Mendham & Peapack
Obituary of Thomas Ferrara
Thomas Ferrara, of Mendham, NJ, passed away at his home on Friday, September 14, 2018.
Born in Newark, NJ to parents Francis and Helen (Tighe) Ferrara, Thomas grew up in Morristown alongside his brothers Gregory and Kenneth. After graduating Morristown High School, he served in the Army National Guard and lived in Convent Station before moving to Mendham in 1970. He was a member of the Mendham-area Jaycees and a local business owner.
His professional career started with Morris County Tire, Inc., a retreading truck tire business his father started in the 1950’s out of Rockaway, NJ. After working in the “shop” for many years, he moved into a sales role where he grew the company’s service area to include most of the northeast. When his father retired, Tom was promoted to President and went on to cement their place in the industry by capturing mammoth accounts in the international shipping, waste management and car carrier business segments.
In the early 90’s, Tom sold the business to start a new, diverging chapter in his life. In 1995, he moved in a radically different direction with the purchase of New York Pizza, an established restaurant in downtown historic Chester, NJ. Along with his son, Brian, they worked long hours making amazing food. On flea market Sundays, a line would form out the door as patrons waited to eat authentic Italian cuisine. In 1997, Tom purchased the Courtyards of Chester, a multi-unit property in which NY Pizza is located.
Unexpectedly, Tom lost his middle son, Doug, in June of 2000. He subsequently sold NY Pizza later that same year to its current owner but remained property manager of The Courtyards. Tom passed the reigns to his sons, Paul and Brian, in 2015 as he transitioned into “retirement.”
Tom loved his immediate and extended families and would often express it with unexpected gifts at unexpected times. Whether it was donuts on a doorstep, potted flowers on the table, some randomly obscured text message, or cash for an upcoming vacation, he always let you know he was there and thinking of you. He loved everything Nantucket and made sure to visit at least once a year. When on Nantucket, he would only stay at the Jarred Coffin House to which he often referred to as his “home away from home.”
Thomas is predeceased by his son Douglas, and survived by his former wife Patti, sons Paul (Sarah) and Brian (Kellie), brothers Gregory (Louise) and Kenneth, and three grandchildren, Halle, Thomas, and Sophia.
A celebration of Tom’s life will be held on Thursday, September 20th from 7:00-9:00 PM at the Bailey Funeral Home, 8 Hilltop Rd, Mendham. A funeral mass will be held at 11 AM on Friday, September 21st, at St. Joseph Church, 6 New St, Mendham, with a burial at Hilltop Cemetery, 18 Hilltop Rd, immediately following. In lieu of flowers, Thomas’s family would appreciate donations in his name to either the Randolph Animal Shelter, 97 Ironia Rd, Mendham, NJ 07945, or Home for Good Dog Rescue Inc., 465 Springfield Ave, Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922.
8 Hilltop Road
Mendham, NJ 07945
176 Main Street
Peapack NJ 07977
For GPS Purposes use Gladstone, NJ 07934