Safe Home Tom Scanlon, Terry Griffith

Safe Home Tom Scanlon

We have lost another great one. A man of so many talents, who enjoyed sharing them, teaching, lifting those who needed a hand. By God, he loved Cleveland, loved Ireland, he loved a good story, and a good laugh.  
I have had the great fortune of learning a lot from Tom Scanlon. He embraced my efforts, embraced my books, embraced iIrish newsmagazine, and fed me stories and people I should learn stories from – I always left him feeling like I could never learn enough.  

We both went to St. Ignatius, and he pointed out to me how the values taught there had become part of the fabric of his life, and of mine. For so many, he showed the way out of the darkness. 
May he watch over us always.

Thomas J. Scanlon, who was a pillar of Cleveland’s law community for almost 60 years, died October 30th in Westlake, Ohio. He was 84. A lifelong resident of Cuyahoga County, Scanlon graduated from St. Ignatius High School in 1956, received his bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University in 1959, and his law degree from Cleveland State University in 1963. He worked himself through law school by working as a financial analyst during the day and attending classes at night. He began his legal career with Shapiro, Persky, & Marken. In 1979, along with Charles Donahue, Scanlon founded the law firm Donahue & Scanlon, which specialized in commercial and real estate law.

Among his most well-known clients were University Hospitals’ St. John West Shore campus and handling contracts for the first commercial office condominium building in Ohio. He also served as a Special Assistant to the Ohio Attorney General for a case in 1991. In 1999, the firm was renamed Collins & Scanlon when Tim Collins became his partner. Scanlon was a practicing member of the American Bar Association, where he served as co-chair of the real estate section. He was a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, and the Cleveland Bar Association. He also served on the Ohio Supreme Court’s Board of Bar Examiners. In 2014, Scanlon was inducted into the Cleveland International Hall of Fame for his involvement in the Cleveland Irish community.

His ties to the Irish community date back to the 1870s when his family immigrated from Ireland. He also founded the Irish American Law Society of Cleveland, which sponsored speaking events in both Cleveland and Ireland. In 2009, he was selected as one of “100 Leading Irish-American Lawyers”.

He was a board member of the Mayo Society of Greater Cleveland. He was also involved in The Ohio Rose of Tralee Center. In addition, Scanlon helped to raise funds for a book entitled “The Day we Celebrate,” which chronicled a history of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Cleveland. In fact, Ohio Supreme Justice Maureen O’Connor stated, “The name Tom Scanlon is synonymous with Cleveland Irish Legal Community”.

After having the event canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Scanlon finally got his chance to serve as the grand marshal of the Cleveland St. Patrick’s Day parade in 2022. He hosted Cleveland’s largest St. Patrick’s Day party with his law firm for over 40 years and the holiday remained an important date in Scanlon’s life. Tom Scanlon has been affiliated with organizations such as the Centers for Families and Children, Cleveland Marshall Law Alumni Association, Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, Collaborative to End Human Trafficking, and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of America. Scanlon remained working part-time with Hawkins & Company LLC until his death.

For fun, Scanlon enjoyed running and remained active until just weeks before his death. He competed in marathons in Cleveland, Dublin, New York, and London and won a gold medal in Australia while on a business trip. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Anita; sister, Elizabeth Marie Scanlon, SND, four daughters, Elizabeth (Brian) Donnelly of Birmingham, Michigan, Colleen (Timothy) Miller of Lexington, Kentucky, Cynthia of Cleveland and Kimberly (Jeffrey) Klein of Princeton, New Jersey; and seven grandchildren. He is predeceased by one grandchild, Christopher Miller; and his brother, John.
Obituary courtesy of

Rest in peace Tom; may we meet again.

Terry Griffith

Terry Griffith, beloved Irish entertainer, passed away peacefully at his home in Collier, PA on November 11, 2022. He began his sixty-year musical journey in Wheeling, WV, at the age of 15, playing classic rock.  He, his wife Jan and their son, Damon, moved to Pittsburgh in 1973, where he continued his music.

When he was working his day job with Immigration and Naturalization for the government, he was given several Wolfe Tones albums. He began listening to them and discovered his true love, Irish music. Terry remembered his grandfather, Tommy Minns, singing a few of them to him, especially The Rising of the Moon. He then started to delve into the stories behind these songs and immersed himself in the history.

It wasn’t long before he began to play in the Irish Pubs in Pittsburgh, not only singing the songs but sharing the history of them and Irish history in general. He, along with Jan, put together a stage reading of the 1916 Rebellion, with songs, stories and poems, and performed it in several venues. 

Terry joined the Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day Parade, serving in several capacities, including Chairman of the Marching Band Committee. In 1999, he was named as Grand Marshal to acknowledge his commitment to the Irish Community.

If there was a fundraiser, Terry was one of the first in line to volunteer his music. He traveled the country performing at festivals and fundraisers.  He loved what he did with a fierce passion.  But, at the beginning of 2022, after several health problems, he made the decision to retire.

Terry was honored by friends, peers, and fans with a grand retirement party at The Harp & Fiddle in June of this year. He was touched to see so many come to wish him well. He will be missed.


Click on icons below to share articles to social.

Recent issues

E-Bulletin Signup

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive news and event emails from: iIrish. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.
New to Cleveland Ad

Explore other topics