Obituary: Terrence McAloon

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 8:10pm

Terrence “Terry” E. McAloon, the youngest child of Leo and Agnes McAloon, died on December 3 in Pawtucket.

He spent summers at the gambrel-roofed house across from the duck pond on Old Town Road. During the 1950s and 60s and even beyond, the house doubled as the island funeral home because Terry’s father ran V. J McAloon and Son Funeral Home, located in Pawtucket, and handled island services as well.

Like many of his contemporaries, Terry worked at island institutions including the Spring House, where he spent several summers as a bellhop and desk clerk.

He lived most of his life in Pawtucket and graduated from St. Raphael Academy, class of 1962. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1966, where he studied mortuary science, and also attended Bryant College. Terry served in the U.S. Army National Guard’s Special Forces during the Vietnam conflict.

Terry entered the family business and became a familiar presence on the island, comforting grieving families and directing services for island residents well into the 1980s. Jane Sullivan, daughter of Dorothy Sullivan, the founder of Sullivan Real Estate, remembered “Terry’s kindness and help to us when my mother died thirty years ago. He helped to guide us through a difficult time.” He had a gracious and compassionate manner that served him well in his profession.

Terry also had a keen sense of humor. He recounted a story of an island resident who had been a proud member of the Masons. One of his fellow members appeared for the calling hours bedecked in medals he had received for his service to the organization. He had prepared for the event by having a few drinks. Leaning over the coffin to pay his respects, he lost his balance from the extra weight on his chest and ended up embracing the deceased. Terry said that he had to leave the room to compose himself before he could return and right the casket.

I worked with Terry for several years at the Spring House. He was personable with the guests and congenial with his fellow employees. Terry was a talented mimic and could leave us all in stitches. He also provided transportation to beach parties in the black stretch limousine that did duty at funerals.

Judith Thibeault Mitiguy, who also worked with him, said, “Terry really brightened every day for those of us who worked with him at the Spring House. Remembering his dry wit, his impersonations, and his deep kindness makes me smile and weep at the same time. I’m so glad I knew him.”

Blake Phelan recalled the summers that he was a lifeguard and Terry worked at the beach concession stand with Terry and Michael Mooney. There was constant laughter and Terry led the revelry.

Terry’s daughter Andrea Scanlon said that her father was a real family man who often “took care of others before himself, both in his personal and professional life.”

Sherry Fisher Carley recalled Terry as “a gentleman and a gentle man who would give you the shirt off his back.”

Terry was an active member of his community. He was a past president of the Pawtucket Lions Club, a member of the former ToKalon Club, the Jaycees, a member of the Memorial Hospital Advisory Board, and the co-founder of the City of Pawtucket’s Oktoberfest. He was also a member of the National Selected Morticians, now known as Selected Independent Funeral Homes.

Besides his daughter Andrea and her husband Michael Scanlon, he leaves two sisters, Sheila Lemoi of Sebastian, Fla., and Nancy Murphy of Gainesville, Fla.; and a brother, Vincent J. McAloon of Block Island. He also leaves a granddaughter, Samantha Scanlon, and a grandson, Tyler Scanlon, nieces and nephews, and a multitude of Block Island friends. He was the former husband of Paula (Marshall) McAloon and was the brother of the late Leo R. “Skip” McAloon Jr.

His funeral was held December 10 at St. Mary’s Church in Pawtucket. Burial with Military Honors followed in Mt. St. Mary’s Cemetery, Pawtucket. Donations in his memory to The Providence Center, 528 North Main Street, Providence, RI 02904, would be appreciated.