In Memoriam: U.S. Navy Vet, RBC ’73 Grad, Tom ‘TJ’ Philburn

Former captain with the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Navy veteran and Red Bank Catholic High School graduate, Thomas Joseph Philburn, known as Tom, TJ, dad, uncle, brother, Captain, and Poppop, passed away on May 9.

“Tom’s life was rich with hobbies that reflected his love for nature, forestry, camping, and family. His many passions include model trains, Seton Hall Basketball games, and golfing with his dad, family, and friends, playing in various baseball leagues, Giants Season Tickets, his boat, the Green Bay Packers, talking about his « Navy days » loving the New York Mets, Lakewood Blue Claws, and earlier days at the Trenton Thunder. Tom also loved planting fruits and vegetables, gardening with his wife, displaying firework presentations at family holidays, slammin’ peanut butter, quoting his favorite movies, lots of inside jokes and of course dying doing the thing he loved most consistently: cycling … His life and legacy deeply interwoven within the communities he loved and served in Monmouth and Ocean counties.

“Thomas Joseph Philburn was a man of integrity, a beacon of love for his family, and a gentleman of service. His legacy, and laugh, will continue to inspire, and his memory will forever be etched in the hearts of those who knew and loved him. Rest in Peace, Freebird.”

Loved ones of Tom Philburn in his obituary

More about Tom …

Born in Middletown in 1954 to Marion Hunt and William Philburn, Tom was born, raised and lived most of his days in New Jersey.

A Boy Scout in his youth, he graduated from St. James (elementary school) in Red Bank and Red Bank Catholic High School in 1973. After lifeguarding for a time along the Jersey Shore, he became a Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy.

He ultimately received his degree from Stockton University. Before this he attended the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, New Jersey City University, and finally Brookdale Community College where he met the love of his life, Patti Coco. They later married in 1983 at St. Michaels on Ocean Avenue in Long Branch.

Tom volunteered at Forestburg Scout Reservation, Meals on Wheels of Monmouth County, and frequently donated to organizations that he felt deeply connected to including: the FOP, Shriners Children Hospital, Jersey Shore Rescue Mission, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Hospital.

“But it was his role as a Poppop to Owen William and Abigail Grace that Tom cherished above all. Tom’s presence was a constant as his grandkid’s sporting events, recitals, and any other significantly supportive family events.”

Tom is predeceased by: his parents, Marion and Bill; his sister, Helen, and, most recently, his wife of 41 years, Patti.

Tom’s legacy is carried forward by: his loving children, Amanda, and son-in-law Bill Walsh; his youngest daughter, Christina, and partner Barbara Bousquet; two adoring grandchildren, Owen and Abby; his sister, Laura, and brother-in-law, Anthony Krug; his sister-in-law, Frances Fuoco; his godchildren, Angela and Allison; nieces/nephews, cousins, and many extended family, friends, neighbors, and community members.

Memorial visitation will be held on Saturday, May 18, from noon to 3 p.m., with a service at 2:15at Thompson Memorial Home, 310 Broad St, Red Bank, NJ 07701. In a fitting tribute to a man who loved service and his family, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Shriner’s Children Hospital, CHOP, Jersey Shore Rescue Mission or Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Hospital.

— Edited obituary prepared by family via Thompson Memorial Home