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Railroad worker was life of any party

| Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Thomas D. “Big Daddy” Sosso Jr. of Bloomfield died Sunday, July 21, 2013, in UPMC Shadyside. He was 68.

Thomas “Big Daddy” Sosso Jr. was a friend to everyone he knew in Pittsburgh with his big stature and big personality.

“The guy was truly one of Pittsburgh's most unique characters with that perfect nickname, ‘Big,' ” his friend Ron Debreczeni said.

Thomas D. “Big Daddy” Sosso Jr. of Bloomfield died on Sunday, July 21, 2013, in UPMC Shadyside from complications following back surgery. He was 68.

Mr. Sosso grew up in East Liberty and was the oldest of seven siblings. He got the nickname “Big Daddy” in high school for his stocky build.

Mr. Sosso made the name stick.

“I would say to people, ‘This is my brother, Tommy.' And he would correct me and say, ‘No, Big Daddy,' ” Jim Sosso of Bloomfield said.

Mr. Sosso graduated with a degree in psychology from Youngstown State University, but worked for the Union Railroad.

He was always the life of the party, his family and friends said.

“He saw somebody he wanted to talk to and he would go up to them and say, ‘Hey, I'm the Big Daddy,' ” Jim Sosso said.

Mr. Sosso was a regular at the old Froggy's Restaurant on Market Street in Downtown. Years ago, when Jack Nicholson was filming “Hoffa” in Pittsburgh, he stopped by Froggy's and met Mr. Sosso.

“Big Daddy came in and said, ‘I heard a lot about you' to Jack Nicholson. And Jack Nicholson said, ‘I heard a lot about you, Big Daddy,' ” Jim Sosso said.

Mr. Sosso was an avid golfer who was often invited on vacations with friends because of his fun nature, Debreczeni said.

In addition to his brother, Jim, Mr. Sosso is survived by his brothers, Daniel Sosso of Bradford Woods, Robert Sosso of Manatee County, Fla., and Michael Sosso of Allison Park; his sisters, Mary Louise Sosso of Ross, Denise Figlio of Hartford, Conn., and Celeste Iaderosa of Ross.

Friends will be received from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday in McCabe Brothers Funeral Home, 6214 Walnut St. in Shadyside. Funeral services begin at 9 a.m. Friday. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. in St. Stanislaus Church, 57 21st St. in the Strip District.

Christina Gallagher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5637 or cgallagher@tribweb.com.

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