North Andover, MA — One of the town's most popular characters, Thomas "T.J." McEvoy, 60, passed away in his sleep at his home in Bradford on Thursday.
T.J. was born and educated in North Andover schools, and was the son of Irene McEvoy and the late Thomas McEvoy. He later attended UMass-Amherst, before getting his teaching degree at Salem State University, then his master's degree in criminal justice at Anna Maria College in Paxton, Mass.
Around town, he was known for his police work and approachable personality. He spent 33 years on the North Andover Police force, and the last quarter-century as a sergeant. Even as a police officer, he was known for his kindness, particularly to those in need.
T.J. spent countless hours helping and advising many residents with problems, some relating to the law.
One of T.J's passions was sports, particularly basketball. A captain on the North Andover High basketball team, he later became a top official of the sport and refereed games in the Merrimack Valley Christmas Tournament and the boys state high school tournament.
"He loved refereeing," said longtime, local official and North Andover native, Bill Boutilier. "He really loved mentoring young kids coming along.
"Some of us would call him 'Technical T,' because he didn't take anything," said Boutilier. "He brought a cop's mentality to the game. But he was always a gentlemen and would always warn them first. I told him 'You never met a technical you didn't like.'"
Another passion of T.J.'s was golf. In fact, after he retired in May, he started working part-time in the pro shop at North Andover Country Club, assisting his friend and head pro, Peter Farley. T.J. played golf regularly in the spring, summer and fall. In fact, he considered becoming a golf superintendent in college before deciding to get into criminal justice.