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).