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Thomas J Parkes
March 6, 1940 ~ January 25, 2024 (age 83) 83 Years Old
Thomas Joseph Parkes, of Upper Saddle River, passed away on Thursday, January 25, 2024. Born in 1940, he grew up in the South Bronx, where he attended St. Luke’s Grammar School and Cardinal Hayes High School. He then went on to the Art Students League in New York City, where he studied drawing and painting under Frank Reilly, an experience that led to a long and successful career as an award-winning art director with Ted Bates advertising agency.
A true artist, Tom continued to embrace his passion during retirement. He taught drawing and watercolor painting at the Art School in the Old Church in Demarest, exhibited his watercolors in numerous solo shows, and was the recipient of several awards including first prize at the New Jersey State for professional seniors and the Jack Richeson Gold Award at the Ridgewood CAA National Open Exhibition.
Tom was an avid reader, tennis player, and movie buff. He loved helping people and was always ready to lend a hand. He served as a member of the board of St. Luke’s Grammar School in the South Bronx and was deeply involved in his community, actively participating in the Knights of Columbus of St. Gabriel’s Parish, the Saddle River Valley Lions Club, and as a proud longtime parishioner and volunteer with the Geezers at Church of the Presentation.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Arline, his two children, Kevin and Stacey, and his sister Mary. Tom was a dear and loving husband, devoted father, kind brother, adoring uncle, and an unconditional friend to all.
Family and friends are invited to attend his viewing at Vander Plaat Funeral Home, located at 257 Godwin Ave. in Wyckoff, NJ, on Thursday, February 1, from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. A funeral mass is planned for Friday, February 2, at 11:15 a.m. at Church of the Presentation, 271 W. Saddle River Road in Upper Saddle River, NJ. To celebrate his life and legacy, a repast will be held at the church, following the funeral mass, where all are welcome to attend.
The family invites all to the Inurnment of Tom Parkes on Tuesday, February 6, at 12:45 pm, at Maryrest Cemetery & Mausoleum, 770 Darlington Avenue, Mahwah, NJ. Please gather in the Mausoleum (the large building that resembles a church).