OBITUARY

Thomas Joseph O'Connor

September 20, 1956July 5, 2021

Thomas Joseph O'Connor, 64, of Pine Beach, died Monday, July 5, 2021 at Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin. Born in Montclair, NJ in 1956, he grew up in Old Bridge, before moving to Pine Beach 33 years ago.

Thomas is survived by his beloved wife of 42 years and childhood friend, Kathleen. He expressed loving her since the first grade. She was always supportive and graciously by his side throughout his life's journey. He was an amazing father and role model to his 3 children and their spouses, Christopher and his wife Teri, Shannon and her husband Gary, and his heart and soul, Meghan. Thomas embraced his role as a grandfather and cherished spending time with his 5 grandchildren, Garrett, Kierstin and Liam, Camryn and Brody.

Thomas was blessed to be from a large family, and is survived by his 6 brothers and 2 sisters, all who still are graciously involved in his life. Maureen (Gerard), Cathy (Thomas), Jimmy (Kathy), Robert (Ann Marie), Timothy (Jill), Christopher (Margie), Michael (Sue), and Joseph (Robin), as well as an abundance of nieces and nephews.

Thomas was a man of many skills and trades. He was a Class A mechanic for General Motors, he achieved a United States Coast Guard Merchant Marine Officer License. He owned and operated Sprinklerman, a successful lawn irrigation company out of Pine Beach for over 40 years. His achievements were marked by his skills in landscape design, creating a picturesque property of his own that anyone who has seen would describe as pure beauty and tranquility.

Thomas truly enjoyed the water; scuba diving, clamming, fishing, all of which fostered his passion for travel and boating. He adored spending time with his friends and family out on the water and enjoying the beauty of the Barnegat Bay, providing many priceless memories and experiences to those he loved. He looked forward to spending his winters in the Florida Keys, relaxing after a long season of hard work. He taught most people who knew him the life lessons they were lacking. He always expressed the importance of family and to always be there for each other, values ingrained in him by his late parents, Robert and Angela O’Connor. He was the epitome of patience, integrity, modesty, kindness, resilience, honesty and always emphasized that doing the right thing, even when it may be hard, is imperative. It is safe to say that his wit and sense of humor left a mark on all who met him. He was blessed with a bounty of life-long friendships and without pause, would give anyone the shirt off his back. Thomas, husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend, will dearly be missed by all. Undoubtedly the strongest soul who ever walked this earth, and most certainly the bravest. Visitation will be on Friday, July 9, 2021 from 5-8pm at the Anderson & Campbell Funeral Home, 703 Main Street, Toms River, NJ. A Mass will be held on Saturday, July 10, 2021 at 11 am at St. Barnabas RC Church in Bayville. Cremation will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations to The Special Olympics of NJ and St. Jude’s would be an honorable remembrance of Thomas, as both held a special place in his heart.

For more information or to post a tribute, please visit www.andersonandcampbell.com

Services

  • Visitation

    Friday, July 9, 2021

  • Mass

    Saturday, July 10, 2021

Memories

Thomas Joseph O'Connor

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Sue Zoba

July 13, 2021

So sorry to hear this. Have lost touch with Tom but enjoyed his friendship in high school. He was a great guy and I have fond memories of him. My sincerest condolences to his family. RIP Tom.

Brian Salerno

July 9, 2021

We are all deeply saddened to have lost Tommy. Most of our time together was when we were kids at family gatherings, and the memories are all happy ones- filled with fun! Over the years, distances made it harder to keep in regular contact but whenever we got together it was always a special time. Tommy was always upbeat, positive and caring. I will miss him a lot.

Our prayers are with Kathleen and the entire O'Connor family.

-Brian Salerno
(Cousin)

Michael McGowan

July 9, 2021

I grew up just one street away from Tom in Old Bridge. We hung around more in the later teen age years when we all started to drive. Tom always had his head under the hood of some vehicle and his vehicles were always part of our adventures: like pulling the engine out of the Fiat with a pipe & chain, racing down the strip in the Camaro, pulling up behind victims with the Caprice as it looked like a police car with the racks on it, to almost rolling over in the 4x4 in the sand dunes. I was along for the ride as Tom always had to be behind the wheel but I always trusted him. I worked with Tom doing sprinklers in the blistering summers with RainMaker and he was always in charge setting the highest standard for all. Tom always had a strong work ethic combined with an adventurous playful spirit and that is what attracted us all. We certainly had our adventures with girlfriends but Tom certainly found the right sole mate in Kathy and the rest is wonderful history.
We took different paths when I moved away in our mid-twenties; unfortunately, distance eventually took its toll on our friendship and we lost contact. I have fond memories of Tom that I will keep forever. Reading the beautiful summary on Tom above, I am not surprised by his accomplishments and the man he became.
My sincere condolences to Kathy, Christopher, Shannon, Meghan, brother Jimmy, and the entire O’Conner family.

Greta Reichert

July 7, 2021

Tom and I attended Madison Township High School together. For the first couple of years, I was basically joined to the hip with Tom and our mutual friend, Chuck Costello (RIP, Chuck lost his life in the Twin Towers on 9/11). Our little group did everything together. I remember sledding in Holmdel Park, going for Pina Coladas at the Ink Well, a great coffee house Chuck found in Long Branch, and driving to Seaside Heights in one of Tom's muscle cars. My parents never worried about me when I was with Tom. They respected him and trusted him. They knew I would always make it back home safely. As a parent, I now understand that your children's friends really have to earn your trust. Tom and I have lost touch over the years, but the memories I have from forty years ago will never leave me. I will miss you, my friend. My heartfelt condolences to Tom's family.

Al Toscano

July 6, 2021

My deepest and heartfelt sympathies for Tommy, and the entire O'Connor Family. As cousins, and as children, I still remember the sleepovers on Sherwood Lane! Tommy would always take my brother and me out to the woods to hunt for turtles and frogs, which to me was so cool cause there were none by me. I was scared of them at first but Tommy was like our leader! Always fun to be with, never heard a bad word come out of him about anyone or anything. He will be missed. Thanks for all the great memmories, Tommy. To the family may God be with you all at this time of sorrow.

With sympathy,
Your cousin Alfie

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY