Thomas E. Reilly Jr. of Mattituck passed away peacefully at home Sept. 21 at the age of 100. He was born May 8, 1918, in Jersey City, N.J. After graduating from St. Mary’s High School in Rutherford, N.J., Tom joined the Army and served in Europe during World War II. He rose to the rank of sergeant and married his sweetheart, Edna Dorritie, during a short furlough in February 1944.
After the war, Tom and Edna moved to Paramus, N.J., where they raised their three children; Pat, Bill (Sheila) and Mary (John). Tom worked in the trucking industry and was an active volunteer in his church and community. He was a longtime member and eventually captain of the Paramus Volunteer Ambulance Corps, answering calls at all times of the day or night.
Shortly after retiring in 1983, Tom and Edna moved to Mattituck, a town and region that he thoroughly enjoyed. Unfortunately, Edna developed Alzheimer’s disease and died in 2001. To better understand dementia, Tom joined the caregivers’ support group at the Southold Senior Center in 1989. For more than 20 years, he regularly attended the group, assisting and befriending other caregivers.
Tom also was a volunteer for the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) reassurance program. For more than 21 years, Tom made weekly calls to homebound seniors, who looked forward to his good humor and stories. His friendship was genuine, and the lively conversation certainly brightened his and their lives. Tom received recognition in 2015 as Suffolk County Senior Citizen of the Year.
Tom will be missed by his children, their spouses, his seven grandchildren and their spouses: Jim (Caroline), Deirdre (Shawn), Tom (Margo), Kate, Brendan, Tim and Brian; and his seven great-grandchildren: Drae, Ryan, Lane, Will, Colin, Ella and Morgan.
His life was celebrated by family and friends at a funeral Mass Sept. 26 at Our Lady of Good Counsel R.C. Church in Mattituck. Interment followed at George Washington Memorial Park in Paramus, N.J.
Arrangements were in the care of DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home.
This is a paid notice.