SARATOGA SPRINGS - Thomas “Tommy” John Santa Barbara, age 97, of Saratoga Springs, New York, passed away peacefully of natural causes on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020 with his son Tom by his side.
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Tommy was a graduate of Mechanicville High School. He excelled at both basketball and baseball. Upon graduation, Tommy played semi-pro baseball and continued his love of sports by becoming a basketball official for local high school and college teams.
As an avid sports fan, Tommy loved watching and talking sports of any kind. Watching the New York Yankees was dearest to his heart. Followed by the NY Giants and Penn State football. Both of his sons, Tom and John, along with a grandniece, Courtney, graduated from Penn State. Tommy took much pride in that accomplishment.
Until his retirement, Tommy was the longest tenured para-mutual clerk at Saratoga Race Course, where he was known as “Coach.” He was married 64 years to his beloved, Dorothy Britt. They were blessed with twin boys, Tom and John who were the center of their lives. They were their sons loudest cheerleaders. Watching with pride as Tom and John became successful in their careers. But, seeing them become devoted and loving fathers was their greatest joy. Tom to Matthew and Travis and John to Nicholas and Joseph.
Grandpa to Nick and Joey and Pa to Matthew and Travis became a Great-Grandfather in recent years to Brayden, Camryn and Olivia. With Michael John due this summer. Tommy Santa Barbara lived a good life. According to his grandsons, he made the best pizza in the Capital District. He never met a stranger. There was heartbreak that took a toll. But, he was a survivor, a hardworking, humble and gentle man, who wanted nothing more than the best for his family.
Tommy will be remembered with love and devotion by all his nieces and nephews. Especially Barbara Britt who looked to him as a second father. And, was always there to help when “the twins” were born.
Tommy was preceded in death by his devoted wife, Dorothy Britt Santa Barbara, his loving son, John Nicholas Santa Barbara, his sisters, Mary D’Aloia, Steffie Martone, Rose Fortune, and his brothers, Michael Santa Barbara and Stephen Santa Barbara.
A private service was held at Saint Peter’s Cemetery in Stillwater, New York on Thursday, May 27, 2020.
The Santa Barbara Family would like to extend their gratitude to the staff at The Wesley Community in Saratoga Springs. To Dr. Burchell and his staff for the loving care they gave to Dorothy and Tommy over the years. And, to DeVito-Salvadore Funeral Home for always taking such wonderful care of the Santa Barbara Family in their time of sorrow.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Tommy’s name to bestbackstretch.org. A nonprofit organization devoted to providing health and wellness services to backstretch worker at