OBITUARY

Thomas Timothy Trettis Jr.

February 19, 1932October 13, 2020

Thomas Timothy Trettis, Jr. died October 13 of natural causes in Naples, FL. Known as Tom or, to many, as Judge, his life was extraordinary in scope and profound in its impact. He was born February 19, 1932 in Kingston, PA to the late Thomas Timothy and Josephine (Gryctko) Trettis. He graduated from Plymouth High school in Pennsylvania and received his BA at Villanova University in 1953 and his Doctorate of Law at University of Pennsylvania in 1960.

In 1954 he married Ruth Louise Shonk, his high school sweetheart, whom he cherished until the end of his life.

He entered the U.S. Marine Corps in 1956 and was communications and legal officer of the base at Cherry Point, NC and achieved the rank of Captain. After he received his law degree, he was hired by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a Special Agent.

While he was in the FBI, he was involved with some of America’s important historical events. Serving under FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, he worked the civil rights demonstrations while stationed in Alabama; he was Robert Kennedy’s bodyguard while he visited that state and later he tracked a notorious ring of jewel thieves while stationed in Miami; he led an investigation into the murder by the Ku Klux Klan of a sheriff in Bogalusa, Louisiana. After the assassination of John F. Kennedy, he was assigned to the Warren Commission and undertook initial interviews, ballistics investigations, and tracking leads on Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby.

Because of his frequent relocations in the military and the FBI, Tom and Ruth’s five children were all born in different states. Encouraged by Marine Corps friends, including the late Naples attorney George Vega, Tom arrived in Naples in 1967, and took over the city attorney position. He was elected Judge of the Collier County Court in 1972 and served 20 years in the position. He also served during this time as an active circuit judge in the criminal and juvenile divisions. He was instrumental in modernizing the juvenile court in Collier county. He was an early mental health advocate and was past president of the Collier County Mental Health Association. He was also past president, and coach, of Naples Little League and Pop Warner Football League. He loved traveling, tennis, diving the Florida Keys, sailing, fishing, college basketball, lively conversation and great wine. Tom had a wonderful sense of humor and a sharp wit.

Rotarian, staunch Republican, youth coach, adventurous traveler, teacher, devoted husband, protective father and grandfather and loyal friend; he will be greatly missed by many. He is survived by his wife, Ruth, sons, Timothy, Thomas III (Julie), William, R. Blaise (Jill) and daughter Carol Carr (David) and seven grandchildren, Thomas IV, Jason, Jillian, Jarrod and Skyler Trettis and Stephen and Jacqueline Carr and many nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his brother, Donald Trettis and his sisters Josephine Kern, Patricia Ellis and Mary Lou Trettis. Friends and relatives are invited to a viewing at 10:00 am followed by a Funeral Mass at 11:00 am on Saturday, October 17th at St. Anne’s Catholic Church, Naples. A private interment at Naples Memorial Gardens will follow. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made in his name to NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness or to St. Anne’s Church, Naples Florida.

Services

  • Visitation

    Saturday, October 17, 2020

  • A Mass of Christian Burial

    Saturday, October 17, 2020

Memories

Thomas Timothy Trettis Jr.

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