He was deeply woven into the community's fabric, so it's with deep sadness that folks are learning that Thomas Walsh died at the bagel shop in Bogota where he'd worked for as long as most could remember.
Walsh, 80, of Cliffside Park kept things hummin' at Boxcar Bagels.
The general manager regularly arrived hours before sunrise so that those still asleep would have a pleasant start to their days, thanks to fluffy, jumbo-sized bagels that became the trademark of the shop in front of the train tracks.
It was around 4 a.m. Tuesday, March 7, in fact, when borough police were called to the River Road establishment.
Walsh had suffered some type of medical emergency, they said.
Paramedics from Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck pronounced him dead a short time later, Bogota Police Sgt. Geoffrey Cole said.
"Our department, community and people from afar are saddened to hear about this," Cole said. "Thomas is a staple of this community for over two decades and will be very missed."
"Tom was an Ace," said Frank Miranda. "His love for Bogota was transparent and felt through his amazing preparation of sandwiches."
"I’m absolutely heartbroken," added Sherry Solomov, the owner and CEO of Bogota Press Cafe. "He was the sweetest, most gentle soul. He will be so missed."
Click here to follow Daily Voice Hackensack and receive free news updates.