Tom succumbed to complications related to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He died around surrounded by family members.
A journalism major who started out as a chauffeur and an operator in Philadelphia in the late 1980s, Mazza rose to become a national chauffeur trainer, author of his namesake, trademarked chauffeur training program, an educator and speaker who led the seminars and sessions for the annual Limo Digest Shows in Atlantic City. Amongst these roles, Tom also worked as a business broker who arranged sales and mergers of limousine companies; a consultant and financial advisor; an award-winning business writer and once served as executive director of the National Limousine Association.
Mazza’s first neurological symptoms developed in mid-2011 when he lost his voice; he had devoted much of the last year of his life working with multiple doctors and specialists trying to determine an accurate diagnosis and find remedies. In recent months, the symptoms had spread, gradually weakening him. Mazza died knowing he was widely loved, respected and appreciated throughout the industry.
Despite not being able to speak or eat in his final days, Mazza could listen to and comprehend the hundreds of texts and e-mails flashing in from friends and well-wishers nationwide that he could read or have read to him from his smartphone by devotees at his bedside. He was able to text and e-mail short responses and messages, as recently as July 30, and write on a clipboard.
Tom Mazza served in so many varied roles that he became in many respects the chauffeured transportation industry’s expert — a brilliant, forceful, energetic, sometimes feisty mover and shaker who lived and breathed the limousine industry. But to his abundant friends and admirers, he was simply known as a generous, big-hearted, straight-talker from Philly named “Tommy.”
TheChauffeur.com fondly remembers many meetings with Tom whilst in the U.S, and would like to send condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.
Words and image: LCT Magazine.