Thomas Francis McDonough

February 2, 1939 - April 5, 2024

Thomas Francis McDonough, devoted father, grandfather, brother, and beloved member of the community died peacefully on Friday, April 5, 2024 surrounded by many loved ones after a life very well-lived.

Tom was born in Salt Lake City, the fifth of six children, to Bartley Gerard McDonough, Esq. and Victoria (nee Pitman) McDonough. The family spent Tom’s early years in Portland OR, before returning to Utah where Tom’s father, Bartley, served part of his career as Summit County Attorney, and where Victoria later worked at the SLC Roman Catholic Diocese office under Bishop Joseph Lennox Federal.

Tom graduated from East High School, class of ‘58. He was a fastidious dresser - evident in family photos even as a young boy, clearly outshining his sibs and cousins. Early in life, Tom developed a passion for skiing, golfing, and cars. During the summer of ‘56, he saved every penny he earned installing brakes at Pyle Wheel & Brake to buy his very own 1950 flat yellow hard top Pontiac Catalina Hydromatic. Sibling lore tells us he was unbearably miserly to be around that summer, hitching rides and cajoling his brothers into paying for his movie tickets and snacks. Outmaneuvering and outwitting his brothers was his goal – it was expert training in his own self-preservation, and it was how he developed his keen sense of people and love of fun, his composure, and his steadfast determination. These qualities served him well in his role as a business-owner.

In 1976, Tom joined his mentor, friend, and business partner, Paul F. Oliver (d. 1993), opening Paul-Thomas Jewelers at 6 West, then at 57 West Second South. Tom’s attention to aesthetics and detail defined his life’s career as a trusted and well-known local jeweler. Tom’s retail career began after high school working with O.C. Tanner Jewelers, first sweeping floors then persistently working his way to the position of assistant store manager.

As a successful local business owner, Tom built a trustworthy reputation for quality and service recognized by the SL Chamber of Commerce, and the Downtown Retail Merchants Association, in the face of expanding national jewelry franchises. After 40 years in business, when Tom’s health began to decline, Paul- Thomas Jewelers closed in 2016 with a celebration honoring their dedicated customers, whom we now call friends.

He was a graduate of the Gemological Institute of America, and a member of the National Association of Jewelers. Recreationally, he loved travel and motorcycles, was an avid repeat Park City Ski Resort Season pass holder and Alpine Slalom Course Racer, member of the Fort Douglas Country Club, and the Jeremy Ranch Golf Club. However, he was most fond of his association with a notorious group of local downtown business colleagues who met daily for breakfast during the 1970’s and ‘80’s known as The Murfers.

Tom was preceded in death by his parents, three siblings Bartley John (d. 1984), James Patrick (d. 2012), and Robert Stanley (d. 2018) McDonough, and former spouse Annette Pettey McDonough (d. 2017). At the time of Tom’s death, his living siblings were Marie Theresa (Larry Bott, d. 2015) of Murray UT, and Joseph Michael McDonough of Las Vegas NV. Tom is survived by two daughters, Peggy (Patrick Jan), and Jayne (Patrick McLaughlin), four grandchildren Claudie A. Jan (Samuel K. Johnson), Martine M. Jan, Kurt N. McLaughlin, and Cameron K. McLaughlin, all of Salt Lake City, and many nieces and nephews in Nevada, California, and Washington.

As a proud descendent of Irish heritage, Tom marched in many St. Patrick’s Day parades with his beloved McDonough cousins and nurtured ensuing generations to do the same. He supported Utah Catholic Schools, in particular J.E. Cosgriff Memorial School, and Judge Memorial Catholic High School.

A proud champion of his two daughters, Tom is remembered as an ardent provider, and a caring father. His daughters, along with his entire family and friends, continue to love him for his kindness, his patience, for laughing at his own jokes, and for his certain stubbornness that was (sometimes) endearing, the latter being a quality his daughters have likely acquired.

Our family wishes to thank the wonderful and supportive caregivers and staff at The University of Utah Hospital, Brightstar Care for many years of in-home care, Legacy Village Sugarhouse, and particularly Canyon Hospice for guiding us and Tom toward his peaceful transition.

We will celebrate Tom’s life with a wake on Friday, May 10, 2024, from 6 – 8 p.m. at Starks Funeral Parlor 3651 South 900 East, Millcreek. Guests are encouraged to use parking and entrance located on the north side of the building. Graveside services will be conducted at Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery on Saturday, May 11, 2024 at 11:00 a.m.