2014-08-21 / Obituaries

Thomas McAleer


McAleer, artist, father, husband, sailor, grandfather, companion, storyteller, and treasured friend, passed away unexpectedly in Bristol on Aug. 12, 2014. He was 56.

McAleer, affectionately known as “Mac” and officially of Jamestown, was fortunate enough to call the innumerable harbors he visited, most prolifically Block Island, his true home.

He was the beloved husband of Joan E. (McAreavey) McAleer. Together for 32 years, they charted courses to tranquil retreats, regaled loved ones with stories of their travels, and exuded a type of love and sincerity that is increasingly rare in the world.

A native of Providence, he was the son of the late Francis and Constance (McGirr) McAleer. He was a brother to Michele Lang of Winston-Salem, N.C., Sharon McAleer of North Kingstown, and Paul McAleer of Florida.

An avid artist, Tom painted landscapes as whimsical as his unending and ever-fascinating charisma. Magnanimous, gentle and kind, Mac truly lived his life exactly how one is told they should: one cherished moment at a time.

Always the witty conversationalist, Tom found the humor in all of life’s little quirks. Notorious for his captivating stories, Mac had a way of bringing about levity while never losing touch with humanity. He was a tremendous source of energy and the best person to be seated next to at a dinner party.

Mac was a passionate and tireless advocate and administrator of programs for adults with developmental disabilities. In addition to his craft and full family life, Tom served on the board of Art Night in Bristol and Warren and was the founder of Top Drawer Art at the Brass.

His children, Ryan McAleer and his wife Melissa of Hope Valley, and Kaylan McAleer Transue and her husband Bain of Block Island, along with their children Jameson Transue and Maverick McAleer, were the lights of his life.

A recent grandfather, Mac loved nothing more than playing on the beach with his grandsons. The world stopped for Jameson and Maverick, and his love for them knew no bounds.

Mac was the life of the party, the silver lining on a rainy day, the laugh you needed when life kicked dirt in your face, the fork poaching leftovers off your plate, the break in an awkward silence, the hilarious line crosser, and one of the best people to ever know.

He will be deeply missed.

The McAleers will have a celebration of life at Fort Getty in Jamestown on Wednesday, Aug. 20, at 5:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory can be made to The Brass, c/o LIFE Inc., P.O. Box 449, Tiverton, RI 02878, or to research on chronic athlete’s foot (a personal favorite).

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