St James Catholic Church
535 Caswell St
Belvidere, IL 61008
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Thomas J. Ferrara

1927 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Thomas J. Ferrara Obituary
Dr. Thomas John Ferrara, 88, of Rockford, Illinois, died peacefully of natural causes on January 31, 2016. He is survived by his wife Karen, his children: Marirose Ferrara (John Mullin), Dr. Hope (Dr. Richard) Ferrara Snively, Carina (Jeffery Furst) Ferrara-Furst, 9 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandsons. He is predeceased by his wife Mary-Hope, and his elder sister, Mary Timothy. He was born June 23, 1927 in North Adams, MA, the son of Gennaro and Rose (Cinalla) Ferrara. He graduated from Drury High School, attended Williams College and St. Michael's Seminary. He graduated from Illinois College of Optometry; practicing optometry for 50 years. He was a veteran of the Army and the National Guard. On February 6, 1954, he married his wife of 53 years, Mary-Hope (Carini, predeceased). The couple moved to Belvidere, IL in 1963, where they raised their three daughters. He opened his Optometry practice in Belvidere and began Family Optical Centre Inc. in 1974. He loved his profession and his staff. He oversaw his offices until the week of his death. He was an enthusiastic community booster. He was a proud Rotarian, and member of the "Noon" Rotary Club, holding a 40-year "perfect" attendance record. He was a past member of the Kiwanis Club of Belvidere, and the Sister Cities of Belvidere. He served as an Alderman, and was a regional School Board Trustee for many years. He volunteered at St. James Catholic Church in Belvidere as a lector and a member of the Knight of Columbus, Council #735. Tom was a 4 th Degree Grand Knight during his tenure. After retirement he became active at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, as a member/President of the Holy Name Society. Tom shared six years of love and companionship with his wife Karen. Once retired, Tom spent time exercising at the YMCA, following his beloved Chicago Cubs, dancing, and playing cards. Dr. Tom was a proud Italian-American. His Catholic Faith was essential to him. He stressed the importance of family, friendship, good works, and perseverance. His positive attitude helped us to focus on the good in life. He always remembered to thank friends and family. He loved to sing. His favorite song was, "You are My Sunshine," which he sang with his family until the day he died. His motto was, "Don't tell me what you can't do; tell me what you can do, and for Heaven's sake, DO IT." He treated all with respect and always held himself to a high moral standard. Services were held at St. James Catholic Church in Belvidere Illinois.
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Nov. 3, 2016
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