Cover photo for Thomas A. Piraino, Jr.'s Obituary
Thomas A. Piraino, Jr. Profile Photo

Thomas A. Piraino, Jr.

July 12, 1949 — March 22, 2024

Cleveland Hts

Thomas A. Piraino, Jr.

Thomas A. Piraino, Jr., 74, passed away at his home of over forty years in Cleveland Heights on March 22, 2024.  He leaves behind a monumental legacy of kindness, compassion, intelligence, humor, and unending love for his many beloved family and friends. 

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Barbara McWilliams, and his daughters Meg (Nathan), Ann (Gerald), and Molly (Andrew), as well as six grandchildren; Tucker, Natalie, Maeve, Rhys, Margaret, and Riley, and brothers Michael and David.  He was the eldest son of the late Thomas Piraino and Margaret Piraino. 

Tom was born in Cleveland, Ohio on July 12, 1949.  He grew up in Oberlin and spoke of many wonderful adventures with his brothers, close friends, and pets.  He was a member of the Oberlin High School marching band, and a co-founding member of both the esteemed Rock and Zorro clubs.  

One fateful summer, Tom took a chance and traveled for the first time to Northern Michigan to attend YMCA Hayo-Went-Ha Camp not knowing the incredible impact it would have on his life.  Tom immediately fell in love with the beauty of Northern Michigan and made lifelong friends with campers and counselors at Hayo-Went-Ha.  He returned many summers as a counselor.  As Tom grew older, he never forgot his love for Hayo-Went-Ha and brought his family to spend many cherished summers up at the nearby lakes.  

After graduating Oberlin High School in 1967, Tom went on to attend Allegheny College (class of 1971) and Cornell Law School (class of 1974). 

Tom returned to Cleveland and joined the Legal Department of Parker Hannifin Corporation.  He worked at Parker for 33 years, 16 of which he served as their General Counsel and Secretary.  Tom treasured his time at Parker and especially enjoyed the people he worked with.  Tom combined his interest in history, writing, and Parker into a new role as their Historian after retiring in 2014.  During that time, he wrote and published two books about Parker.

Tom could be found most weekend mornings in his office with a yellow legal pad working on law review articles, opinion pieces for the Plain Dealer about Cleveland sports, or working on his books.  He had many law review articles published, and was referred to by the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives as a “noted legal commentator” and was cited in three decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as several cases in the U.S. Court of Appeals, and in federal district courts.  

After graduating from law school, Tom moved to the Park Centre on E. 13th.  One day, after accidentally dropping his keys down the apartment elevator shaft, Tom met an annoyed front desk receptionist named Barbara, whom he asked to help retrieve his keys.  It was only up from there.  Tom married Barbara, the love of his life, in 1976.  Together they shared a wonderful life and enjoyed raising their three girls together on Delamere Drive in Cleveland Heights.  Tom loved being a dad and he was a great one.  He passed along his joy of camp, traveling, movies, a good book, writing, theater, sports, and checking weather radar along to his three girls and they continue to pass these loves along to his grandchildren.  

Tom was enthusiastic about everything and anything Cleveland.  He served on the board of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, was a trustee to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and a strong supporter of the Cleveland International Film Festival.  Tom’s dedication to and optimism for Cleveland sports teams was unparalleled.  A season ticket holder for the Guardians, Cavaliers, and Browns he was as true a Cleveland sports fan as you could find.  His all time favorite was the Browns; he loved them his entire life and was a proud season ticket holder for over forty years.  

More impressive than Tom’s many professional accomplishments, was Tom’s personality itself. Known for his full bodied, infectious laugh, Tom never met a stranger - saying hello, treating everyone with kindness, and giving an enthusiastic high five wherever he went.  His family and friends strongly believe it would be hard to find a more kind, loyal, and loving man than Tom.  

In lieu of flowers, Tom’s family kindly requests that donations be made in his honor to two organizations dear to his heart:

Calling hours for family and friends will be on Wednesday, March 27 at 5:00 pm at Brown Forward Funeral Home, 17022 Chagrin Blvd Cleveland, OH 44120.  A public memorial mass will be held at the Church of St. Dominic on Thursday, March 28 at 11:00 am, 3450 Norwood Rd, Shaker Heights, OH 44122.

Past Services


Wednesday, March 27, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Thursday, March 28, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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