Tommy Granata

Tommy Granata was born July 13, 1955 in Fayetteville, Arkansas to Buster and Lillian Granata of Tontitown, and passed from this world August 29, 2020 in Fayetteville surrounded by his wife, Mary Alice, and two sons, Greg and Brett.

A proud, lifelong resident of Tontitown, he graduated from Springdale High School and went on to play football at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. His love for his hometown prompted him to run for mayor and serve on the city council as well.

Tommy had many passions including bowling, hunting, and fishing, but his favorite thing was creating endless projects that he purposely would not finish, just to make sure he would have something to do the next day.

His larger than life personality and infectious smile was sure to brighten the day of anyone who crossed his path. The same goes for his love of people; he couldn’t wait to strike up a conversation to see how you were doing and was always eager to lend a helping hand in any way possible.  Tommy always ended every conversation with, “Keep Smiling.”

In 1985 he married Mary Alice Briggs and they had 2 sons: Greg and Brett, who were his pride and joy. He was a loving husband, father, brother, son and uncle.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Buster and Lillian Granata, his maternal grandparents, Cel and Mary Cortiana and his paternal grandparents, John and Mary Granata.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Alice, sons Brett and Greg, one brother Bobby Granata of Fayetteville, sisters Martha Pianalto, Carolyn Bowen, and Darlene Johnston of Springdale, numerous nieces and nephews, and countless friends.

Visitation will begin at 5 p.m. followed by a Rosary at 7 p.m. Wednesday, September 2, at St. Joseph Catholic Church.  A funeral service will be 10 a.m. Thursday at Harry Sbanotto Park (some chairs will be provided but guests are welcome to bring a lawn chair).  Interment will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery.

Tommy was passionate about preserving the history of Tontitown. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Tontitown Historical Museum, P.O. Box 144, Tontitown, AR 72770.

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Robert Speer
Robert Speer
19 days ago

Robert Speer from Jonesboro I first met Tommy the summer of 1973 when we were freshman together on the Arkansas State University football team. I will always remember that big head of hair, loud voice and that awesome smile. A group of us freshmen players bonded together very quickly, maybe we thought it’s safer in numbers from the older players. That bond has lasted over 47 years. Tommy bought so much life an spirt to this group of friends. We played football together on some of the greatest teams in ASU. history. Tommy was a big part of those wins.… Read more »

Darlene Johnston
Darlene Johnston
19 days ago
Reply to  Robert Speer

A outstanding brother, loved his story telling, on things he would pull,. Had us cracking up of the things he would get into. Love you, Tommy, all our hearts are hurting, still in shock. And know your in heaven with Mom & Dad, left us with sad 😞 heart , but well all be together again someday.. love you, your Sis.♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

Gary Hunter
Gary Hunter
18 days ago

I’m sorry for your loss Darlene ♥️

Loretta Harral
Loretta Harral
18 days ago

Darlene, so sorry to hear about Tommy. Just want you to know that I’m thinking of you and all your family at this difficult time!

Barbara Dr÷man
Barbara Dr÷man
19 days ago

Thank you Tommy for being the great guy you were! Thanks for taking Randy on fishing trips with you. I know he enjoyed every minute if it. He and I will miss you.

Carolyn Strain
Carolyn Strain
19 days ago

I was always to shy when he would speak to me but he was always happy and would keep on talking until I finally spoke back. He qas always kind and generous.

John S. Kitterman
John S. Kitterman
19 days ago

Met Tommy G in August 1973 at ASU. We were roommates our sophomore year. He was the friendliest, most easy going guy we knew. We had a close group of great friends and each would agree that everyone loved Granata. Guys, gals, players , fans, professors, coaches, all were taken by his smile and genuine care and respect for everyone. If you asked practically anyone who was at ASU with us, they would tell you they remember Granata. He had a loud speaker mounted outside his car and a microphone inside which we endlessly used to …….. communicate with many,… Read more »

Shelley Skansen Turner
Shelley Skansen Turner
19 days ago

I knew Tommy and the entire family from bowling. Tommy, my mom ( Fran Skansen), Bobby, and myself use to bowl as a team on the adult/bantam league. My heart goes out to his family, and Martha, Darlene, Carolyn, Bobby, Annette, and Janice. Prayers

Ellis and Imogene Bowen
Ellis and Imogene Bowen
19 days ago

Prayers for the family! Heaven gained a great guy and a great story teller! Ellis and I have a lot of good memories!

Richard and Kay Bowman
Richard and Kay Bowman
19 days ago

RIP my friend, prayers to Maryalice and the boys.

Joel Mullins
Joel Mullins
19 days ago

A Memory of Tommy, I met Tommy at ASU in 1974. We were freshman on the football team and several of us hit it off from the start. He drove a baby blue Cadillac Deville with a killer CB installed. The “Grapestomper” was a hit with us all. Some of my best memories were watching the boy eat, We’d be at his house or Grandpaws, in Jonesboro, or at the Venetian Inn and we’d all have a huge plate of steak and Spaghetti and Tommy would be telling stories non stop, laughing and carrying on but his platter would be empty… Read more »

Annette Drake
Annette Drake
19 days ago

My Uncle Tommy was just the best. In the last year he had been coaching me on my bowling technique. He was most interested in my 28 year old bowling shoes! He knew the brand and when the company stopped making them. He convinced me that they were collectibles and should never be thrown away. His words were, “you can never get rid of those.” I think he felt that way about a lot of things! 🎳 The last time I saw Tommy he told me a story about a toilet overflowing at the bowling alley while he was on… Read more »

Larry Goheen
Larry Goheen
19 days ago

I retired from law enforcement. When I was with SPD, I got to Tommy and Bobby quite a bit, (lol). Tommy always had that infectious smile on his face no matter what type of call we responded to there. Tommy had avid respect and fondness for law enforcement and fire/ems. I would see him many times at the Tontitown Z-Mart. He never forgot your name or face. To Tommy’s entire family I am sorry for your loss. Tontitown has lost a true gem.

Chris Collins
Chris Collins
19 days ago

So sorry to hear this. Thoughts and prayers to you guys.

Chris & Janet Collins

jimmy and joyce greenlee
jimmy and joyce greenlee
19 days ago

our love and prayers go to you MARY ALICE ,GREG AND BRETT . Days are going to be long now but you will pull thru with all the good memories you have made. M.A. you are a beautiful person inside and out and always a smile and words from you were very much appeciated from all. NOT all of us have your magic. We have known you for a long time and know you are a very strong lady who God will be with you each and every day to clam your fears and sadness and we know the smile… Read more »

Patty Smith
Patty Smith
19 days ago

So sorry for the loss of your husband, Mary Alice! Tommy was a great person! My thoughts & prayers for you & the family ♥️

Tom Reed
Tom Reed
19 days ago

My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Mary Ann Humphreys
Mary Ann Humphreys
19 days ago

Mary Alice, I am Mary Ann Humphreys, my late husband TJ Humphreys was a football team mate of Tommy’s.
Just wanted you to know my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your sons.
May God give you strength, comfort, and peace over the weeks and months ahead

Gary Mullins
Gary Mullins
18 days ago

I had the fortune to meet Tommy while he was going to college/playing football at ASU. We met through my brother (Joel) and other friends on the football team and shared a love of fishing. So when given the chance, we would take off to one of the many lakes in the area fishing. However, my most memorable trip was to what he referred to as Lake Bypass. When the 63 bypass was under construction, there was a small lake or maybe you would call it a large pond about to be overtaken by the build. I recall several of… Read more »

Kimberly Ditsworth
Kimberly Ditsworth
18 days ago

I only saw Tommy when I ran into him unexpectedly. I was always happy to see him, at an auction, Atwood’s, or wherever mischief could be found. He always had a smile and a story. I loved to hear his stories about Colorado hunting. 5 hours to go 1/2 mile because someone brought the wrong trailer. I’ll miss running into Mr. Tommy Granata.

Bill Muzik
Bill Muzik
18 days ago

I first met Tommy the Summer of 1973 at ASU Football two a day training camp. We were all thrown in together and Tommy always was an overachiever in all aspects of practice and the many games we played together over the years.

He was always a very positive and just a fantastic teammate to have. You could always expect Tommy to be helpful to everyone he came in contact with. He was always looking for a positive solution.

Metscher
Metscher
18 days ago

JG & Verna Metscher
Tontitown, AR

Gary Hunter
Gary Hunter
18 days ago

I worked for Tommy several years at Springdale Bowl. He was such a nice guy. My condolences to his entire family. I know Tommy is gonna be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.

Terri Darling
Terri Darling
18 days ago

Mary Alice I am so deeply sorry for your loss. All of my love to you and your sons.

Renae Smith
Renae Smith
18 days ago

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mary Alice, Greg, Brett and the rest of Tommy’s family. Tommy was a great guy, always smiling and joking. Our deepest condolences.
Travis & Renae Smith

Sam and Bobbi Sue Bowman
Sam and Bobbi Sue Bowman
18 days ago

We will miss the best smile in the whole world 😃. Prayers for the family.

David Framstad
David Framstad
18 days ago

Tommy was a great guy with a heart of gold. Tommy went out of his way to work with me on my bad bowling habits and honesty cared about how I was just doing in life. I will miss him as a friend and all his stories. God bless you Tommy

Derek Green
Derek Green
18 days ago

Thoughts and prayers to the Granata family. ” Living in Springdale, I consider myself lucky to have grew up with the Italian Heritage next door in Tontitown. There’s no doubt Tommy was one of a kind and passionate about his roots” I love Annette’s comment, sounds just like him. 🙏

Landy and Lisa Moran
Landy and Lisa Moran
18 days ago

Our prayers are with you Aunt Mary Alice, Gregg and Brett. Tommy will missed by all who knew him.

Kim Rutledge
Kim Rutledge
17 days ago

God bless you Tommy. Prayers for the entire family. Kim Rutledge

Steven D. Gunderson
Steven D. Gunderson
17 days ago

My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

Loraine worthen
Loraine worthen
16 days ago

Mary Alice,Greg,and Brett, my heart is so saddened to hear of Tommy’s death. He will forever be missed, but I am sure he has many family members and friends gathered around him and he is busy bringing them all up to date on everything that has been happening. I last saw him in Lowe’s right before I moved to Van Alstyne we were both in a hurry so I didn’t visit long. I teased him about how gray his hair had gotten and welcomed him to the over the hill gang. I will never forget his sweet infectious smile and… Read more »

Steve Ball
Steve Ball
16 days ago

I was so sad to hear of Tommy’s passing. He was a great guy always enjoyed his stories. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Linda Lee
Linda Lee
16 days ago

I knew Tommy when I worked at ASU in the Reng Center. My boss, Tom McClain was the bowling coach. The bowling team would come in Tom’s office a lot. Tommy sure was a character! He had me cut his Afro one time! Fun times and memories at ASU!!

Betty Phillips
Betty Phillips
16 days ago

Mary Alice my dear friend I’m so sorry for your loss. Tommy was a person full of life and that big smile was heart warming. You and he were the perfect couple. I believe he would do anything for anyone if he thought they needed help. MA we will always hold a bond as we both lost our soul mates the same day. I pray for you and the boys have the love of God encircle you and comfort you. Love you Betty

Bob Earwood
Bob Earwood
15 days ago

Like others who have posted, I was a football teammate of Tommy’s at Arkansas State. He was, without a doubt, one of the easiest people to get along with that I’ve ever known. He was always there for encouragement and, of course, a good (LONG) story. I compare Tommy to a shiny new trophy. Getting to know him was like the time it took to earn the trophy. After that, you tend to pull the trophy off the shelf, polish it up and remember the good times you had. As a friend, I’ll miss him deeply. As a Christian, I… Read more »

Ron Meeks
Ron Meeks
14 days ago
Reply to  Bob Earwood

It’s Always sad to hear about one of your teammates. And I played with Tommy at ASU from 74-76. You never forget that “Wonderful” smile. I played in Secondary and Tommy and Defensive linemen did a great job setting the tone for the Defense. Tommy ALWAYS playing the game with a Positive Demeanor. Practice was always fun with Tommy. And ON and OFF the field; that smile was always there. Many PRAYERS for his WIFE and FAMILY. Ron Meeks

DONALD FRAMSTAD
DONALD FRAMSTAD
13 days ago

Seems Like the Framtad clan Has known Tommy forever. And we all will remember him as a friend that was always near by. We will all miss that great smile of his and the great personality that he carried with him always.
From Donald, JaNean, David, Donna, Dylan, etc.