NEW ORLEANS — Thomas Michael "Tommy" Driscoll, a senior technology specialist for The Associated Press and a leader of teams that carried out behind-the-scenes workspace preparations for the news cooperative's multifaceted coverage of Super Bowls, Academy Awards ceremonies, political conventions and other events, died Jan. 18 following a long illness. He was 56.

"He was such a wonderful partner in crime. It's hard to imagine showing up at a big job without him," said AP photography director David Ake.

Respected among co-workers for his technological know-how, a tireless work ethic and gregarious personality, Driscoll began his AP career as a technician at the New Orleans bureau and worked for a time in the Washington bureau. After a few years away from the AP, the New Orleans area native returned to the cooperative in 2000. He remained based in New Orleans, but worked on projects that would take him all over the country.

"He was excellent at his job, always willing to help resolve a technical issue and a great friend to many at AP," said Howard Gros, the AP's senior director for global technology support.

Survivors include Driscoll's high school sweetheart and wife of 35 years, Dawn Englade Driscoll; three children, Cory, Caitlyn and Collyn; his mother, Gloria Heim Driscoll; three siblings and a granddaughter.

Funeral services are set for Friday at St. Rita Catholic Church in Harahan.