Tom DeMott, of Anna Maria Island and also New York City, died Oct. 23 in New York. He was 67.
Mr. DeMott’s parents resided in Anna Maria for several decades and he shared their love of the island.
He grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts, attended Columbia University and made his life in West Harlem.
He worked for 30 years with the U.S. Postal Service.
He became an organizer and leader in the movement for tenants’ rights in New York City, helping people hold on to their homes and neighborhoods.
He lived a life in struggle but had an extraordinary instinct for happiness.
His days were filled with compassion, fun and music.
In retirement, he took up piano, guitar and harmonica.
He began composing songs, poetry and literary hybrids with a Spanish tinge.
He also began painting — abstractions and landscapes — and playing tennis after a long layoff.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, Dec. 1, at St. Mary’s Church in Harlem in New York City.
Mr. DeMott is survived by his wife, Maria; daughter Billie, son James; grandchildren Arlo and Shailaya, siblings Joel, Megan DeMott-Quigley and brother Benji.