SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Word has been received that Thomas Dwight Naylor, formerly of Conneaut, has passed away at the VA Medical Center in San Diego, Calif., after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Born Nov. 30, 1945, in Conneaut, Ohio, the son of the late Leroy "L.R." and Barbara (Gosley) Naylor. Tom graduated from Conneaut High School, Class of 1964, where he was a star basketball player.
When it came to basketball, Tom spent many days and nights on the court, even if that meant shoveling the court to play. He was a hard worker, dedicated and loyal to the game. With that integrity, he won state and national honors. During his high school basketball tenure, he ranked high in county scoring, and had many great games scoring most of the points. One game he scored 30 of the 37 points in the game. He was and excellent shooter, and that year led the team to having the counties best record at 17-4, and he was named Star Beacon All-Ashtabula County. Tom was inducted into the Ashtabula County Basketball Foundation Hall of Fame in 2013.
After Tom’s High School accomplishments in basketball, he was scouted by over 30 colleges. He went on to Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., on a scholarship to play basketball. After the first year, he came back and attended Edinboro University in Pennsylvania where he studied journalism. He then enlisted into the United States Army, where he continued to play basketball and volleyball. He served his country during the Vietnam Era.
His career in journalism and love of traveling went hand in hand. He got to see many areas and enjoyed writing about them. Prior to being in San Diego, he last lived in Mexico for several years.
Tom is survived by his sister, Jeanette Speer of Conneaut; his brother, Dennis "Michael" Naylor of Quincy, Pa.; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law, Charles Speer.
Tom was laid to rest at the Mirimar National Cemetery in San Diego, Calif. A local Memorial Service will be held at a later date.
Obituary and information were provided by the THOMPSON-SMITH-NESBITT FUNERAL HOME, 345 Main St., Conneaut. Obituary and condolences at www.thomsponsmithnesbitt.com and starbeacon.com.