Thomas L. Casey

April 7, 1984 – November 10, 2021

Thomas L. Casey, 37, of Merriam, Kansas, passed away on Nov. 10 after a long battle with bile duct cancer. Tom died peacefully at the Kansas City Hospice House surrounded by loving family members, friends and his dog, Gregory.

Tom was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on April 7, 1984, to Frieda and Mike Casey. He was two-and-half years younger than his sister, Megan. On May 4, 2013, he married his soulmate, Mary. The joyous spark of their wedding day never left Tom or Mary.

Tom graduated from Bishop Miege High School in 2003. At Miege, Tom ran track and cross country, played the tuba in the band and performed in a school play.

Besides these extracurricular activities, what defined Tom’s high school years was service to others. He earned a Presidential Volunteer Service Award all four years, spending his spring breaks on mission trips to Native American reservations, West Virginia and Mexico. Not only did he give up his spring breaks, he paid for the trips himself.

The mission to serve others stayed with Tom through the rest of his life. Over the years, he volunteered at the Rose Brooks Center, Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas and the Kansas City Irish Fest. Tom earned an associate’s degree with an emphasis on social work from Johnson County Community College.

While working at the Johnson County Adult Detox Center, Tom met Mary, one of his co-workers. At the time, Tom had a rule not to date co-workers. Tom said the best decision of his life was to forget that rule, and he eventually married the love of his life.

Tom’s interests included mixed martial arts, training at several locations in the Kansas City area. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of the Marvel and DC universes. His favorite superhero was Spiderman. He enjoyed playing video games, in particular, Marvel games and Star Wars games.

Tom was proud of his Irish heritage. He built floats for the St. Patrick’s Day parade, marched in the parade, attended events at Kansas City Irish Center and volunteered to help at the Irish Fest Mass. Tom also was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Shawnee, Kansas.

He loved going to movies, attending baseball games and most important of all spending time with his parents and sister; his wife, Mary, and her parents, Doug and Elaine Hoffman, and Tom’s best friends, Ryan and Kristen Burroughs.

Tom also delighted in walking his dog, Gregory, chasing Gregory and just holding the little dog. When Gregory visited Tom at the hospice house, Tom greeted him, by asking “How’s it going, Pal?”

Tom’s 18-month battle with cancer displayed his best qualities of grace, courage and kindness. He never once complained, never once said “Woe is me,” and never once asked, “Why Me?” When various treatments failed to stop his cancer, Tom’s response was always – What do we need to do now to move forward. Doctors and nurses called him a stoic and a trooper.

Throughout the struggle, Tom used humor to alleviate others’ discomfort with his illness. One of the doctors was distressed at Tom’s cancer diagnosis and asked Tom what he could do for him. Tom responded: You can cosign for a Tesla for me. The doctor laughed.

While Tom was in the hospital recovering from a painful operation, a food service worker delivered Tom’s dinner. Though Tom was in great pain, he asked the worker how his day was going. The man said it was a rough day because his knee was hurting him. Tom said, “I’ll pray for you.” That moment testified to Tom’s faith and kindness.

There’s a saying for the deceased: We shall never see the likes of him again. Rather than reflect on that thought, the best way to remember Tom is to be more like him through love and kindness.

Tom’s mother wanted to share her thoughts about her son.

On the day Tom died, the heavens poured down tears of sadness. The next day the sun rose with clear azure skies with the heavens welcoming Tom and his beautiful soul. A piece of my heart will be with you always. And when I think of you, it will be with a smile. Tommy, I love you and miss you.

Tom was preceded in death by his grandparents, Leo T. Casey Jr. and Mary Patricia (Lynch) Casey, and Freddie Thompson and Jeannie (Stone) Thompson.

Survivors include: his wife, Mary (Hoeller) Casey of Merriam; his parents, Mike and Frieda (Thompson) Casey of Overland Park: his sister, Megan Casey of Overland Park, as well as many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Thomas L. Casey

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