Thomas Degan

Obituary of Thomas Degan

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It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Thomas Michael Degan, a devout Catholic, at 65 years of age on December 7th, 2023. Tom was born August 16, 1958 to the late Susanne Elizabeth Degan née Clements of South Bend, Indiana and the late John R. Degan of Brooklyn, NY. He attended St. John's School and later Goshen Central High School. For most of his life, Tom proudly lived in Goshen. He is survived by his siblings Jack, Peter, Carol, Susanne, Jeffrey and Sarah as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and innumerable friends. He was predeceased by his infant brother Thomas Matthew. From an early age, Tom developed an eager interest in film and a passion for music that would last his entire life. He was a lifelong fan of Charlie Chaplin and enjoyed projecting his films on a wall of his parent's house on South Street in Goshen for his younger brothers and sisters. "Tommy" delighted in amusing his siblings with humorous home videos. A fundamental part of Tom's personality was that he was always happiest when he was putting a smile on someone else's face. He used his skills as a videographer to record weddings and parties for friends and family over the course of several decades because he understood there is no greater gift than the preservation of memories of time spent together in happiness. Tom had an ear for music and a gift for picking up and learning a new instrument so that he could perform for others. This also resulted in a discerning taste in music and all who remember him know of his passion for the Beatles, particularly John Lennon, but also Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Dylan, Bing Crosby, Glenn Miller, Buddy Clark and many others. Although Tom was never married and had no children, his nieces, nephews, and children of his close friends will remember with great fondness his songs, jokes, and many lessons on musicians and modern historical trivia. There is more than one millennial out there with a knowledge of music that is just a little bit beyond their years because Tom saw the importance of sharing beautiful things with future generations. Tom was politically inclined with a strong sense of social justice and he combined this with his passion for satire and history in the work on his blog, "The Rant" which he faithfully updated from 2006-2023. His regular readers will undoubtedly miss his humorous takedowns of conservative politics, celebration of his historical heroes from FDR to civil rights leaders, and his encyclopedic knowledge of American pop and political culture from the 1920s onwards. He also highlighted the lives of comedians he felt deserved greater recognition for their works, in particular Ernie Kovaks and Lenny Bruce and his fight for free speech. Above all, Tom lived his life with the philosophy that whatever may divide us, common ground can be found in the celebration of art, music, and laughter. If Tom could have written his own obituary, he would tell us that he died one day before the 43rd anniversary of the death of John Lennon. His family and friends would have informed him that like John Lennon, he is gone far too soon from our lives. Lenny Bruce once said that "there are never enough I Love You's." Tom, however, cherished his friends and family, and he never left anyone in doubt of his affection and generous heart. We have been so blessed to have him in our lives - may his memory and his example serve to remind us that truly, all you need is love. Visitation will be Thursday, December 14 from 4 -7PM at Donovan Funeral Home, 82 South Church Street, Goshen, NY. A Mass of Christian burial to Celebrate his life will be held 10:15 AM on Friday, December 15, 2023, at St. John The Evangelist R.C. Church, 71 Murray Ave, Goshen, NY. Burial will be in St. Columba Cemetery, Chester, NY. Arrangements under the care of the Donovan Funeral Home, Inc., Goshen. To leave a condolence visit

Visitation at Funeral Home

4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Thursday, December 14, 2023
Donovan Funeral Home, Inc
82 South Church Street
Goshen, New York, United States

Final Resting Place

Friday, December 15, 2023
St Columba Cemetery
Chester, New York, United States


10:15 am
Friday, December 15, 2023
St. John The Evangelist R.C. Church
71 Murray Ave
Goshen,, New York, United States
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Thomas Degan

In Loving Memory

Thomas Degan

1958 - 2023

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