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Thos. L. Shinn Funeral Home

10 Hilliard Drive, Manahawkin, NJ

OBITUARY

Thomas Joseph Mihalick

December 21, 1948June 13, 2020

Thomas Joseph Mihalick was born December 21, 1948 in Newark, NJ, residing in Livingston NJ for most of his life and Whiting NJ for the last 14 years. He passed away on June 13, 2020.

Tommy was an avid fan of the NY Yankees, Seton Hall Pirates basketball and Notre Dame football.

Tommy was a friend to all, loved by so many and will be dearly missed. Visitation will be at the Thos. L Shinn Funeral Home on Wed June 17 from 4-6Pm. A burial will take place Thursday June 18 2020 at Gate of Heaven Cemetery East Hanover New Jersey at 10:30 Condolences may be sent to our website at www.shinnfuneralhome.com

Services

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, June 17, 2020

  • Committal Service

    Thursday, June 18, 2020

Memories

Thomas Joseph Mihalick

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Eugene John Fineran Jr.

June 17, 2020

Tom Mihalick, left, meets then Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Madden on the field at Yankee Stadium back during the 2014 season.

Eugene John Fineran Jr.

June 17, 2020

A couple of summers ago, Jack and I took Tom to the Bronx, and we played Wiffel Ball on the old grounds where Berra, Mantle and Maris once played across the street from the new Yankee Stadium.

Last summer, I visited Tom at the Chester Home in Whiting and gave him a Golden Bear yellow golf hat with the autographs of Jack and Barbara Nicklaus and a sticker honoring the late Ara Parseghian, Notre Dame’s greatest football coach. A small token for what he did for me and all of us “Carteret Kids.”

Our living angel Thomas Joseph Mihalick is now in God’s Hall of Fame forever.

Eugene John Fineran Jr.

June 17, 2020

We taught Tommy Mihalick how to pitch, catch and hit. Thomas Joseph Mihalick taught us about life, especially how to share your love with those with special needs and less fortunate than yourself.

Our baseball and football games at Fineran Field, our driveway basketball shootouts and our neighborhood Olympics always included Tom. Mike Mihalick showed his appreciation for the life-extending exercise we provided Tom by gifting us with golf balls and discarded clubs he found during his days building cyclone fences between North Jersey’s many golf courses and new interstate highways.

Indeed, this kid grew his interest in golf to covering its major tournaments and becoming friends on a first-name basis with its greats – Palmer, Nicklaus, Woods and Mickelson to name a few – and has passed his love of the game to his children and other youngsters through the First Tee program.

As we moved on to play high school sports and summer softball with their friends, Tom often showed up to cheer us on in the company of our parents. He became a fan of Seton Hall’s basketball team and friend of coach Bill Raftery. He spent Saturday afternoons with his father Mike watching Notre Dame football games and attending them when the Fighting Irish came to the Meadowlands.

It wasn’t all fun and games for Tom Mihalick. He was an honorary volunteer fireman in Livingston for the late chief Charlie Schilling. Whenever the fire sirens went off to summon Livingston’s volunteers, it was Tom’s job to walk down Northfield Avenue to the traffic circle and keep an eye on the station and the volunteers’ cars as they sped off to battle blazes.

Years later whenever I returned to visit my parents with my wife and children, that old front door at 5 Clover Lane would open and Tom, now in his 50s, would emerge with a Wiffle Ball and bat to pitch to my children.

Eugene John Fineran Jr.

June 17, 2020


It was an unseasonably mild mid-March afternoon in the early 1960s when this then 12-year-old boy walked to the east side of our home at 2 Carteret Road with a yellow plastic bat and baseball glove in my hands.

There was unmelted snow deep inside nearby bushes as I looked across the street to the young man framed in his home’s front window. He was repeatedly tossing a Wiffle Ball up with his right hand and catching it as best he could with both hands.

No words were spoken as we glanced at each other from 150 feet. My come-on-over wave would beckon Tommy Mihalick, who was born with cerebral palsy, and pretty soon the front door at 5 Clover Lane opened like the outfield wall does whenever the pitcher is coming in to start the game.

Dressed in his winter coat, Tommy emerged, the plastic ball clenched in his right hand while he reached with his left hand to hold on to the railing as he navigated slowly and deliberately the seven steps to the still frozen ground. Once there he ran quickly to the curb and abruptly stopped to check for traffic before crossing safely to commence our spring training.

From that day until the end of baseball’s Fall Classic, Wiffle Ball games at Fineran Field were the daily norm for Tommy, Jack Goldstein, Michael Ciricillo, our other friends and me. Years later, the young Christie boys, Chris and Todd, who lived nearby on West Northfield Avenue just down from the Crystal Plaza, were allowed to use Fineran Field for their games as long as they included “Slugger,” our affectionate nickname for Tommy.

Tommy never really overcame his physical disabilities during a life that lasted a half decade longer than doctors told his parents, Mike and Emily, it would on Dec. 21, 1948, his birth date. They predicted he would struggle to reach 21. Thomas Joseph Mihalick made it to 71 before his big heart gave out Saturday, June 13.

Thomas Joseph Mihalick now resides in God's Hall of Fame.

Dianne DeAngelis

June 16, 2020

Dear family ... As I am four years older than Tommy, I remember him with love and affection. Tommy was so loved and taken care of by my Uncle Mike, Aunt Emily, Eugene and Emily,Jr. He was special and so loved his Yankees and it gave him great pleasure in talking about them. His life was not easy...but he lived it well... May God hold him in the palm of His hands. Eternal Memory.... Cousin Dianne

Michael Silla

June 15, 2020

Great Uncle Tommy with his nice Juliana on a NJ visit