Thomas H. Hoke
1945 - 2023
Obituary of Thomas H. Hoke
It is with deep sorrow and much love that the family of Thomas H. Hoke announce his peaceful passing on July 17, 2023 at the age of 77 years.
Tom was born in Utica New York. He was the third of six sons born to the late Ray and Catherine (McRorie) Hoke. Tom married Lorraine Trophia and had a loving marriage for 32 years. They share four Children, Thomas Michael Hoke (Barb), Rome, Tina Marie Jordan (Matt) of Syracuse, Tina Marie Procopio, Rome and Thomas A. Procopio (MaryBeth) of AZ. Six cherished grandchildren, Justin Hoke, Alexa Jordan, Anthony Capron, Isabella Procopio, Gianna Procopio, and Gabriella Procopio all who deeply loved their “papa”! Tom loved all the Hoke family gathers at his parent’s camp and the Hoke Christmas Partys at Aquino’s with presents from Santa!
Tom is Survived by his brothers Bill (Johann), Richard (Kathy), John and Chuck (Robin) sister-in-law Sue, In-laws, Anthony Trophia (Joan), Carol Riolo (Frank) Linda Trophia, and Patty Salamino. With special appreciation to brother-in-law Gary Trophia, who was always by his side when needed. Many nieces, nephews, cousins. friends, and Special Life-long Buddy Ron Bauer (Linda).
Tom was predeceased by his parents and his brother Jim (Sue). Sister In-law Linda (John) father and mother in-law, Anthony and Patricia Trophia.
Tom attended Whitesboro schools where he excelled in football, basketball, and baseball. In 1964 He graduated from Whitesboro High School and decided to pursue his love of football by attending the University of Buffalo on a full football scholarship.
After graduation from college, Coach Hoke begin his teaching and coaching career back in Whitesboro, coaching JV football and JV baseball.
In 1968 Tom began his twenty-seven-year career as a boys High School basketball official. He became one of the top officials in Section III. The New York State Basketball Coaches association name him Official of the Year in 1990. Tom was selected to referee the NYS Basketball Finals in 1978 and 1986.
In 1969 Tom moved to the Rome City School District teaching at Columbus and Bellamy schools and coaching JV football. From 1971 to 1973 he was an assistant varsity Football Coach.
In 1974 Tom became the Head Football Coach for RFA. In his twenty-seven years, Coach Hoke compiled an amazing 210-41-4 record. Tom was one of the all-time winningest coaches in New York State! The Black Knights won eight consecutives C.O.L. championships, from 1974 to 1982, five National Conference Championships, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1995, five Class AA League Championships, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1985; five Class AA League Championships, 1991, 1992, 1997, 1998, 1999; eight Section III Championships, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1985 1991, 1992,1993 and 1996; two NYS Regional Championships, 1993 and 1996; One NYS Western Region Championship, 1996 and the NYS Championship 1981. Under Coach Hoke the Black Knights were the only Section III team to qualify for the Section III playoffs every single year since its inception.
Tom would never take all the credit for his team’s success; he would always share it with others. “I had great assistant coaches. Tom Myslinski, Don Bruce and later Bob Ryan. One of the things to be a good head coach is to surround yourself with excellent assistants, mine were top notch! It takes a head coach, assistant coaches, players, and fans to make a great program."
From 1986 to 1996 he was the Head Coach of the Varsity girl’s basketball program. He was very proud to be able to coach his daughter Tina during that time. He amassed an astounding record of 165-56 and Tom was named Onondaga High School League Coach of the Year and his team was the OSHL Champs for 1990-91 season. One of Tom’s greatest accolades was his pioneering of the RFA Touchdown Club in 1981; an aspiring booster organization, headed by its President, Ray Tarkowski, that provided countless endeavors to support the football team. Artie Neuman was Coach Hoke’s longtime, best Ball Boy and fundraiser for the RFA Football organization.
Coach Hoke was bestowed the honor of being New York State Football Coach of the year in 1981; the Honor Award frons NYS Coaches Association in 1984; the John Arcaro Memorial Coach Award in 1998, as well the Martin Luther King Award, 1999; Inducted into the Rome Sports Hall of Fame and the Utica Sports Hall of Fame Tom dedicated his life to teaching and loved every minute.
A special thank you for the loving care provided the by staff at the Abraham House as well the Hospice nursing and volunteers. A special thanks to Father Paul Angelicchio for his prayers and support.
Tom was Humbled and grateful when the RFA Football Field was name in his honor
Upon his retirement from Teaching for 33 years, Tom was recruited to teach part-time at St. Peter’s Elementary on Floyd Ave by John Della Contrada in September of 2001, which later lead to the Rome Catholic High School, K to 6th, retiring over ten years later. “It was so much fun with these kids. They are pleasure to work with. The little kids go 100 percent and want to be there. They will do anything you tell them to do” says Hoke who emphasized fair play and good sportsmanship. “This is the age they need to learn these social skills that they will carry with them through their lives” When not teaching and during the summer months Tom worked at Turning Stone Casino Resort on its new Golf Courses in charge of the course Rangers and golf bag handlers. Tom enjoyed his retirement with a schedule that was flexible so that he and Lorraine could spend time with their children, grandchildren here in New York and In Arizona. He relished those times!
Tom will always be remembered as a loving son, husband, father, papa, brother and teacher. It is said that Tom touched a lot of people’s lives, but Tom always said my life was touched my many!
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, July 20th at 9:30 a.m. at St John the Baptist Church, 210 E. Dominick Street, Rome, with the Rev. Paul F. Angelicchio, officiating. Burial will be in St John the Baptist Cemetery. Relatives and friends may call at Nunn Harper Funeral Home, Inc., 418 N George St. Rome, NY 13440, on Wednesday, July 19th from 4-7:00 p.m.
Donations in Tom’s memory may be sent to the Abraham House Rome at 417 N Washington Street, Rome, NY 13440 or St John’s Church Memorial Fund.
You may light a candle, send a message of sympathy, and read the obituary at www.nunnandharper.com.