November 24, 2019
REST IN PEACE
Thomas James Murtha, of Toms River, passed peacefully at home on Sunday, November 24, 2019. He was born on November 2, 1931, in Jersey City, New Jersey, the fourth child and first-born son of Thomas and Agnes (nee Currid) Murtha. He attended St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City and received a Masters of Divinity at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Darlington, New Jersey, class of 1959. Tom was a Diocesan priest at St. Joseph’s Parish in West New York for ten years.
In 1968 he laicized and began the next chapter of his life. He was a doctoral student at New York University where he met the love of his life, Carole Anne Tremlett. Somehow he convinced her to marry him and his family and friends remain forever grateful for what they universally agree was the best decision he ever made. He and Carole moved to Haddon Heights, New Jersey, where they raised their three children: Tommy, Katie, and Meghan. Tom retired as a human resources specialist from the Internal Revenue Service Mid-Atlantic office in Philadelphia in 2008 after 31 years of service. He also taught business courses at both Widener and Villanova Universities.
Tom was a member of Mensa (a fact which his family debated including in this obituary but ultimately decided he earned it) and a brilliant, socially conscious man. He was committed to advocating for the poor, social justice, and world peace. He was a voracious reader and lover of poetry, the arts, and baseball and enjoyed sharing these passions with his family and friends. Tom loved his family dearly; he and Carole hosted the annual and beloved Family Christmas Party for over 35 years and he could always be counted on to invite his wife and sisters to dance at family weddings. Tom and Carole were faithful members of Sacred Heart Church in Camden, New Jersey, where Tom established a prison ministry program.
Tom is survived by his wife Carole, children Thomas (Tricia Borneman) Murtha, Katie (Justin Etheredge) Murtha, and Meghan (Steve Diabelko) Murtha; his grandchildren Dakota Wren Borneman Murtha, Lincoln Diabelko and Corrina Diabelko. Tom is also survived by his older sister Eileen Walker and his younger siblings John (Charlotte) Murtha and Margaret (Stanley Imbriaco) Murtha; and countless nieces, nephews, cousins, and extended family members. Tom was predeceased by his sisters Charita McAlarney and Jeanne Murtha, as well as his parents.
Family and friends are invited to a wake on Friday, November 29, at Silverton Memorial Funeral Home from 3-7pm. Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated at St. Luke’s Roman Catholic Church on Saturday, November 30, at 10:30am. For directions and more information please visit silvertonmemorial.com. Tom preferred that we spend a minimal amount on funeral expenses and instead use funds to support those in need. Memorial donations may be made to Catholic Relief Services (crs.org) or the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (michaeljfox.org). www.silvertonmemorial.com.
Tom was a member in New Jersey CORPUS.