This is a hard line to write. I keep rereading it as I write this post about a guy who has touched so many lives and has had such an incredible impact on how we live ours. Ironically, Tom was such a humble guy and would probably hate all this focus on him. He also hated too much sentimentality and embraced irreverence. He would never forgive me if I didn't say something about farting at this point.
Tom was a medical malpractice attorney. No, he was not the billboard grinning, shiny suit ambulance chaser. Tom was an ethical, professional, compassionate attorney who stood heads above the rest. He was given just about every award of excellence that the Bar Association awards every year.
Did I mention farting?
Tom was an athlete all his life. His real love was judo. He competed on the big stage, trained athletes and went to the olympics as a coach. They all remained very close over the years. Apparently, that was where Tom got his finely tuned sense of irreverence. Spending an evening with the judo buddies is not for the faint of heart. I had that pleasure often and marvelled at the stories ... the brutal punishments they dished out on the mats ... and in the locker rooms (even I can't tell you some of those stories).
He was my hero, He was a real man ... in yiddish we call that a "mensch".
So I would like to ask you to do me a favor after you read this. In Tom's memory I'd like you to muster up all your strength and let out one last beautiful FART.
I know he's smiling.
so sorry to hear of Tom's passing. Hands down Tom Masterson was the most liked and most respected attorney in Pinellas County in this generation. He leaves us all one final lesson - how to die with dignity and bravery and completely selfless, putting his family and friends first. I salute you, my friend. I will never forget you. Thoughts and prayers for the entire family.
I didn’t know Tom, but you have given me an opportunity to get to know him through this beautiful eulogy. Thanks Joel!
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