Obituary of Thomas Eckert Sr.
Thomas Robert Eckert, Sr. (Tom) of Oakland, Tennessee, passed away on June 8, 2016 in Phillipsburg, New Jersey from heart failure.
Visitation will be held at Martin Funeral Home, 1761 Route 31, Clinton, New Jersey on Sunday, June 12, from 2:00pm to 4:00pm and Monday, June 13, from 9:30am to 10:30am. The funeral mass will be held at Saint Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, 2 White Bridge Road , Pittstown, New Jersey on Monday, June 13, at 11:00am with Reverend Czeslaw Zalubski officiating. Burial will follow at Gates of Heaven Catholic Cemetery in East Hanover, New Jersey.
Tom was born in Newark, New Jersey to George and Evelyn Eckert on May 14, 1951. He graduated from Irvington High School in 1969. He was employed at Western Electric in Union, New Jersey from 1969 to 1981 and AT&T from 1981 to 1999. After retirement he owned two small businesses, Tommy’s Custom Clubs and E&E Signs and Graphics. Through E&E Signs and Graphics, Tom spent endless hours on the road traveling to many states and talking with different people and making many friends all across the country.
When not working, he enjoyed classic cars, particularly Thunderbirds and MGs, the New York Giants, was an amateur HAM radio operator, hot air ballooning, and his dog, Maggie. He was a “Tom” of all trades and master (and collector) of automobiles. His carefully maintained vintage 1969 MGC received multiple awards at various car shows. His children have many happy memories with their father, riding bikes, playing baseball and football in the the backyard, kick the can, and their own special version of Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64.
Tom found a special talent in his son on the drums and continually encouraged him to practice hard and chase his musical dreams. To this day, his son still cherishes that sage advice. After moving to Tennessee in 2004, Tom was able to keep in touch with his son via Skype and had many marathon sessions of their favorite Playstation 3 game, MAG, with his son’s closest friends. His daughter has countless summer memories of chasing hot air balloons with her father throughout Hunterdon county.
Tom remained active in Tennessee. He was a member of the Tennessee Senior Olympics (Memphis District) and participated in many events, including: Badminton, Shuffleboard, Track (100 & 50 meters), Pickleball, Cycling (5K), and Horseshoes. In 2015, he went to the Tennessee Senior Olympic Games and won the silver medal in Men’s Badminton Singles. He also enjoyed playing pickleball at the Bartlett Recreation Center where he made many friends.
Tom is survived by his children, Valerie Eckert-Long (Paul) of New Castle, Delaware and Thomas R. Eckert, Jr. (fiancée, Marielle) of Stewartsville, New Jersey; his brother, George Eckert (Rita) of Bedford, Texas; his grandson Alexandre (Iggy) Eckert; many cousins; his former wife, Mary Eckert, of Stewartsville, New Jersey; and many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Evelyn Eckert.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, http://giftfunds.stjude.org/ThomasREckertSr