Thomas Robert Shaker, 94, a lifelong Poughkeepsie resident,
died peacefully on Thursday, January 21, 2021.
Tom was born on December 20, 1926, to the late Kathleen
Carlon and Thomas Shaker. He graduated from Poughkeepsie
High School in 1944. Tom then enlisted in the United States Army Infantry serving overseas in the Philippine Islands. He was a Training Sergeant in Camp Polk, LA and Fort Dix, NJ. He attended both St. Bonaventure and Syracuse Universities. In 1950, Tom graduated from Syracuse University, earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Business. A year later on May 6, 1951,Tom married his wife of 59 years, Ruth Diesing, in the former Nativity Catholic Church.
Tom was President of Shaker, Travis & Quinn, a local mechanical contractor, and founder of High Purity Technology, a processor of clean room laboratory piping. In 1955, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the First Savings and Loan of Poughkeepsie where he served for 32 years. Tom received the 1959 Outstanding Young Men Under The Age of 35 Award, from the New York State Junior Chamber, for his civic participation. He was a Trustee of the St. Francis Hospital Board and later served on their Healthcare Foundation Board. Tom was a director of the Dutchess Golf and Country Club and was a member there for 50 years. He was President of the Mid-Hudson Sales Executive Association, the State Director of the National Sales Executive Association, the Dutchess County Mechanical Contractors Association and the Sheet Metal Contractors Association of Southeastern New York.
Tom was elected to the presidency of the Poughkeepsie Area Chamber of Commerce in 1959. He founded their monthly Chamber of Commerce Contact Breakfast, which continues to this day. Tom was a member of the mayor’s Urban Renewal Committee and served as chairman of the North-South Arterial
He was a member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and the
Catholic First Friday Club. Tom was a supporter and member of
Holy Trinity Church and Parish School and supporter of Our
Lady of Lourdes High School. He was a member and director of
the Amrita Club. Tom was active on the boards of the local Civic
Center, Family Welfare Association, YMCA, and the United Way.
The history and culture of his Lebanese and Irish American
heritage were important to Tom. He was a frequent contributor
to the newspaper letter column, advocating United States
fairness in the Middle East, especially for Palestinian freedom.
Tom, known to his grandchildren as Papa, loved being outdoors
and spending time with family. He enjoyed playing golf,
traveling, exercising, reading and listening to music. He had an
extensive jazz and big band collection.
Tom is predeceased by his beloved wife, Ruth Diesing, and his
sister Helen Nuhn. He is survived by his four children and eight
grandchildren. Daughters, Susan ( Alan ) Atlas, of Ranch Palos
Verdes, CA and Elizabeth ( Aaron ) Boston, of Mechanicsville,
VA. Sons, Thomas ( Lulu ) Shaker, of Woonsocket, RI and Brian( Fabiola ) Shaker, of Newtown, CT. Grandchildren, Gregory( Maggie ) Atlas, Daniel Atlas, Thomas, Natalie and Christopher Shaker, Kathleen, Jake and Benjamin Boston. Tom is survived by his sister Janet Shaker, of Poughkeepsie. He will be remembered fondly by his niece, nephews and loving companion, Peggy Howe, of Rhinebeck.
Memorial donations may be made to St. Jude’s Place, Memphis TN, or to Hudson Valley Hospice, Poughkeepsie, NY.
The family would like to thank Sharlene Wheeler and the staff at the Lutheran Care Center, the Vassar Hospital staff, and William G. Miller & Son Funeral Home. The family will receive friends on Friday, January 29, 8:30am- 9:30 am, at William G. Miller & Son Funeral Home, 371 Hooker Ave, Poughkeepsie, NY, 12603.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Holy Trinity Church, 775 Main Street, Poughkeepsie, 12603, at 10:00 am, on Friday, January 29th. https://holytrinitypoughkeepsie.com
To access the live viewing, go to the live stream tab at the top of the page and click on it. It will take you to the live stream page and there you may access the funeral Mass. If you wish to send an online condolence please visit our website at www.wmgmillerfuneralhome.com