Thomas Richard Blackwell, 63, passed away at sunrise on November 13, 2023, in Rye, N.Y., surrounded by his family and close friends. He leaves a legacy of love, sportsmanship, and community spirit, which will long endure.
Born on March 16, 1960, in San Diego, Calif., he was the son of Dorothy and Lee Blackwell. The family moved to New York when he was a young child and he graduated from White Plains High School, class of 1978, and SUNY Albany, where he earned an undergraduate degree in Business.
In 1990, he founded Blackwell Construction, leading the company, which was based in Fairfield, Conn., to great success. With foresight and careful planning, he ensured a seamless succession, entrusting the company to his hand-picked and well-loved colleagues.
He met his future wife, Linda Robinson, in Greenwich. They were married in 1991 at American Yacht Club.
A lifelong competitive athlete, Tom Blackwell’s passion for sailing began in his youth at American Yacht Club. His remarkable sailing journey included being a member of the U.S. National Sailing Team for two years, attending the Olympic Trials, and achieving top results during his over 40-year campaign with lifelong friend Peter Duncan. In 1981, he and Duncan, a longtime Rye resident, won the 210 Nationals. The pair won top standings in national and international Etchells and J70 championships. Mr. Blackwell was a multiple-time recipient of AYC’s Yachtsman of the Year award. He had the honor of serving as the club’s Commodore in 2021 and 2022, and he was also a member of New York Yacht Club.
In addition to sailing, he was an avid hockey player, Stand Up Paddle competitor, and true sports fan. His love for sports extended to running youth programs, including AYC’s JAYC program and the Mid-Fairfield Connecticut Stars Hockey, leaving an indelible mark on the lives of young athletes.
A dedicated father, his greatest joy came from being his daughter Taegan’s biggest fan in life, and in sports. He cheered her on at every hockey game and sailing regatta he could attend.
While Tom Blackwell’s accomplishments were numerous, he will be most fondly remembered for his genuine ability to connect with people, making them feel seen and loved. His unconditional support served as a source of encouragement and inspiration for his family and friends, motivating them to strive to be their best selves.
In addition to his beloved wife, Linda, and his cherished daughter, Taegan, he is survived by his siblings, Lee, Helen, Richard, and Katrina; his stepfather, John Myles; and his stepsiblings, George, Robert, and Annie. He was predeceased by his parents.
A memorial service will be held November 29 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at American Yacht Club.
Donations in Tom Blackwell’s memory may be made to St. Jude Medical Center.