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100 North Main Street
Massena, NY 13662
Phone: (315) 769-3579
Fax: (315) 769-3570
Thomas Plastino

Thomas A. Plastino

Tuesday, October 6th, 1942 - Sunday, September 6th, 2020
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CANTON - Thomas A. Plastino of Canton died on September 6, 2020 of complications of acute myeloid leukemia. He was born in Lancaster, PA on October 6, 1942, the first son of William T. and Gina W. Plastino. He and his wife of 54 years, Jane H. Plastino, have three children – Antony Thomas, Julie Jane, and David Thomas who currently reside with their families (including their seven children) in Potsdam, NY, Paris, France, and Dedham, MA respectively.

Tom was mostly educated in Catholic schools in Lancaster, graduated (along with Jane) from Lancaster Catholic High School in 1960. He then attended the University of Notre Dame for nine years, collecting three degrees there (starting with a BA in history and English) but abandoning his history PhD studies midway through his dissertation. After Tom spent one year as a college history teacher, Jane and Tom returned to Lancaster where he went on to work in a malleable iron foundry and later in construction (primarily as an electrician). While in Lancaster they also regularly attended the Lancaster meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and Tom died a committed but inactive Quaker.

The family moved to Black Thumb Farm (BTF) near Canton in 1978, where they all soon learned to accent the first syllable of Madrid without flinching. BTF was an abandoned, non-electric “estate” of 140 acres of mostly swamp and scrub near Buck’s Bridge. Although his electrician’s experience may not have been too useful on an off-the-grid homestead, his construction experience came in handy when the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) employed him as its construction and property manager from 1978 until 1990. After a two year stint as chief executive of the unlamented St. Lawrence County Solid Waste Disposal Authority (1990-1992), Tom worked for economic development organizations in the County and region, including 18 years as the Executive Director of CITEC, Inc. He retired from CITEC in 2012 and until recently served as the Deputy CEO of the IDA.

There will be no calling hours or funeral service. Abandoned dissertation notwithstanding, Tom’s interest in history never abated and he encourages well-wishers to contribute in his memory to the St. Lawrence County Historical Association (3 East Main St., Canton, NY, 13617).
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Posted at 04:05pm
David, our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.
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Sharon V Williams

Posted at 06:46pm
Tom was a supporter as I was getting the North Country Children's Museum off the ground. Current and future generations of North Country children will benefit from this support as he helped us open doors in his role with the IDA. It meant a lot to me, as a newcomer to all the ins-and-outs of economic development, to have him believe in me and our project. He was lovely to work with, thoughts and prayers to his family. - Sharon Williams

Valerie Summer

Posted at 03:13pm
My love and condolences to Tom’s family. We have such great memories of Tom and Jane in the early years of homesteading here in the North Country. They were great friends to Birdsfoot and all the schemes we came up with, especially Meadowsweet Yogurt. Though we haven’t seen you in a long time, it is hard to imagine a world without Tom.

Ben Rand

Posted at 03:30pm
I met Tom 13 years ago when I joined Insyte Consulting in Buffalo and Tom ran our sister center, CITEC. I'd be proud to call myself his peer, but as everyone who knows Tom realizes, he was peerless. His energy, kindness, curiousity and creativity were unique. For example, his outreach to National Grid resulted in a statewide grant program for manufacturers that has produced well over $1 Billion in economic impact while saving or creating thousands of manufacturing jobs across the state over the last 10+ years. It has been so successful that NYSEG and RG&E have copied it. In typical fashion, Tom refused to take credit and few of the people, companies and communities that have benefitted will ever know the name Tom Plastino. For those of us lucky enough to have called him a friend, we'll never forget. Rest in peace Tom.

Kevin Acres

Posted at 07:56am
It is sad to hear of Tom’s passing. He was always fun and interesting to talk with, although the presentations to the CountyLegislative board could get lengthy. LOL. He always was driven to make things better with what we had. Tom’s migration to the North Country was our gain, our positive. Tom’s personality, his quirks , his intelligence, his kindness and dedication have touched many. May you rest in peace.

Kevin Acres

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