Thomas “Tom” Gerard Altman

November 28, 1955 - May 25, 2020

Thomas “Tom” Gerard Altman, 64, a resident of North Fort Myers, FL for the past 11 years, formerly of Long Beach Island, NJ, passed away Monday, May 25, 2020 in Cape Coral, FL. He was born November 28, 1955 in Philadelphia, PA to Joseph and Margaret Altman, now deceased.

Remembering Tom is to smile.  He was fun, mindfully jolly, expert in favorite niche topics.  When he arrived at a family gathering, we would say “the fun has arrived.”  That often meant he arrived with his own curated collection of hot sauces-challenging anyone to beat his tolerance for chili.  And it meant playing poker with nieces and nephews.  His favorite move was to ante-up with wild gesticulations and expressions, never mind the move was baseless.  We laughed til we hurt.

Tom lived most of his childhood in Churchville, PA and graduated from Council Rock North High School in Newtown.  He loved Bucks County, earning an associates degree from BCCC, playing music at Bucks County Playhouse, waiting tables, bartending, teaching music lessons. Tom was accomplished on clarinet and saxophone.  He owned the Kite Store in Surf City, NJ. Early retirement brought him to Florida.

His love of gadgets included telescopes and obscure kitchen tools. He was an avid sailor, windsurfer, creative cook, amateur astronomer, and Eagles fan. He often swam daily, outperforming his own personal best records routinely. Tom was raised in the Catholic faith; he could (and would) wax on a range of topics from existential curiosity to fierce weather systems. And then there are the stories of his collie dogs…

Planted squarely in the middle, Tom is survived by two older and two younger sisters who loved him like crazy: Joanne Syversen (Robert) of Cape Coral, Kathy Altman (Ivy Schwartz) of Tucson, AZ, Mary Ellen Lehmann (Michael) of NY, NY, and Colleen A. White (Jason) of Acton, MA; adoring nieces and nephews Rachel, SG, Julien, Danny, Connor, Abby, Graham; as well as his best friend of more than 40 years, Bill Metzler of Pennsburg, PA. He will be missed by all who knew him.

Due to the Covid crisis, no formal services are planned at this time. A celebration and disposition of ashes will be held at a future date.

Memorial Contributions in memory of Tom Altman are suggested to Hope Hospice, 9470 Healthpark Circle, Fort Myers, FL 33908.

Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cape Coral, is entrusted with final care.

Guestbook

  1. Melissa Myers May 29, 2020 at 11:36 am

    I only met Tom once, but he was someone who left a lasting impression with his sense of fun and enjoyment of life. My love goes out to all who will miss him.

    Melissa Myers (White)

  2. Douglas Esch May 29, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    Mundo you always be remembed and loved go birds love dougl

  3. Michelle Martin May 29, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of Tom’s passing. He was my roommate back in the 90’s in two different places. He was an awesome roomie!!! We had so much fun and so very many great times!! I visited him a few times in LBI but we lost touch when he moved to Florida. I did think about him often! I do remember that he so loved his sisters and I completely agree that “Remembering Tom is to smile”, for sure! He always had me cracking up! I will always remember him so fondly! Rest in peace, “Mondo”.

  4. Tony Vellner May 29, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    So sorry and sadden to hear of Tom’s passing. My deepest condolences to Joanne, Kathy , Mary Ellen and Colleen. Great memories of us in younger days. I hope Tom didn’t suffer and I’ll pray for him and you all. All my love.
    Your cousin,
    Tony Vellner

  5. Mary Ellen (Altman) Lehmann May 29, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    Too late I’m finding out that it was true his friends called him “Mondo!” He always said that…I figured he was making us laugh. So many stories and memories come to mind; I’ve told them so often my own kids’ eyes start to roll,,,and then we laugh. Just like Uncle Tom.
    Me: did I ever tell you about the time Uncle Tom made me eat the cereal I poured orange juice on by accident as a kid?
    Kid: only a million times.
    When I was learning clarinet as a kid, we turned the mouthpiece around so he could finger Rhapsody in Blue while I tried to sustain breathing. I actually remember being, it must be under two, maybe even one…I remember him walking me to sleep pacing in the living room. Every time he turned to walk across the room I lifted my head off his shoulder to look in the mirror again. He was always kind. He loved my kids. Rest in peace, Tom.

  6. Greg Vellner May 29, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    As a first-cousin just a year younger than Tom, I recall childhood gatherings at our grandmother’s house in Philadelphia. WaHoo! He and cousin Amy made the get-together a fun and loving experience. He’s remembered today as always “fun” and “jolly.” That, too, is how he was as a kid. I’ll never forget Tom. I’ll miss him.

  7. Wendy Warner May 29, 2020 at 10:06 pm

    I never met Tom, but know he must of been fun and full of life like his sister Joanne. Prayers for Tom in heaven and all his family he leaves behind. Sending Love❤

  8. Ron & Pam Weiss May 30, 2020 at 5:53 am

    Our deepest condolences!

  9. Adair and Carol Heath, Ft Myers, FL May 30, 2020 at 8:45 am

    Carol and I will miss Tom. We knew him through his sister and brother-in law, Joanne and Bob Syversen when we celebrated Holiday meals together. He was a delight and fun to be around. We wish we had known him better after learning more about him through this tread. Our love and prayers go out to all his family and friends affected by his death.

    Adair and Carol Heath

  10. Dory May 30, 2020 at 10:48 am

    The photo of Tom really captured his smile and just a little mischief. I am so glad we could get to know him because he was truly special. The obituary is beautifully written.

  11. Carol (Daikeler) McGilloway May 30, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    Tom was a dear friend to me & my family for many years. We will always have very fond memories of him & the many fun times. I am very saddened to hear of his passing. R.I.P. Tom. 🙏

  12. Gail May 30, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    Kathy, My condolences. I never met your brother but he sounds like someone who graced the planet.

  13. Chris and Tom Whitford May 30, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    I never met Tom face to face, but I met him in the smiles, laughs, and in the tender affection his dear sister and my friend Mary Ellen had for her brother. Tom and I extend our condolences to the Lehmann family and all Tom’s sisters who loved their brother so well.

  14. Colleen Altman White May 30, 2020 at 8:25 pm

    I mostly think of Tom as Tommy as that’s what we called him while growing up. He was ten years older than me. Earliest memory: him pushing me way too fast in the stroller while down the shore in Beach Haven, me screaming with fear (and glee). He would show us how strong his swimming arm muscles were by pretending to blow them up (like a balloon) through his thumb. He would put his hands to his waist, bend over, brace himself, and let us swing from his arms; he called this “jungle gym.” Mary Ellen and I would beg him to play the sweeping measures of “Rhapsody in Blue” on his clarinet. He would dramatically narrate the opening credits for Star Trek while we would press our fingers on our little TV screen guessing where the next starship would appear, then he would energetically orchestrate the music while we giggled. It felt like everything he did was funny. As our babysitter, he would turn out all the lights for dramatic effect and blast records like “Peter and the Wolf” as high as the volume knob would turn from our living room stereo – this would lead into hide and seek. He even made breakfast a game as he would dramatically pour his milk over his daily bowl of Wheaties exclaiming, “the breakfast of champions!” Then, he would tell us all about the accomplishments of the athlete featured on the box. I remember how busy he was with swim and band practices at Council Rock HS. After he left home, I think he knew how much I missed him; his Christmas present for me was a huge poster of a clown. He never stopped being kind. Last year when our dog Kinzie died, he called and we cried together over how much we loved our dogs and how sad it was that they were gone. Just before he got sick, we reconnected over the phone. He shared how he still had dreams of our childhood home in Churchville, PA.

    I am so grateful that whenever I mention Uncle Tom to our kids, they can’t help but smile.

    Tommy, we love you so much and we will never stop missing you. I am picturing you on Windsor Drive (up in heaven). It is a high school summer and you just finished working at Yerkes Farm up the street. You open the screened door and your arms are full of freshly picked corn. Everyone is so happy to see you because we know the fun has arrived 🙂

  15. Joanne Syversen May 31, 2020 at 12:58 am

    Tom lived nearby here in Florida so we got together often. He’d cook up fantastic meals from whatever was around, and he loved going to Mexican, Indian and good Italian restaurants with us. He took care of our little dogs once, thought they were more work than Clancey! He loved his neighbors, and his pool friends, and his Publix buddies. He waxed eloquent about anything, very excitedly, great fun! Miss him lots.💕

  16. Susan Langmuir May 31, 2020 at 8:06 am

    I remember Kathy’s jovial brother. I bought a kite from the wonderful LBI kite store that I literally flew every summer for over 20 years like a flag of joy. Kathy and I were good friends and coworkers in the ER and we used to share stories of growing up (I also with 4 girls and 1 boy)… so many peas in one pod. It’s hard to have to give up your pod mates. Sending thoughts and comfort to you all. Love, Susan

  17. Eileen Connolly May 31, 2020 at 9:16 am

    All of your cousins and Aunt Mary extend our condolences to Tom’s sisters and family’s. I remember Tom
    When he was a little boy and so cute! He turned into a handsome man looking so much like his Dad ( our Uncle Joe). I know he will be missed but I picture him in heaven playing music for his Mom, Dad, and Uncle John!

  18. Joyce Bolinger May 31, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    What wonderful memories that his friends and sisters cherish of this much loved man—what a legacy. All my sympathy, Kathy and family.

  19. Paul Goddard Jun 1, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    I never knew Tom, but if he was anything like his sister Joanne, he must have been terrific and from the sound of things he was.

  20. Barbara Metzler Jun 1, 2020 at 10:50 pm

    Words can’t express how sad we are of hearing about Tom’s passing.. He was Bill’s best friend for over 40 years. Tom was part of our family. He saw our three children grow up. They know him as uncle Tom who had the best kites ever!! When I first heard of his passing the first thing I thought of was ” Oh my god I will never hear that grunt again”. When Tom and Bill would call each other they would never start out with a “hi, hey or how’s is going” it was always a grunt!! Because of this everyone in the family new Bill was talking to Tom. The funny thing is I noticed months ago my son does the same thing when he calls his father. So the tradition will live on, as Tom will in our hearts. He will be missed tremendously. I can imagine him right now walking along the beach somewhere with Clancey. Love you always.

  21. Glenn, Jordyn, and Paul, Lifeguards, North Fort Myers Community Pool Jun 5, 2020 at 11:44 am

    We are saddened to learn of our good friend Tom’s passing. We watched over Tom as he swam his pool laps each afternoon. A strong swimmer, Tom would challenge the lifeguards to race for bragging rights. He was more than just a pool patron, he was a “regular”. As friendly as they come. A VIP of sorts. You would hear patrons say “has Tom been in to swim yet”. We looked forward to his visits to the pool. We spoke often of sailing, astronomy, technology and the antics of our pet Collies.

    Tom would share stories (along with pictures, recipes, music, book, and movie reviews) with us of his youthful exploits, family visits, hobbies, endeavors. You would soon realize if you didn’t have an equally exciting experience of your own to share than you just weren’t living adventurously or passionately enough. He was our local renaissance man.

    Tom’s genuine friendship and high spirits will not be soon forgotten. The world is a lesser place without him.

  22. kathy Jun 11, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    dear lifeguards– Tom also spoke of you all! he loved his pool time, and competed afar with me too. how many miles. how to invent a better workout, what gadgets were fun, and more. how he would ride his bike over to the pool… the Tom tales. i dearly miss him.
    His Tucson sister–kathy

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