When Father Walter Nagle sat down to write a homily for , it gave him a chance to remember all his accomplishments in coaching and with children as well as his impact on the community.
McCabe, 55, on Friday morning after he died Tuesday from a long battle with a serious illness. He was buried in his family's plot at the St. Mary Cemetery in New Britain after a mass in his honor was held at
When Nagle looked out at the crowd in the pews at St. Patrick's Church, he saw several young adults and it made him think about the effect that McCabe had on the Rocky Hill and East Hampton communities.
"It is apparent from all the young people here that Tom raised all of us up to be more than we can be," Nagle told those in attendance.
Before coming to the Rocky Hill Public Schools in July 2008, McCabe served as the physical education and health teacher at Glastonbury High School from 1989 to 2008 and for five years at . He was the athletic director at East Hampton High School. He also coached football, baseball, basketball and lacrosse in Southington, Windsor, New Britain, East Hampton and Glastonbury.
Nagle even used a famous baseball analogy about perfection to discuss McCabe. According to the analogy, most people in life think that you need to succeed 90 to 100 percent of the time to be great, however that idea does not apply in baseball where one of the greatest players of all time was only successful 40 percent.
"Something to ponder. It is not a mistake free life that makes someone great," Nagle said. "It is how we respond to those mistakes that make us great. In my own life I learned more from setbacks/losses than from my victories."
Nagle closed by saying; it was clear that many young adults felt connected to McCabe and trusted him.
"Tom obviously had a great capacity for befriending young people," Nagle said. "It is the only way you get them to trust. Once you have their trust they will do anything for you. Thanks to the power of the resurrection we now have a friendship with Tom that will never end."
McCabe is survived by his four children, Drew, Chase, Craig and Taryn.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be sent to the Thomas J. McCabe Children's Education Fund, c/o Liberty Bank 1169 Farmington Ave., Berlin, CT 06037.
To read the full obituary, please click the following link.
Editor's Note: Do you have a fond memory of Thomas J. McCabe? Do you have a funny or inspirational story that you would like to share with us? If so, write your story in the comments section.