SALISBURY — Thomas G. Palumbo, respected local attorney and former State Representative, died unexpectedly at his home in Salisbury on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011.
Husband of Brenda (McDonald) Palumbo, Tom was born in Newburyport on June 9, 1950 to Gene and Jeanie (MacBurnie) Palumbo. A longtime resident of Newbury, Tom was a 1968 graduate of Newburyport High School where he was a standout member of the football team as a fullback. Tom was a member of the NHS football team which went undefeated on 1967 and won the Northeastern Conference Class B Championship.
Tom's athletic ability earned him a full scholarship to Temple University in Philadelphia, where he played football all four years earning a degree in education and an Unsung Hero Award for his dedication to the Temple University football team. After graduating from Temple University, Tom earned a law degree from Suffolk University Law School where he studied at night while working as a substitute teacher at Newburyport High School. He also volunteered as an assistant coach at Newbury and Newburyport schools.
After receiving his law degree and passing the bar examination, Tom opened a private law practice in his home town of Newbury. In 1984, Tom was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives for the 2nd Essex District where he served five terms. Tom was very proud of his efforts to obtain funding for local projects and worked diligently to protect the abundant natural resources in his district. He was instrumental in restoring commuter rail service to Newbury and Newburyport as state representative. Tom viewed his work as a state representative and as a lawyer as a way to help people in need to solve their problems and make a better life. He worked tirelessly across party lines to accomplish the people's business without concern for who got credit. Prior to serving as state representative, Tom served as Newbury Selectman and as Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals and member of the License Commission and Board of Health for the Town of Newbury. He was also a member of St. John's Lodge A. F. and A. M. of Newburyport.
Tom enjoyed his hobby of collecting antique toys from the 1950s and especially antique toy trucks. He loved to attend shows and displays of antique toy trucks. Tom was a friend of the Peoples United Methodist Church of Newburyport and enjoyed cooking clam chowder for the church suppers. He also enjoyed cooking for and entertaining family and friends and had a love of nature including bird watching, kayaking and walking along the ocean beaches with his loving wife, Brenda.
In addition to his wife, Brenda and his parents, he is survived by his sister, Anne (Palumbo) Webber and her husband Kenneth of Newburyport; a brother, Douglas Palumbo and his wife Diana of Florida; a nephew, Daniel Palumbo of Florida; and several aunts, uncles, in-laws, cousins and good friends.
ARRANGEMENTS: A funeral service will be held Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011, at 11 a.m. at Peoples United Methodist Church, Purchase Street, Newburyport, followed by burial in Thomas Parker Cemetery, Newbury. Visiting hours will be Monday from 4 to 8 p.m. at Elliott, Woodworth & Rogers Family Funeral Home, 35 Green St., Newburyport. St. John's Lodge A. F. & A. M. will be conducting a Masonic Service at 3:30 p.m. immediately prior to the start of the visiting hours. Memorial contributions in Tom's memory may be made to the Salvation Army, 40 Water St., Newburyport, MA 01950.