infant grandchild growing up together, but he loved being a grandpa. Once the grandchildren began arriving, the family grew exponentially. He went on to have 21 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren in total.Tom took so much joy in his grandchildren. He loved to spoil them rotten. He attended every birthday party and celebration, dressing like a clown or superhero to match each party’s theme. He treated them to piles of pancakes and bacon for breakfast, or dozens of donuts from Dunkin. He let them create dust storms by throwing dirt at each other in the backyard while he looked on and laughed. He gave them kazoos, jingle bells, and plastic snow and had them parade around the living room to celebrate decorating the Christmas tree. He found calm in their chaos and joy in their happiness. After his retirement from the Prudential at the age of 66, Tom stayed active in his church community and with his friends and family. He hosted a weekly Bible study in his home for more years than anyone can remember. As his many friends began to age, he helped them through losses and life changes. He played cribbage with a group of men in his retirement community often. He spent time with his wife at home, developing a new interest in Hallmark movies. He visited with his children and grandchildren, even breaking out the clown costume to visit outdoors during COVID lockdowns. But he found himself slowing down.Following a few health issues, Tom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, and eventually with a specific subtype, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. As his family fretted around him, he waved them off, hating to cause anyone concern or inconvenience. He was as stubborn as a mule and kept pushing to do everything he could for himself and for Marilyn for as long as possible, preparing simple meals and tea, doing laundry, and washing the dishes with his one stronger hand. He never stopped loving and caring for his wife and served her in every way possible for him.And his faith never wavered. In the face of declining abilities, he remained positive and put his faith in the Lord. He relied on his Scripture and songs for reassurance and emotional support. He spoke of having peace in his circumstances and faith that “It Is Well With My Soul.” He lived every day as a good and faithful servant, and felt assured that the Lord would bless him and comfort his family whatever came.Sadly, the disease got the best of Tom’s physical being. After a bad fall and surgery, Tom was unable to recover from his injuries. His final afternoon was spent in the hospital, alert and responsive, nodding and vocalizing while family gathered and called to speak to him and share memories. As evening fell, he dozed. In the early morning hours, shortly after his two favorite nurses, his daughter Mary and his granddaughter Ellie, fluffed his pillow and tucked him in, he left his physical body.We know Tom is overjoyed to be free from discomfort and fear and to be celebrating a new life. He has met his Savior and is reunited with so many people he loved: his mother and father, his son, Tommy; his granddaughter, Esther; his mother-in-law, Eleanor; his brothers- and sister-in-law, Edwin, David, and Joan; extended family members; and countless friends who have gone before him. Many of us who loved Tom are still here in this world. Tom was the kindest, most welcoming individual, and everyone he encountered was left feeling more validated, more special, and more loved because of his attention. He was a fantastic listener - after all, he loved stories - and he was a friend to all. He leaves behind a loving wife, four adoring children and their spouses who treasured him, twenty grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, two brothers, two sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and countless friends and acquaintances who will miss his welcoming presence here on Earth.We are left with a hole in our hearts that will never be filled. We will miss the great conversations and story-telling. We will miss his smile, his jokes, and his antics. We will miss his hair sticking up higher and higher as he ran his hands through it. We will miss his thoughts and opinions and advice. We will miss his voice and his laughter as he watched the grandkids create mayhem. We will miss every little thing about him.We know we have the greatest example of how to live a meaningful, purposeful, faithful life filled with love and joy. Well done, good and faithful servant. We are blessed to have been part of his ordinarily extraordinary story. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, April 26, at 2:00 pm, South Shore Baptist Church, 578 Main Street, Hingham, MA. In lieu of flowers, please consider giving to Samaritan’s Purse at, or simply give kindness and friendship to others.

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  • 04/24/2023

    Tom always encouraged me in my missions career. I remember his fervent prayers with great concern. No matter if my news was good or bad, Tom's loving concern blessed me richly. He is an inspiration! Grateful to have known him. Rita Kearney

  • 04/22/2023

    Mrs. Sage and family, I have so many wonderful memories of Mr. Sage from growing up but two memories will forever stick with me. One is he was always there for my mom and dad. Every time my dad was in the hospital he would be there, reading the Bible and lifting his spirits. He was an amazing friend. Lastly, after my dad passed, your parents were at my mom's house immediately comforting us. He learned I had a dairy allergy and the next day he came and brought me homemade dairy free brownies. He had the kindest heart.

  • 04/22/2023

  • 04/22/2023

    Dear Marilyn,, It has been my privilege to have known Tom., and to serve with him in 2005 on a two-week mission trip to visit Ken and Lucimar Davis in Jaicos, Piaui, Brazil to help a local church construct their own place of worship. Tom was instrumental for his expertise as an electrician. Tom is a man of few words, but he delivers. I look forward to seeing him again in our eternal home! Take care of yourself.! With Love and Admiration, Chung-Li Ling, P. E.

  • 04/22/2023

    Mrs. Sage and family, may you have the strength to believe that abiding love will be with you as you grieve. Much love, "Little One" Beth (LeNormand)

  • 04/21/2023

    Where do I begin, Buckaroo? You were one hell of a man! One of the most kind, loving, caring, genuine people that I had the pleasure of meeting and even calling a friend.... a man I looked up to, had respect for and viewed as part of my family. You had love in your heart for every one and everything. You were one of a kind, a rarity. & oh, what a personality, what a sense of humor, & your sarcasm ❤️ always had that contagious smile on your face, and a never ending desire to make others smile too. You touched more hearts than you could possibly imagine - family, friends, neighbors, strangers even. Good-byes are never easy, especially this one. Rest Easy, Mr. Sage. You are loved and missed so much already and always will be. Until we meet again, Buckaroo.... Wally sends his love. As do I. ❤️

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