Thomas E. Coghan
04/11/1939 - 05/11/2024

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Thomas  E.” Tom” Coghan passed away on May 11, 2024, in New Providence, N.J. after a brief illness. He was born on April 11, 1939, in Jersey City, NJ.

 

He is survived by BJ (nee Fleming), his wife of 53 years, his son Jeff and his wife Jackie, his daughter Sharon Scarpa and her husband Matt, six grandchildren: Molly, Caroline, and Will Coghan, and Ryan, Connor, and Keegan Scarpa, as well as his sister, Geraldine, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Joseph and Gertrude (nee Eriksen) Coghan, his sister Dorothy Chizek, and his brother Joseph.

 

While he lived in Summit for 50 years, Tom was, at heart, a Jersey Shore guy. The family moved from Jersey City to Brick when he was 10. He was a proud graduate of St. Rose High School in Belmar where he excelled in basketball!  He recently attended a celebration of the school’s 100th anniversary where he shared memories with other alumni.  During his college years, (St. Michael’s, Sante Fe,NM), he spent summers on the beaches of Spring Lake lifeguarding at the Essex and Sussex and Warren hotels.  During those years he developed friendships that would last a lifetime.

 

BJ and Tom met in NYC and lived there for the first 3 years of their marriage. They moved to Summit in 1973 where they raised Jeff and Sharon.  While he traveled a lot for business he still found time to coach Summit Jr. Baseball and be on hand for most of the kids games in soccer, lacrosse, hockey and skating!  He was an avid tennis player and as the kids got older, he took up golf.  He enjoyed several trips to Ireland and Scotland with his golfing buddies and BJ

 

His career in sales with The Hartz Mountain Corporation took him across the United States to small and large cities. His children were always amazed at his geographical knowledge and acute sense of direction.  Tom’s expertise and leadership were widely recognized across the trade associations in the mass retailing, food industry and general merchandise areas. That opened the way for increased business and social relationships for both Tom and BJ and some pretty fabulous trips!  When he retired from Hartz over 25 years ago, he formed his own consulting firm.  He continued to work until his final days..

 

But family was always tops in his mind. As the grandchildren grew he found great joy in watching them excel in their most favorite activities on and off the field.  He loved to treat them to a great meal and relished in watching them enjoy each other.  Notably over the years there were family trips to some of his favorite places that brought everyone together.  A weekend at Skytop, weeks in OBX and the Jersey shore helped keep the family connected. The best, however, was a 2 week trip to Ireland in 2019. So many amazing memories! Not to mention a million great photos!

 

Just six weeks ago Tom celebrated his 85th birthday with all 12 for a special dinner at Peter Luger’s Steakhouse in Brooklyn. It’s a place with many memories for the family, not the least  of which was that it was the site of BJ and Tom’s first date.

 

Friends may visit on Wednesday from 4-8 p.m. at Bradley, Brough and Dangler Funeral home, 299 Morris Ave, Summit. A funeral mass will be held on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. at St. Teresa Church, 306 Morris Ave, Summit.

 

He was a quiet guy, with a wicked sense of humor, who adored his family.  His feelings ran deep and the pride in his children and grandchildren was beyond measure.  He will be missed so much but the good memories will keep him alive in our hearts.


Funeral Home:
Bradley, Brough & Dangler Funeral Home
Visitation Hours:
Wednesday May 15, 2024, 4:00-8:00PM, 299 Morris Avenue Summit NJ 07901
Funeral:
Thursday May 16, 2024 9:30AM, St. Teresa of Avila Church Summit NJ 07901
Bradley Funeral Homes
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