Cover photo for Thomas Edward Leary's Obituary
Thomas Edward Leary Profile Photo
1946 Tom 2023

Thomas Edward Leary

July 19, 1946 — October 29, 2023


Thomas Edward Leary, 77, passed away October 29, 2023.
He was born in Rochester, NY. His father, Daniel Leary was a research associate at the University of Rochester biomedical facilities. His mother was an RN and homemaker. 
Tom attended St. John Fisher College then went to Brown University for his doctorate in History. While attending grad school, he was Curator of Slater Mill Historic Site in Pawtucket, RI.

After obtaining his PhD, He moved to Buffalo, NY where he was Director of Interpretation for the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society. While there he coordinated a survey of Buffalo industry along with the National Park Service’s Historical American Engineering Record. He and his wife, Elizabeth, wrote a history of Bethlehem Steel’s Lackawanna plant and organized several highly popular exhibits on “Made in Buffalo” documenting the area’s industries.

In 1988 he and his wife launched a consulting firm, Industrial Research Associates doing mitigation and other kinds of research for government and private agencies including the then nascent Youngstown Museum of Industry and Labor.

In 1999 he was hired by Youngstown State University as a history professor where he taught and worked with the Museum teaching American architectural and industrial history and training students in the art of public history documentation and museum practices. He retired in 2021 and continued working at the museum until his death.

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Sholes and many good friends, colleagues, and students.
Professional arrangements were handled by Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes, Boardman-Canfield Chapel. 
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas Edward Leary, please visit our flower store.


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