Tom McKevitt Sr., the father of State Assemblyman Tom McKevitt Jr., died on June 25, of complications stemming from various health issues. He was 75.
Born on Dec. 1, 1938 in Queens to Edward and Jenny, McKevitt grew up in South Ozone Park and graduated from John Adams High School. He spent time living in New Hyde Park and East Rockaway, and moved to East Meadow in 1972 with his wife, Patricia, whom he married in 1968, and remained there until his death.
He spent most of his life as a New York Police Department detective, working in the Organized Crime Control Bureau. There, he investigated crimes related to the mafia in New York City, conducting surveillance and tailing suspects. Most of his work was connected to the Colombo crime family, said his son, Tom.
Because there was a big push from then Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in the late ’80s and ’90s to rid organized crime, the FBI and NYPD formed a joint organized crime task force, which McKevitt also worked on as a special federal marshal later in his career.
Before the NYPD, McKevitt served in the army from 1962 to 1964, and worked for Trans World Airlines. He received his bachelor’s degree in police science from the New York Institute of Technology. He was an NYPD officer for 26 years, from 1967 to 1993.
“He worked very hard to provide for his family,” said Tom, who was elected to the State Assembly in 2006. McKevitt and Patricia’s other son, Scott, is a lieutenant in the NYPD.
McKevitt was a longtime member of the Kiwanis Club, where members said he was known affectionately for his story telling, colorful jackets, and photography.
“He had a very special jacket that was well noticed throughout our club,” said Alan Beinhacker, who met McKevitt through Kiwanis 20 years ago. McKevitt, he said, was a “warm, gentle man that lived an interesting life and had interesting stories to tell people.
“He was one of the people who gave the room some life,” Beinhacker added.
Peter Mancuso, also of East Meadow Kiwanis, agreed that McKevitt was a welcome addition to the club. “[He] always had a smile on his face,” said Mancuso. “He made the club and the atmosphere more pleasurable to be around.”
One of McKevitt’s biggest passions, said Tom, was Disney World. The family made several trips to the theme park when Tom and Scott were children, and McKevitt was able to make one more trip, shortly before his death, with Scott’s family. “He knew it’d be the last trip,” Tom said. “It was a great, great trip, I’m told.”
Services were held at St. Anne’s Parish in Garden City on June 30, where Patricia works as a school secretary. In addition to Patricia, Tom (Samantha) and Scott (Sherry), McKevitt is survived by five grandchildren.