UPDATED: Passing of Tom Stith '57
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Posted by: Michael Graziano
It is with great sadness that we report to you on Sunday's passing of Tom Stith, SFP Class of 1957. Tom and his brother Sam, Class of 1956, were the two greatest basketball players to ever wear the Prep's uniform. They both went on to St. Bonaventure University and then professional careers. Tom and Sam were inducted into the Prep's Hall of Fame in 2007 (see Tom's photo on left) and they had their uniforms "retired" by the Prep at last October's North 6th Street reunion celebration.
Below you will find links to articles about Tom that appeared in various news outlets this morning.
Current funeral arrangements for Tom are below. May he rest in peace!
Wake: Sunday, June 20 from 1:30-5:30 p.m.
Benta's Funeral Home
630 St. Nicholas Avenue, New York, NY 10030
Church Service: Monday, June 21 at 11 a.m.
St. Philip's Church
210 West 134th Street, New York, NY
Condolences may be sent to his widow:
105 Overlook Drive
Farmingville, NY 11738
or his brother:
25813 West Miami Street
Buckeye, AZ 85326
From The Tablet website:
Great Prep Star
Dear Editor: I was sorry to read of the passing of Tom Stith. It was nice to see the wonderful tribute to him by Brother Michel Bettigole.I
remember distinctly the first time I saw Tom Stith play basketball. It
was a cold wintry night in February, 1954. St. Francis Prep was playing
Most Holy Trinity at Prep’s gym in Williamsburg and St. Francis was
loaded. The center was Joe Quigg who stood at least six feet eight
inches and was later the starting center for the University of North
Carolina when they won the national championship by beating Wilt
Chamberlain and Kansas. In that game Quigg went head-to-head with
Chamberlain. That Prep team also starred Gus Alfieri and Bernie
Pascal, both of whom later starred at St. John’s University. Trinity
had a good team and was led by Tony Dimeo and Joe Smith. After three
quarters, Prep was up by around 20 points and coach Chick Keegan
brought in some reserves including sophomore Sam Stith and freshman Tom
Stith. Tom was unstoppable and Prep won by 30. I remember taking
the subway back to Bay Ridge with my friends and everyone agreed that
St. Francis would not lose a game for a very long time. We were right.
Three years later, I was a bench warmer on another good Most Holy
Trinity team led by Al Filardi, later of N.Y.U., and Frank O’Hara, later
of St. John’s, and the result was the same. St. Francis behind Tommy
Stith won by 30. After high school the Stith brothers went to St.
Bonaventure University and the game I remember most was the night they
played Ohio State in the finals of the NIT tournament. At the time,
Ohio State had Jerry Lucas and John Havilcheck and was rated number one
in the nation. St. Bonaventure was number two. Ohio State won 82-80, but
Tom Stith scored 35 points off Lucas including 28 in the second half.
It was one of the greatest individual performances in tournament
history.Those were great days and Tom Stith was a great player and
person. Most Holy Trinity closed in the 1970s and St. Francis Prep moved
to Fresh Meadows in Queens. I could never understand anyone wanting to
move from Brooklyn to Queens.
New York Post story
Buffalo News story