Thomas Celic

Cross-country running was something that Thomas Celic learned from his older brother Marty when Tom was a freshman at Monsignor Farrell High School in Staten Island and Marty was the track coach.

'Marty was the one who got him running,' recalled Tom’s wife, Roseanne. And he kept on running, long after Marty Celic, a New York City firefighter, was killed in the line of duty in 1977. Tom Celic ran in races in Staten Island, and in the New York City Marathon, in which he typically finished in the top 300. 'He just loved it,' Mrs. Celic said. 'Running was his passion.'

Mr. Celic, 43, who worked at Marsh & McLennan, was close to both his families -- his own and the one he joined by marrying Roseanne, a Staten Island girl whom he met when she was 17 and he was 19. 'He was a great son-in-law,' said John Tasso, his father-in-law, who lived five minutes away. 'Whenever they would go out, they would ask us to go, and include us.'

After Sept. 11, Roseanne Celic discovered that she was not the only one who thought her husband was funny. His old clients called to tell her stories, and at the memorial service, the church was filled with firefighters from Ladder 17, his brother’s company. 'He made a lot of people laugh, and when he laughed, it was really such a joyous sound that you just laughed too,' she said.

Copyright (c) 2001 by The New York Times Co. Reprinted by permission.

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Another year has gone by. I'm just so sorry that you aren't with us. I think of the fun we all had at Johnson and Higgins when you were a still in college working with us part time. You went on to be so successful, who knows what you would have achieved by now.
Carol Cranmer Bennett, Colleague
Sep 11 2015 9:48AM
Maddie and I thinking of you and your family. God bless
Mike & Madeline Sikora, Colleague
Sep 12 2014 4:09PM
Fryman- hard to believe it has been 13 years since you passed on due to the horrific event. You are missed by anyone whose paths crossed; Rest easy, my friend.
Jim, Colleague
Sep 11 2014 10:36PM
'There is not a short life or a long life, there is only the life that you have, and the life you have is the one you were given, the life you work with. It has its own shape, describes its own arc. And it is perfect.' - Greek saying
Bob, Colleague
Sep 11 2014 12:45AM
We were in NYC this past Thanksgiving and visited the 9/11 memorial. We traced two copies of your name--one for us and one for your cousin, Diane (my mom). You and I only met a couple of times when I was a kid but I always remember all the Celic boys being really cool and I started running around that time. And my daughter is now running XC for her high school. God speed, Tom.
Craig Jacobin, Family
Jan 4 2014 3:25PM
I've been thinking of you again today.
Carol Cranmer Bennett, Colleague
Sep 11 2012 6:21PM
Tommy- thinking of you today! You were 4 years older than me...always were so kind and friendly to me in OLQP/Farrell....I remember my first days at Farrell when older kids were picking on me....and you stepped in. You always had a kind word when you and I saw each other. May God bless your family and protect him... God bless Mike V
Mike Velasco, Friend
Sep 11 2012 9:21AM
A prayer for God's blessing for you; a commitment to working to prevent another
Bob, Colleague
Sep 9 2012 8:55PM
We got him. Last year to the very day. We all know that justice was done for you and all the others.
James, Friend
May 1 2012 9:23PM
Mr.Celic my dad is the king of golf. He has a picure of u, monoff, and him all laughing. I just wish i could see that one more time my dad thinks about you alot when your name came up on the news for lost ones he cried. We all think about u
James, Friend
Mar 25 2012 5:36PM
I only knew Tom about 5 years but it still seems like yesterday when he was my casualty account person. I not only think of him every year in September, but every casualty renewal I have - I miss his expertise and knowledge as well as his personality. He is sorely missed in this industry.
Christine Schelble, Colleague
Sep 12 2011 9:06AM
It now been 10 years and I still think of Tom almost every day. My eldest two children both run track in college, having gotten their start at the kids race portion of the Celic rin when they were only 3-4 years old. I often think that Tom is mysteriously guiding them forward to the finish line. My thought are always with your family.
Bob Eicher, Colleague
Sep 11 2011 11:34PM
Tom and I met at Monsignor Farrell's first cross country practice on the track outside the school. His talent, humor and friendly manner were notable and it was really easy to become his friend. Tom shared much in his life with his friends and team - his home on Nevada, his wonderful family, especially his brother, Marty, a stellar man and coach, and terrific parents who were always welcoming. I had my very first vacation without my family the summer after freshman year with his dad and several other terrific friends at their A frame house in the Poconos. That's just one of some very warm memories. But it was Tom who brought several of us together to volunteer at Willowbrook State School, an institution later to be uncovered for the abysmal conditions by then ABC reporter, Geraldo Rivera. We went because it was the right thing to do. We followed Tom because he showed us how to do things well, how to gut out a run, how to have fun, how to be good friends and how to choose to do the right thing. I am proud and happy to say that Tom was one of my first high school friends and will always be in my memories, on 9/11 and many other times through the year. My prayers are still with his wife, family and friends. Rest in peace Tom and thank you.
Rich Pugliese, Friend
Sep 11 2011 10:11AM
Tom was one of the top runners in Staen Island i remember he organized track event for us runners.Real nice guy we I pray for his family that he bless you. He loved running we all miss him he not forgotten. Brian Beeman
Brian Beeman, Friend
Sep 11 2011 9:05AM
I think of Tom every 9/11. He was a great guy to deal with at his years with J&H; and Marsh, while I was at Kemper. Best wishes to his family.
Michael Brundage, Colleague
Sep 10 2011 10:44AM
Yours is still the face I see when I recall the events of 9/11. But the images are of your smile and quiet confidence - better days, as it should be. Semper Unitas.
Drew Haaser, Colleague
Sep 10 2011 3:33AM
Time can never erase happy memories with great friends from J&H; NY. There's never a time I don't think of Tom when I see a runner on the street. Have a cold Harp waiting TC, we'll all be reunited eventually.
Teresa Cassin, Friend
Sep 9 2011 9:11PM
Tom and I started at J&H; at about the same time and remained good buds throughout. An awesome sense of humor - clearly something needed for an insurance career! A few years ago we took my college bound daughter to look at Fordham and I very unexpectedly saw an honorary plaque for alumni victims with Tom's name was on it. It literally took my breath away and knocked me off my feet. To this day we still painfully miss our friends and colleagues. Best wishes to his family.
Lee Paige, Friend
Sep 8 2011 9:20PM
Tom was both colleague and great friend. We served so many clients together for so many years, first with Johnson & Higgins. He was also one of the most wonderful men I have ever known and I still miss him greatly. He served clients with great skill, humor and the highest integrity. I am so grateful to have known him and he will be in my thoughts forever. Friend of Tom Celic, Paul R. Charlesworth
Paul Charlesworth, Friend
Sep 7 2011 5:38PM
I never had the chance to meet Tom, but I married into Roseanne's family and recently met her and came to know him through her...he was a man I could only hope to be and I would trade places if I could. 'They were ALL heroes' that day and nothing different.
Robert Hilse, Family
Sep 3 2011 10:18PM
My Uncle Tom was a very funny, down to earth person. The last time i saw him was only a few days before 9/11, at the Marty Celic Run. It was an absolute shock and heartbreak that someone could be so alive and well, and then gone only 3 days later. My dad and him were very close and it makes me very sad i didn't get a chance to know him in my adult life. I miss you everyday Uncle Tom and I know you are safe and sound with Uncle Marty, Grandma and Grandpa. Untill we meet again.
Melissa Celic, Family
Sep 2 2011 11:23AM
Never forgotten, Tom.. Enjoyed working with you in NY many moons ago!
Mackey Hughes, Colleague
Aug 19 2011 9:52AM
Thanks for sharing your friendship, your smile, your family, your vacation in the Poconos and you talents. You, your family and friends will be foremost in my thoughts and prayers as we honor you 10 years after. I'll be visiting your memorial later this summer. Peace and pray for us.
Rich Pugliese, Friend
Aug 15 2011 9:03AM
Tom was in my thoughts this past 9/11 as I visited the Postcards Memorial here on S.I., but he's been in my thoughts, along with all the others, almost every day for the past nine years. The last time I saw Tom was when my husband and I had gone bowling. Tom was there with his wife and her parents. He was such a pleasant down-to-earth person.
Josephine Restivo, Colleague
Sep 13 2010 12:32PM
Again this year--I am thinking of Tommy.
Carol Cranmer Bennett, Colleague
Sep 11 2010 11:34AM
Tom, another year gone by and it still feels like yesterday. But know that you are a regular presence in our office, coming up in conversations between the two 'loons' almost daily. God bless on this ninth anniversary.
Bob, Colleague
Sep 11 2010 10:19AM
Fryman - Not a day goes by that I do not think of you; and at all times, some saying, sarcastic comment would come back to me. Put a smile on my face. I cannot believe 9 years have passed - rest easy, my dear friend. The King of Golf
Jim Begg, Colleague
Sep 10 2010 10:49PM
I worked with Tom at Johnson and Higgins from 1983 to 1997. He was the best. My favorite memories of Tom involve running, either the Corporate Challenge or the Celic 5K on Staten Island. He was always so fast, but the best part was always the after race event. I still think about Tom, and all of the others, all the time.
Bob Eicher, Colleague
Sep 11 2009 3:29PM
Tom, at one of the tees on the Morefar golf course, there are two markers, one with Chinese characters. The other is the English translation, which reads 'The spirit never dies.' Your spirit - and your sense of humour - are still here...I am sure you are looking down and laughing at the exploits of the two 'loons' you've thrown together. I add thanks for that to all you brought to being a fine co-worker and outstanding fellow runner. Bob @ 9/11/09
Robert Schneider, Colleague
Sep 11 2009 1:24PM
Tom had such an amazing soul he was a sweet, kind and gentle man who would go out of his way to help someone. He will forever be missed.
Crystal R, Colleague
Sep 11 2009 9:46AM
Another year Tom and I'm thinking of you. Everyone misses you Tom.
Ernie Beach, Friend
Sep 11 2009 6:07AM
I just found this site. Tom was a good friend of my brother John. I remember him coming over and lifting weights with my brother when they were teens,I was maybe 7 or 8.I also remember when his brother Marty passed away after fighting a fire.Tom was a great guy. I remember him running in all the marathons. I was so sad to hear he passed away on 9/11 , my heart goes out to his whole family, he was a great person.
Michael Primiano, Friend
Oct 2 2008 5:28PM
I first met Tom in 1979. He was a student then and he worked part time in the Communications Department of Johnson & Higgins where I was an art director. In the time I knew him he graduated from college, got engaged to Roseanne, a girl he loved very much, got married and became a full time employee in the Casualty Department. He was always a lot of fun. I discovered he was at the Trade Center on the first anniversary of 9/11 when his name was read. I thought surely it was a different Tom Celic but after calling several people I discovered to my great sorrow that it was Tommy. I think of him so often now and wish he could still be with us.
Carol Cranmer Bennett, Colleague
Sep 11 2008 4:32PM
Tom was the rarest person, a man of wit and humor for sure, but also a man of caring and honor in its finest sense. People like Tom bring hope into what is sometimes a dark and difficult world and that is how I will always remember Tom. He was a person who gifted his family, friends and colleagues with hope and encouragement. He was a person who having overcome loss and pain in his own life wanted nothing more than to help others deal with those same sort of issues wherever they may encounter them in their own lives. Tom's gifts; faith, hope and love, are a part of every thought I have of him. Honored to have been his friend, he is with me every day; part of my prayers and thoughts he helps make real, that part of each of us which is reserved for the best and brightest of our aspirations. For each of us whom you touched, thank you Tom, may God Bless you always.
Ken Rado, Friend
Sep 11 2008 11:15AM
One of the friendliest people I've ever met. A great runner, and true gentleman. Tom lived next door to my father's friend Stevie. At the time I met him, I was on the Wagner High School cross-country team. Tom was always very helpful to me and we always spoke when we saw each other at the races. I run the Celic Memorial Race every year to honor him, and this year wound up winning the Law Enforcement Award. The first thing my father told me was that Tom would've been proud. I had heartburn that race and was coming off of working a midnight. I felt lucky to finish but, somehow, ran a PR. I know Tom was watching down on me and helped me through it. Thank you, Tommy.
Joe Del Sole, Friend
Oct 21 2006 12:28AM
Tom - 4 years ago today - you were taken from us. Yesterday - I ran the Celic Run, something that you held so close to your heart. I ran my 'personal best' time'! I am honored to help keep Marsh involved with the Celic Run - and will be there for years to come - to honor you. You were my Group Leader for a short time, but you did so much for me in those few months. I am truely blessed to have worked for you! You are missed deeply, but certainly not forgetten! Thank you for everything... Jenn
Jenn Cowan, Colleague
Sep 11 2005 7:58AM
I consider Tom a colleague and a friend. Tom was one of the nicest and friendliest epople at this firm. He wasa one of the first to welcome me here and included me right away with his clients and we had some very nice success placing several environmental insurance programs. We also spent some social time together - a few beers after work - and I got to know him even better. In the months after 9/11, the firm moved someone else into Tom's office, which was a few doors down from mine. His nameplate remained on the door for a week or so after that and everytime I walked by I would see his name. One day I cold not stand to see this other person sitting in Tom's office with Tom's name stil on the door, so I took the nameplate and have kept it in my office under the American flag hanging in my window. Tom Celic was truly a first-rate person and I miss him. I see Tom's name every day, pray for his family and think of him often.
Daniel R. Lavoie, Colleague
Oct 2 2003 11:24AM
I ran the Celic Race this year for the first time and was overwhelmed by the support of Tom's family and friends. I really enjoyed honoring Tom by doing something that he loved, running. It certainly was an emotional day for everyone, but a great day none the less. Keep running buddy. -Tom
Tom Ridgway, Colleague
Sep 14 2002 4:32PM
I have known Tom for most of my 20 years with the firm. When I think of him, I see Tom as another young guy in the Casualty Department, hoping to learn as much as we could from the veterans closer to the windows. As a friend, I see him in the company softball team uniform, performing on the fields of Red Hook. Or I see him on the gym floor of St. Francis Xavier High, representing Casualty in the Inter-Departmental Basketball Tournament (and then in Peter McManus' for beers afterwards). Our contact diminished as my career took me away from New York, but a funny thing happened when I came back. Somehow, in the blink of an eye, Tom had become the veteran on the back window. And I got to know him again, this time as the consummate insurance professional and mentor to a team of young brokers. I'll never forget that image.
Drew Haaser, Colleague
Sep 11 2002 2:29PM
Here we are, now almost one year away from 9/11/02, and I have just heard of Tom Celic's passing. As a former J&H; NY colleague, we worked together in the mid-1980's. I will always remember those days in the Casualty Dept. We worked hard, and we played hard, too. Perhaps my fondest memory of Tom was participating with him in the Manufacturers Hanover Trust Corporate Challenge races in Central Park...his enthusiasm, athletic ability and the constant smile on his face will always be etched on my mind. Tom was an all 'round great guy, and I am fortunate to have worked with such a gentleman. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Godspeed, Tom... C. Mackey Hughes II 8/28/02
Mackey Hughes, Friend
Aug 28 2002 3:51PM
The things I think of when I think about Tom are his love of running, his smiling face, his down-to-earth attitude and his friendliness. My heart aches for his family.
Josephine Restivo, Colleague
Aug 25 2002 7:17PM
I was fortunate to have known Tom as we worked together on several clients of Johnson and Higgins prior to its merger with Marsh. I retired in 1998, had not seen Tom since and was shocked to hear that he was lost. Tom was the consummate professional but always in his low-key, laid-back style that was so effective with our clients and his associates at J&H; alike. We were both 'early morning' persons and we would often see each other at the coffee bar in the lobby at 125 Broad St. before 8:00AM. I still cannot believe that Tom is gone and I know that his clients will dearly miss his expertise. My sincerest sympathy to Tom's family.Karl DeFoeAugust 17, 2002
Karl Defoe, Colleague Aug 25 2002 10:18AM
August 17, 2002 Karl Defoe, Colleague Aug 25 2002 10:18AM
I just discovered this site for Tommy...As I've said in previous sites - Tom was like the big brother I never had. He was on my running team, and was always a true gentleman. He encouraged me as we did our track workouts Tuesday nights, and after every race he always asked how I'd done. It's been 10 months, but the tears still fall. I miss his smile and his soft spoken voice. I'll never Tom.
Alma Ramos, Friend
Jul 11 2002 2:41PM
I did not know Tom very well, but what I did know of him was exceptional. I met him about 10 years ago when we both worked at J&H.; I was from the Stamford office and he from the NY office. I became friendly with a group of people in the NY office and they would go out for happy hour once in a while. I would go to NY (Liquid Assetts)and join them and once in a while Tom would be there. He was so nice and he really left an impression on me. I stopped going to NY after a while and everytime I'd be at a Marsh reception or a carrier presentation etc. in NY and I'd see Tom and he'd go out of his way to say hi and ask how things were going. It was really nice that he remembered me. I will remember him.
K. Dreher, Colleague
May 2 2002 4:09PM
What can I say about one of the nicest and friendliest guys that I have known. Thanks for all the wonderful memories at J&H; and Marsh. You were a pleasure to have worked with.
E. Frey, Friend
Apr 17 2002 6:03PM
Tom was my manager and someone that I trusted and respected in this large company. I could always go in his office and talk to him about work, but also about my life. We are both the youngest of five kids and I think that made us understand each other a little better. We would make friendly wagers on sports games and he had no problem letting me hear it when his team won. My fiancée is from the 'Rock' and he would always talk to me about Staten Island and marrying Italian women (which both Rosenne and my fiancée are). In a large company it is difficult to find someone to trust and look up to. I found trust and aspired to be like Tom Celic in work and everyday life. I found a good role model, a quality person and someone I called friend. I will never forget Tom and everyday try to emulate how he would have lived.
Tom Ridgway, Colleague
Apr 10 2002 4:41PM
Tom You were a great boss and fried to me. You listened to both my business and personal problems and helped me balance both. Thanks for helping me when I needed it. Adriana
Adriana Bossey, Colleague
Apr 8 2002 11:19AM
I sat outside your office for 2 years and never got to know as well as I should have. Yet I did get to know you a little and I learned you were a terrific person. Maybe 2 weeks before 9/11 you went to a Staten Island Yankee game and received a baseball with the team logo on it. Knowing that my husband was a Yankee fan and my son to follow, you gave that ball to my son. I never got the chance to really thank you for that and I felt I should have. I thought that was extraordinary of you to think of my son when I'm sure there were plenty of people you could have given that ball too. That ball will always have a special meaning to us because of you. Anyway, I just wanted to say 'Thank You' for being a great person. God Bless! Peace and love always........ Stacey Hughes-Garcia
Stacey, Colleague
Apr 5 2002 3:55PM
I did not know that today is Tom's birthday. A little over 2 yrs ago when Pat Cody & I movedd from the 41 fl. to the 40th fl. she asked if I minded helping out Tom if he needed it. That's when I first met Tom. He was one of the sweetest people you could ever meet & I didn't mind helping him at all! Happy Birthday, Tom.
Lorraine Langro, Colleague
Apr 4 2002 2:21PM
Tom - Words cannot describe the emptiness I have in my heart since you've been gone. Thank you for being the best boss and friend anyone can have. You will be in my heart forever. Thank you for everything. How appropriate that this site has begun on your birthday (April 4). Happy Birthday Tommy Joe. I love you and miss you. Marla
Marla Nicholson, Colleague
Apr 4 2002 8:01AM