Fairfield, CT and Rye, NY – Thomas Richard Blackwell, aged 63, passed away at sunrise on November 13, 2023, in Rye, NY, surrounded by the love of his family and friends. Born on March 16, 1960, in San Diego, California, Tom leaves behind a legacy of love, warmth, and exceptional achievements.
Tom is survived by his beloved wife, Linda, his cherished daughter, Taegan, and his siblings Lee, Helen, Richard, and Katrina, along with their families. He is also remembered by his stepfather, John Myles, and step siblings George, Robert and Annie and families, his parents-in-law, Howard and Laura Robinson, and Robinson Siblings, Lorraine, Howard, and Laura, and their families. Tom’s circle of love extends to countless extended family and friends, though he was predeceased by his parents, Dorothy and Lee, and many dear friends.
A lifelong competitive athlete, Tom’s passion for sailing began in his youth at the American Yacht Club. His sailing journey led him to remarkable achievements, including being a member of the US National Sailing Team for two years, attending the Olympic Trials, and achieving top results during his 40+ year campaign with lifelong friend Peter Duncan which included winning the 210 National Championships in 1981, and continuing on to top standings in many national and international Etchells and J70 championships, marked him as an Atlantic National Champion, and a multiple-time recipient of American Yacht Club’s Yachtsman of the Year award.
Beyond sailing, Tom was an avid hockey player, stand-up paddle competitor, and a passionate sports fan. He extended his love for sports by running youth programs, including the American Yacht Club’s JAYC program and the Mid Fairfield Connecticut Stars Hockey, leaving an indelible mark on the lives of young athletes. A dedicated father, his greatest joy came from being his daughter Taegan’s biggest fan in life, and in sports. He could usually be found cheering her on at every hockey game and sailing regatta he could possibly attend.
A lifelong member of the American Yacht Club, Tom had the honor of serving as its Commodore in 2021 and 2022. He was also a proud member of the New York Yacht Club. Tom attended White Plains High School, where he graduated in 1978, and SUNY Albany, where he earned his degree.
In 1990, Tom founded Blackwell Construction, leading the company to great success. With foresight and careful planning, he ensured a seamless succession, entrusting the company to his hand-picked and well-loved colleagues.
While Tom’s accomplishments are numerous, he will be most fondly remembered for his genuine ability to connect with people, making them feel seen and loved. His unconditional love and support served as a source of encouragement and inspiration for his family and friends, motivating them to strive for their best selves. His warm and loving nature, along with his unwavering dedication to family and friends, will forever be etched in the hearts of those who had the privilege of knowing him.
Tom Blackwell will be deeply missed, but his legacy of love, sportsmanship, and community spirit will endure through the many wonderful memories he leaves behind. May he rest now in eternal peace.
There will be a Memorial Service on November 29, 2023, from 11:00am -1:00pm at American Yacht Club, Rye NY
In lieu of flowers – please consider donating to St. Jude Medical to help the children and their families that are going through a similar struggle.