Thomas C. Perry, Sr, 92 of Piscataway, passed away peacefully on Friday, July 19, 2019 at RWJUH in Somerville with his loving family by his side. Born at home in Plainfield, Tom was the son of the late Raymond and Mary (Esaldo) Perry. He grew up in Plainfield, moving to Middlesex and then Piscataway in 1954. Tom met Agnes Kee at a square dance in Plainfield and soon realized she was the love of his life. They married on June 24, 1950 and were together for 66 years, until Agnes passed away in August 2016. Their residence remained in the same (sometimes remodeled) house — which is where they raised their five children. Thomas was a faithful, long-time member and communicant of Our Lady of Fatima Church in Piscataway and was a former member of the Knights of Columbus.
After serving in the Navy toward the end of WWII, Tom had a number of part time positions before establishing his career with the A&P Food Stores. Through his 40 year A&P career, Tom worked in many NJ-based stores, with roles that ranged from produce manager to book keeper to store manager. He was known by his employees as strict, but fair and caring — always willing to handle any job or problem that needed to be addressed.
Tom approached all aspects of his life with deep respect and concern for others. He was known as the neighbor, friend, and family member who would “give you the shirt off his back” if he thought you needed it. Above all, Tom loved his wife, Agnes and all of his family. He demonstrated his love by always listening to their concerns, sharing his wisdom, and lending a helping hand. Tom also taught his children many important life lessons and favorite skills. Beyond helping them to become faithful Christians, hard workers, loving spouses, and caring parents, he taught them to cook fabulous (Italian) family recipes, to catch crabs & fish, to find the best deals at sales or auctions, and to play poker. In life, Tom loved to spend time with his family. He cooked Sunday breakfast for all that stopped by, as well as fabulous holiday meals. All of his grandchildren also enjoyed taking walks to the near-by park or to the pond, where they could feed the ducks together and hunt for lost coins. The family knows, even in death, Tom will keep a watchful and caring eye on all of his family members, as he sings peacefully with his beautiful Agnes.
Surviving (and missing him on earth) are: a son Thomas and wife Maria of So. Plainfield plus four daughters Mary Baughman and husband Ronald of Sunnyvale, TX, Janet Swierc and husband Stanley of Ormond Beach, FL, Elizabeth Jordan and husband John of Deptford, and Eileen Calo and husband David of Clark. Tom is also survived by two brothers Sal Perry and wife Audrey of Mt. Dora, FL and Ray Perry of Lake Lucerne, NY, one sister Margaret Williams of Piscataway, 16 grandchildren, and 9 great grandchildren.
Friends may visit the family on Wednesday, July 24 from 2:00-4:00 and from 7:00-9:00pm at the Sheenan Funeral Home, 233 Dunellen Ave in Dunellen. A funeral mass will be celebrated on Thursday, July 25 at 10:30am at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Piscataway. Entombment will follow at Resurrection Mausoleum in Piscataway. In lieu of flowers, donations in Tom’s name can be made to Our Lady of Fatima Church in Piscataway.
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