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Dr. Thomas Vanderspurt

Dr. Thomas Henry Vanderspurt

Monday, April 1st, 1946 - Sunday, April 21st, 2019
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Obituary

After a well lived, rich and full life, Thomas Henry Vanderspurt of Brick and Midland, Georgia (formerly of Stockton, NJ and Glastonbury, CT) passed away peacefully on Easter Sunday, surrounded by the ones he laughed with, lived for and loved.

Family was essential to Tom. His wife, Maureen was his best friend for over 51 years. They traveled the world together, visiting 6 continents and all 50 states, often bringing their grandsons. “The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only one page” was Tom’s mantra. Together, they thoroughly enjoyed their grandchildren, history, theater, NYC and each other. He is also survived by his three girls, Ashley Vanderspurt of Pt. Pleasant and her husband, Alan Hackel, Cecily Vanderspurt M.D. Ph. D and Hadley Vanderspurt of Midland, GA. Tom was never happier than when he was sitting by a fire reading Tolkien to his grandchildren, Courtland, Quin and Teagan Hackel.

Born in Massachusetts, he was the son of the late Lillian (Bruwer) and Honore Vanderspurt. His formal education came from Central Catholic High School-which highlighted Tom and his career in a 2010 article of their magazine, The Emblem-Lowell Technological Institute (cum laude) and his doctorate in Catalysis -Physical Inorganic Chemistry from Princeton. His doctoral advisor was the renowned scientist John Turkevich, a pioneer in the use of catalysts who worked on the Manhattan Project and laid the groundwork for the widespread use of unleaded fuel. But his informal learning never stopped. Having endless curiosity and always a book nearby, a colleague once remarked, “Tom was blazingly intelligent.”

He was a Senior Research Associate for Celanese in Summit, Oxirane International in Princeton, Exxon in Clinton and Houston and a fellow at United Technologies in East Hartford, Connecticut. He is a holder of 65 US patents.

Along with family, community service was paramount in Tom’s world. Because his interests were broad, he enjoyed serving on boards as diverse as the Library of Passaic Township in Millington and the Board of Trustees of the Delaware River Mill Society in Stockton. He was elected a member of the Democratic County Committee for East Amwell Township and president of the New York/New Jersey Catalysis Society. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Council #10024. He served in the United States Army Chemical Officers Basic Corps in the early 1970’s.

Family and friends savored his Beef Wellington each Christmas and countless others enjoyed his blueberry pancakes, for which he won the Better Homes and Garden recipe Cook-of-the-Month Contest! He made his one (and only) stage debut as the Mayor in Carmen at Hartford’s Bushnell Theater.

Tom led a life of great success and happiness and he leaves us with golden memories. The sadness and ache of Tom not being here envelops us daily.

A private family service will be conducted by Rev. Kevin D. Robb OP, a family friend of over 50 years.
In lieu of flowers, please have a Mass said for Tom at the Church of the Sacred Heart, Bay Head.
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Location
    Private Cremation
    Address
    4201 Rt. 33
    Tinton Falls, NJ
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
In Lieu of flowers, please have a Mass said for Tom at the Church of the Sacred Heart, Bay Head.

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Sue Opalka

Posted at 08:18pm
We are so devastated to learn of Tom's passing. He always shared the joy of his family with coworkers and sought to treat them like family too. It was an honor to work for Tom. He had the rare combination of deep talent and adept interpersonal skills. It was fun to work on projects under his leadership. He was very creative and unbelievably knowledgeable. He championed our causes and supported everyone's development to the fullest. Tom had a significant, lasting impact on us all ! Maureen, we send our thoughts and prayers. You provided Tom great joy. Susanne and William Opalka Old Chatham, NY
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Donna Yamanis

Posted at 01:03pm
We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our friend and work colleague and have fond memories of time spent together during our years in Glastonbury, Connecticut. Our sincere condolences to Maureen, his daughters, grandchildren, and the rest of his family. Donna and John Yamanis, Silver Spring MD.
BC

barbbarbara driscoll coatsara driscoll oll coats

Posted at 03:55pm
My deepest sympathy to my classmate Maureen AKA Bob who has lost her soul mate of 50 years Maureen graduated from College of St ELIZABETH 1970 and I believe met Tom in her senior year while at a gathering at Princeton Regards and thoughts to your daughters and other family members Bob .you and your family had many happy memories RIP I look forward to seeing you next year at our 50th reunion and hearing WONDER stories of your life together Barbara Driscoll Coats aka BJ CSE1970 o
DM

Dorothy Macchia

Posted at 11:41pm
Deepest condolences on the loss of your loving husband, father-father in law and grandfather. We only wish we had gotten to know him better in the short time that we had met. His accomplishments during his life are most commendable. May all his family find peace and blessings during this difficult time and may his soul rest in peace. Dot Macchia and Arlene Olsen (SHRAS)
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