Thomas Henry Wright Citron, beloved by family, friends and business associates and remembered for his kindness and congeniality, died peacefully at home surrounded by family on July 18, one month before his 90th birthday.
He was born in Brooklyn in 1923, the son of Henry Citron, entrepreneur, and Minna Citron, renowned artist. He contracted polio at age 12. Determined to walk again, he swam vigorously to the point of full recovery. A member of “The Greatest Generation,” he served as an officer in the U.S. Army 3rd Engineer Amphibious Brigade in the Philippines during World War II.
He graduated from Gettysburg College in 1947 and married his college classmate Virginia Eschbach that same year.
He joined his father in business in 1947 at Shampain, Citron and Clark, a paper box manufacturing company located in Elizabeth, New Jersey, which made luxury gift boxes for many of the prominent Fifth Avenue department stores. He was President of the National Paper Box Manufacturing Association from 1966-1967.
In 1987, NJ Governor Tom Keane appointed Mr. Citron to the Board of Trustees of the NJ Department of Corrections Youth Complex where he served for more than 25 years, focusing on the Education Committee to oversee educational opportunities for youth in prisons.
An avid tennis player and golfer, he was a longtime member of the Short Hills Club, Baltusrol Golf Club, and the Gulfstream Club in Delray, FL. He was also an enthusiastic boatsman, and spent many Augusts in Bay Head, NJ. He adored dogs, and many a stray made their way into the Citron household and onto his lap.
He always loved a party, and his mischievous sense of fun led him to many adventures with his family, all of whom had a close and often raucous relationship with him. His children and grandchildren gathered twice annually in his later years for “TomTomPalooza” weekends filled with frivolity and toasts. He got to hear every tribute while he was still alive.
His light and playful spirit and warm and welcoming heart leave his family and friends and caregivers with the treasure of having been deeply acknowledged and loved.
His wife, Virginia, died in 1992 after 45 years of marriage. He is survived by Virginia Snyder Citron, his second wife. He is also survived by his four children: son Scott Citron of Chatham, NJ, and his daughters, Stephanie Citron of Asheville, NC, Suzanne Pitts of Annapolis, MD and Sara Young of Atlanta, GA, as well as 12 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.