Music 06

Thomas A. Falen

November 12, 1946 ~ August 8, 2023 (age 76) 76 Years Old


Tom Falen, 76, of New Franklin, passed away in peace, on August 8, 2023.  He was born in Mineola, New York on November 12, 1946. Tom graduated from Cuyahoga Falls High School in 1964 and attended Kent State University. In May 1965 Tom met Diane on a blind date arranged by his best friend. And thus began their lifetime of love. They married three years later, on May 4, 1968.

In 1966 Tom enlisted in the U.S. Navy, as a musician, graduating from the U.S. Naval School of Music, Little Creek, VA., in September 1967. He completed his active-duty service in June 1970, returning to live in Akron, and was honorably discharged in September 1972. A Navy musician friend encouraged Tom to further his music education. In September 1973, Tom, and Diane and their first son Joe moved to Worcester, Massachusetts, so that Tom could attend Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 1977, Tom and Diane and their boys returned to the Akron area, settling finally in New Franklin in 1981.

Tom had a variety of jobs over the years, retiring from Aultman Home Medical in 2008 after 20 years of service. His avocation was his musical career that began at age 9 when he chose the trumpet as his principal instrument. In his senior year at Cuyahoga Falls High, the band director chose him to receive the Arion Award, a national recognition of honor for his outstanding achievement in music. Years later, he was reunited with that band director, Mr. Robert Feldbush, playing with him in the Kent Stark Jazz Society, and several big bands in the Akron Canton area, including Swing Machine, Bob Blyer’s Meadowbrook Big Band, and the Alliance Symphony Big Band. In 1977, Tom formed his own soft rock group, Natural High, playing at local clubs, weddings, and parties until he disbanded it in 1983, moving into his Big Band era. It was with Natural High that he found his voice literally. His natural ability as a vocalist began then, and he became the male vocalist for each of the big bands above, both as a solo artist and as a duet and harmony partner with female vocalists. Tom sang tunes from the Great American Songbook by artists like Bobby Darin, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, and many others, singing from his heart. In addition to all this, Tom was a talented music arranger for big bands and wrote several original songs, including his heartfelt “Song for Angela” (granddaughter).  And finally, in the past year, he was proud to give granddaughter Addalyn her weekly trumpet lessons, continuing a tradition that started when his son Mike joined the 5th-grade band.

Tom was an awesome husband, a true and loving friend and partner, who, hand in hand with Diane, celebrated life’s goodness and met its challenges with strength and dignity. He was a great dad, sharing his love and wisdom, and showing his three sons by example how to be a loving, kind, and compassionate man. Tom and his sons shared a love of golf, enjoying the time spent together, including their annual golf trip to Myrtle Beach.  He was a fantastic grandpa, having the privilege of being "Grandpa Babysitter". He was there, win or lose for their sporting events, attending concerts and all school events, but most importantly, he gave them the gift of unconditional love just as he had given his sons. He was a friendly neighbor that shared his knowledge of plants and flowers. He opened his heart and his home to several of his son’s friends, his home jokingly named Falen’s orphanage. In turn, his circle of love grew to include “family of the heart.”  Tom never missed a chance to hug his sons and those he cared about. His hugs were a source of comfort and strength, telling us, I love you, I am here for you, you matter to me. His family and friends will remember him for teaching them the value of humor, the appreciation of music, the beauty of nature, and the art of living a good life.

Tom is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 55 years, Diane; sons, Joe (Valerie), Scott (Lanette), Mike (Kim) Falen, and Kenny (Rachel) Koprivec; grandchildren Derick, Olivia, Allyssa, Addalyn, and Aubree Falen, Alexis (Trevin Domro), Austin (Katrina Vales), and Madison Koprivec; Spencer, and Chandler Bennett. Great-grandchildren Paisley Domro, and Athena Bennett.

Tom’s family wishes to thank Dr. Maria Young, Dr. Firas Hamdan, Dr. John Paulowski, and Dr. O. Wazni for being on his team and going above and beyond to provide not only their expertise, but their encouragement and support that enabled Tom to live his life fully. 


Per Tom’s wishes, cremation has taken place.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Tom’s name to Bryan Nowak Memorial Scholarship, Attn: Christine Nowak, 1337 Highwood Drive, New Franklin, Ohio 44216.  To leave a special message for the family, visit our website at


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