Tom Sheridan, the distinctive voice of the Connecticut Senate, dies at 62

Tom Sheridan, the long-serving clerk of the Connecticut Senate, died Monday after a battle with cancer that was measured, as were many things in his career, by legislative sessions.

Sheridan, 62, was diagnosed after seeking medical attention the day after the legislative session ended a year ago. It was a struggle, but he served again during the 2011 session.

“The whole session was one long profile-in-courage for Tom Sheridan. We all knew he was undergoing chemotherapy, that he was battling cancer,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Donald E. Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn.

Williams said that he and Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney, D-New Haven, visited Sheridan for the last time Thursday, the day of the special session.

“I’m very glad we had that last chance,” Williams said.

Williams, who entered the Senate in 1993, said Sheridan was the only clerk he and most other senators ever knew, a guide to the procedures and history of the chamber.

It was his voice that echoed throughout the Capitol when a roll call was ordered in the Senate. Chris Keating of The Courant likened him to Bob Sheppard, the legendary announcer at Yankee Stadium.

“From my point of view, Tom Sheridan was the voice of the Connecticut Senate. His voice was unmistakable,” Williams said. “He was authoritative.”

There is a wake Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Farley-Sullivan Funeral Home, 34 Beaver Road, Wethersfield. Services are Friday, with details available here.