Former United States President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton paid their respects to longtime friend, East Hampton resident, and environmental attorney Tom Twomey, 68, at his funeral on Saturday afternoon at St. Luke’s Church in East Hampton.
Ms. Clinton read Mr. Twomey’s eulogy to a packed house, reminiscing about his sense of humor and political skills, said the ceremony’s lead usher, Tom Clavin.
“Ms. Clinton remembered the first time she met Tom,” said Mr. Clavin, who pens The Press’s “Farther East” column, by phone on Sunday. “He’d said to her something like, ‘You know, we have something in common,’ and she’d asked what that was, and Tom goes, ‘We both married people from Arkansas.’ She just thought that was funny, and he had this great sense of humor.”
Ms. Clinton also spoke about Mr. Twomey’s political work, said Mr. Clavin, explaining that Mr. Twomey and his wife, Judith Hope, were longtime influential supporters of the Democratic Party, which is how they formed a relationship with the Clintons.
“She talked about his political skills in the sense that it seemed to be a dying art, but you find middle ground and work things out and, most importantly, get things done,” he said of Ms. Clinton’s eulogy. “And with him gone, it’s one less person doing that. She was warm and funny, and it seemed heartfelt.”
A close friend of Mr. Twomey, Mr. Clavin said the overall feeling in St. Luke’s was one of “disbelief,” adding that he’d seen Mr. Twomey recently to discuss a screenplay the two had written together. “I’d seen Tom a few days earlier, and I was at his house, and he was his usual self, which is friendly, courteous, and funny,” said Mr. Clavin. “[The funeral] was like a collective dream we were, hopefully, going to wake up from.”
There was also a sense of “frustration,” added Mr. Clavin, among many of the funeral’s attendees, who saw Mr. Twomey as a vehicle of positive political change: “To have someone who cared about so many things and so many people and on the right side of so many issues was just unfair to lose him so soon.”