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Thomas Rightley

December 25, 1942 ~ May 21, 2022 (age 79)


Thomas Rightley, 79, passed away Saturday May 21, 2022, in Jonesboro, AR. He was born December 25, 1942, in South Bend, IN. He was the son of W.O.“Lefty” and Genevieve Rightley who preceded him in death. Tom married Rubye Richardson on May 14, 1966—just celebrating their 56th wedding anniversary. Thomas is survived by his loving wife Rubye and their three children: Ethan (Kerry), Marc (Melissa), Andrew (Debra) and six grandchildren (Jaret, Justin, Grace, Sarah, Troy, Michael). Thomas is also survived by his sisters, Judith Rice, Mary Cox, Kathy (Joe) Dawson, and his brother, Timothy Rightley. Thomas is also preceded in death by his sisters—Patricia Rightley and Winnie Libertowski.  Tom was a graduate of Saint Joseph High School and a lifelong member of Saint Patrick’s Parish. Always ready to lend a hand at Saint Pat’s, Tom bartended weddings, ushered, and, as someone born on Christmas, “sleighed” as the official Santa Claus of St. Pat’s.

Tom was a natural salesman and probably sold you carpet. He was also in the National Guard Reserve. When Tom’s sons joined sports he was their coach at Northside Little League and Babe Ruth. Tom was always the life of the party and had a natural wit for dad jokes before dad jokes were a thing. He was always ready to beat you in Scrabble, Euchre, or help you with a word search. Tom and Rubye enjoyed visiting family around the US. And, since COVID hit, Tom and Rubye bonded with their neighborhood family. They shared many meals and drinks together with Tom always providing the wine.

Tom never met a person he did not like. He always had a smile and good humor for every person that he met, no one was a stranger to him. He will be missed by many, especially his sons when they do not get their weekly Sunday phone call.

Cremation has taken place. Visitation with family will take place on Thursday, June 2, from 4pm-8pm at Kaniewski Funeral Home, 3545 North Bendix Drive, South Bend, IN 46628. Funeral mass will be Friday, June 3, at 10 am at Saint Patrick’s Church. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to St. Patrick’s Church 309 South Taylor Street South Bend, IN 46601.


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