Dr. P. Thomas Tallarico, professor of music education, musician, educator, tennis player, pickleball player, husband, father, and grandfather, passed away after a long illness on March 12, 2021.
He was born in 1937 to Italian immigrants in Arnold, PA, and his life was the definition of the American success story.
He was the first child in his family to complete college. He went on to earn a Masters Degree and a Doctorate. He had a successful career in music education having served as the Chairman of the Department of Music Education at Bowling Green State University retiring in 2001.
His pioneering “lab schools” and introduced and expanded music programs at schools in Wichita, Kansas, and in Bowling Green and Toledo, Ohio, inspiring thousands of young musicians. He modeled the principles of honesty, integrity, and character he espoused for his students. In addition to teaching, Pat published numerous papers on the relationships of music to psychology and the importance of technology in music education. His papers were published in professional journals, and he spoke at symposiums across the country.
During this career that spanned 42 years, Pat influenced music students from elementary school to graduate school. His calm and gentle personality allowed him to forge lasting bonds with many of his students. Some of these students continued to maintain relationships with Pat throughout his life and would often call for advice on everything from careers to personal matters. Even when Pat realized that a student wasn’t suited for a career in teaching, he helped guide them in new directions. Students often reached out to thank him for his honest feedback and guidance as they went on to other highly successful career paths.
Pat served in the Army and Army Reserves. During his time in the Reserves, he was teaching at an elementary school in Butler, PA, where he met his future wife, JoAnn (Schnitzki). They married in 1964 and eventually raised two children together. His life was also blessed by the presence of his three grandchildren, and he will be remembered for his endless words of wisdom known as “grampisms.”
In his personal life, Pat was an avid tennis player, pickleball player, and musician – mastering the saxophone and clarinet among many instruments. After he retired, he focused on improving his performance skills. He performed at Rusty’s Jazz Club in Toledo, at the River Raisin Jazz Festival in Monroe, Michigan, and at other venues in the Toledo area. He was also a lifetime fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pirates traveling to Pennsylvania frequently for spring training and for games.
Pat is survived by his loving wife, JoAnn, daughter Heather (Mark) Radwanski of Rossford, son Patrick Tallarico (Byron Radcliffe) of Palm Springs, and his beloved grandchildren, Jacob, Matthew and Hannah Radwanski. In addition, Pat is survived by his brother Richard (Carol) Tallarico, sister Jackie (Charlie) Stockfish, brothers-in-law Bob Skacel and Joe Lucas, and sister-in-law Susan Saxton, as well as numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Pat was preceded in death by his parents Tom and Ruth Tallarico, sisters, Mary Ellen Lucas, Patricia Skacel, Virginia Bickert, brothers-in-law Leo Bickert and Joe Saxton.
A Funeral Mass will be held at All Saints Catholic Church, 628 Lime City Road, Rossford, Ohio, 43460 on Wednesday March 17, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. with visitation beginning at 9:30 a.m. Mass will be live streamed via his obituary page at www.walkerfuneralhomes.com.
Visitation will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday March 16 at Sujkowski-Walker Funeral Home, 830 Lime City Road Rossford, Ohio 43460.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to Hospice of Northwest Ohio or the Bowling Green State University College of Musical Arts. Contributions should be sent to BGSU Foundation, ATTN: Gift Processing, 1851 N. Research Drive, 43403. Please indicate the College of Musical Arts and P Thomas Tallarico memorial gift in your note.
Gifts can also be made online at https://falconfunded.bgsu.edu/project/19579/donate.