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Thomas Harry Branch

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Thomas Harry Branch Obituary
Thomas Harry Branch

AGE: 85 • Sea Girt

Thomas Harry Branch, 85, of Sea Girt, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune, following a brief hospitalization. Tom was born and raised in Kearny, he resided in Mendham from 1972 until the passing of his wife in 1997. He then relocated to Sea Girt where he had regularly summered with family since he was a child. He was a proud graduate of The Citadel Class of 1951, with a BS in Political Science. Following his graduation, he entered the U.S. Army and requested a combat assignment, serving as a 1st Lieutenant in the 45th Infantry Division and later the 82nd Airborne Division. His decorations included the Bronze Star, Combat Infantryman Badge, and Parachutist Badge.

Tom had a 32-year career as a Contract Manager for Armstrong World Industries, Saddle Brook. He was passionately involved in local politics, serving many years as the Chairman of the Morris County Republican Committee. Following his retirement, he worked as the Mendham Township Administrator, leaving to accept a Schedule C appointment in the administration of President George H.W. Bush as the Special Assistant to The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for Region 2, New York City, NY.

As a resident of Sea Girt, Tom was a well-known figure around town. He spent many mornings in Ray's Café enjoying the company of all his "regular" friends. He volunteered with the Sea Girt Fire Police, coached basketball for Sea Girt Recreation and was a member of the Sea Girt Chamber of Commerce. He was an active parishioner of St. Uriel the Archangel Church and was a member of the church's Brotherhood of St. Andrew. He was involved in the creation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at the Garden State Arts Center and worked with the ESGR, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.

Tom was preceded in death by his wife, Phyllis M. (nee Eck) Branch in April 1997; his parents, Elmer Thomas and Dorothy Brookes Branch; and his brother, Elmer Alfred Branch. He is survived by his two devoted sons and their spouses, Thomas P. Branch and wife Catherine of Sea Girt and Dr. James B. Branch and wife Nicole of Fort Wainwright, Fairbanks, Alaska. He leaves behind five beloved grandchildren, Kelsey, Alexander, Nina, Owen, and Charles.

Relatives and friends are invited to call on from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8 at the O'Brien Funeral Home, 2028 Hwy 35 at New Bedford Rd., Wall. A Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013 at the Church of St. Uriel the Archangel, 219 Philadelphia Blvd., Sea Girt. Private cremation will follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Sea Girt Fire Company No. 1, 319 Baltimore Blvd., Sea Girt, NJ 08750. For further information or to forward condolences to the family, please visit

Published in Asbury Park Press on Nov. 8, 2013
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