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Thomas John Rissanen, 58, of Lawrenceville, GA, passed away May 11, 2022, surrounded by loved ones and friends.
Tom was born in Peekskill, New York on November 16, 1963, to parents Leo and Mary Rissanen. In 1976 he moved with his family to Gwinnett County, GA and called the area home for the rest of his life.
After graduating from Berkmar High School in Lilburn, Tom worked alongside his brothers and father at Hardware Specialty in Norcross, as well as a number of other roles which benefited from his mechanical aptitude and friendly and calm demeanor.
Tom was unmistakably cool. He was a passionate musician, sports fan, motorhead, and lover of life. He had a deep knowledge and love for guitars, baseball, rock n’ roll, and classic cars.
Tom took pride at home in landscaping and maintaining a perfectly manicured lawn. He was proud of his guitar collection and the long string of awesome cars that came into his life over the years. He loved live music, both performing and spectating.
For those that remember Tom, they know he almost always wore a smile, was quick to laugh, and was a great storyteller. His charm was infectious, and he truly had a twinkle in his eye.
Tom is survived by his longtime partner, Rita Biddle and her son, Kevin Biddle (Amanda); his daughters, Hannah Hamilton and Kate Cape; and his grandchildren: Wyatt Hamilton, Charlotte Hamilton, Merritt Cape, and Hawkins Cape. He is also survived by his loving brother and sisters and their families; Donna Evearitt, Irene Wheeler (Joe), Ellen Sutherland (John), Barbara Rodermond (Steve), Russell Rissanen (Joanne), and Patricia Rissanen.
Tom leaves behind a number of nieces and nephews: Nicholas Perrone, Michelle Hackett (Cody), Melissa Johns (Brian), Eric Sutherland (Samantha), Christopher Rodermond, Justin Rodermond (Lindsay DuBois), Rachael Rissanen, Daniel Rissanen, Richard Rissanen, Elizabeth Rissanen, Austin Rissanen and Samantha Lawson (Koby).
Tom was preceded in death by his Mother and Father; his brother, Scott Rissanen; and his nephew, Timothy Rodermond.
Tom was most proud of the company he kept and was always happy to brag about the accomplishments of his friends and loved ones. Tom was never short on friends, whether he had known them for four minutes or four decades. We’ll miss you man.
Barbara Wiezik says
Loving thought to all the Rissanen Siblings and all immediate and extended family.
Rebecca Swaim says
I am so sad to read this. Tom was a shining light in the room with his smile. A young man taken from this earth too soon. Thoughts and prayers to the Rissanen family. May all the wonderful memories you have of Tom throughout the years comfort you during this difficult time. Love, Becky Swaim
Catherine Cura-Hernandez says
My deepest condolences to Rita, Russ and the entire family. Those we love never really leave us, but rather continue to touch our lives through shared and fond memories. May his soul rest in the bosom of the Lord.
Cathy Cura-Hernandez (Hardware Specialty Co., Inc)
Kathy Zanikos says
Will never forget his smile and his handsome good looks. Peace forever, Tom. With Love, Kathy from the old Peekskill neighborhood.
Lezly Dorman-Dutton says
What a beautiful tribute to Tom.
Rita, Russ and the Rissanen family. May you all have peace and comfort in your hearts knowing that Tom is resting in The Loving Hands of our Lord and Savior. You all are in my thoughts and prayers during this time of sadness.
With Love, Lezly Dorman-Dutton
Hardware Specialty Company
Freida Knick says
My sincere sympathies to Rita and the Rissanen Family. Tom was always smiling and he had the most adorable dimples!
May the sweet memories and good times always bring you comfort. You are all in my prayers.
Kerry Nabb says
A loving tribute to one of the good guys who left us too soon. I’ll miss our conversations and times together but I’ll always have the memories. I know you and Scott are rockin’ heaven with your Mom and Dad right there beside you!
Wendy Williams Maher says
My family grew up across the street from the Risssnen family in Peekskill Ny. My siblings and I all had a best friend within their family of eight kids. I have fond memories of Tom and his impish grin. He was full of energy and life even as a young boy. The Risssnen family was a huge part of my childhood. My condolences go out to the Risssnen family and their friends. Hold on to the memories where you will keep Tom close to your heart.
Marcie Tanner says
SMILE! He always smiled, laughed and never knew a stranger! Rita – he was truly blessed to have in his life. He talked about you ALL the time when we were on the phone for hours during our conversations. I will miss that shining face and laugh I could feel through the phone. Take care my friend. I will truly miss you. Enjoy your life in heaven playing in the biggest rock and roll band ever.
Love you! Marcie
Edward Burton says
Tom was a good friend of mine growing up and he will be missed. I am humbled and honored to have called him my friend. God rest his soul.
Jim Claflin says
Many great memories with Tom and the Rissanen family in the late 70s and early 80s when they and our family were first settled in Georgia. We played sports outside in their front yard for hours. And Mrs. Rissanen’s apple pie…oh my! Loved Tom and love the family. Blessed to know Tom and the whole Rissanen gang. God rest your soul Thomas. ❤️❤️
I was disheartened to read of this. I spoke to Tom in February, 2022. We had a connection noone could intervene. I was so happy that Rita had so much energy for Tom. He was a loving, funny, handful but he was loved. He laughed; he taught me to sing my heart out. We had obstacles but nothing came in between our connection. He was a loving, charismatic, caring, flurtatious, handsome, comedian, performer, music lover “guess that tune” we played. He was the light of many folks’ lives. He was dancing daily to his own fling with life. He loved his children with all he had to give. They are wonderful, beautiful girls whom he was so proud. I charished the times we spent. I wish his family the best. The Rissanen family is real, compassionate and dyanamic in every way. Tom loved his nephews and family. He was an emotional, loving man. This is way too early. Rest in Peace To-MAS.