East Berne, NY
DiGiovanni, Thomas Louis, 73, a long time resident of Albany County, passed away surrounded by his loving family on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. Tom was born on October 5, 1946 in Troy. NY, the son of Louis and Margaret (Nicholson) DiGiovanni.
During the Viet Nam war Thomas honorably served 6 years in the US Army and Reserves. For a time he was a member of the Local Teamsters and Laborers Unions and helped in the construction of roads and buildings for the Albany South Mall project. He worked for many years for the Albany Department of Social Services as a case worker, left and returned much later as a mail carrier to retire there. He attended SCCC majoring in Liberal Arts with a minor in English.
As a child Tom always loved working with his hands and had a desire to build his own home in the country. When he met his wife they both designed and he built a passive-solar post-and-beam custom home in East Berne, NY. This led to an interest in traditional Japanese tools and woodworking. He studied with teachers in Woodstock, NY and one in California, and made several visits to Japan. He utilized his new trade for local clients and additions to his home. Japanese carpentry and architecture became his life long passion. His latest project was design build, and with community support, erect a post-and-beam kiosk for the entrance of the public trail, named “Path of Peace and Compassion”, on the then Tenzin Gyatso Institute grounds in Berne, NY.
Tom always had a deep respect of nature, especially trees, with strong compassion for people and animals. As a boy he hunted and fished with is dad, yet as an adult he forgo those activities to observe wildlife instead, and adopted a plant-based diet for over 35 years. Known as the 'human probe' by those close to him, he had a gentle way of asking people questions that opened them up to him with positive and at times life changing ways for them. He was funny, creative, romantic, very intelligent, and had an uncompromising will, including an amazing memory, especially of peoples faces and names. Besides loving his family and friends deeply, Tom enjoyed music, poetry, reading, hiking, and visiting the Great Camps, lakes, and mountains in the Adirondacks.
Tom is survived by Denise, his loving wife and partner of 43 years; his siblings Nancy Bregar (DiGiovanni) and Peter DiGiovanni; two nephews and several cousins. Celebrations of Life gatherings will be arranged in the future.
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