It is with great sadness that we share that Thomas John Sullivan II “T.J.”, 47, of Wyckoff, passed away suddenly in his sleep on May 20, 2023.
Born in Montclair, NJ, T.J. grew up in North Caldwell, NJ. He followed in his Dad Tom’s footsteps and attended St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City where he competed in Cross Country and Wrestling. As a freshman he was awarded the coveted “Outstanding Freshman Award” which would later be named the Magis Award. Prep held his heart long after he left in 1993. He went on to receive his BA from The University of Scranton in Pennsylvania and it was here that he met his very best friend and the love of his life, Maura.
T.J. owned and operated Grindstone Advisors in New York City. He was known, respected and loved by so many during his media career of 25 years. Many people counted him as not only a mentor but a friend.
He sat on the University of Scranton Business Council as well as being a trustee of the Friendly sons of St. Patrick of the Oranges who named him Irishman of the year in 2007. He also took great pride in being a founding member and board member of the St. Peter’s Prep War Dog Athletic Club. And St. Peters Prep honored their pride in T.J. as one of their Young Alumni of the year.
TJ was bigger than life. Anything he undertook could never be ordinary or small– not his approach, not his presentation and certainly not his outfits. His sharp wit and clever (sometimes irreverent) sense of humor was only surpassed by his enormous heart. He made friends wherever he went. It made him most happy to welcome anyone into his home and his life. And most especially to his home in Spring Lake Heights.
Summers at the Jersey Shore were a highlight of his life. He deemed himself quite the accomplished surfer, and we’re going to go with that for now. He so enjoyed fishing with his family and friends but maybe even more, enjoyed “cooking the catch afterward”. TJ loved his Irish heritage, golf, a good steak, Pearl Jam, and wine - not necessarily in that order. But more than all of these pastimes he cherished the deep bonds and relationships he shared with his family and most especially his friends – of which he had countless.
But his greatest joy by far was his 4 children. TJ was the definition of Dad. He could be found on the sidelines of any games, usually as the coach, but in no matter what capacity, was always the most boisterous fan in the place. And the highlight of his year was Dad’s night which TJ directed, produced and most importantly, starred in.
He is pre-deceased by her mother, Salsey Sullivan and his father-in-law Phillip Mendola.
His memory lives on in his beloved wife of 23 years, Maura (nee Mendola) ; his devoted children, Kayla Angel, Thomas John Sullivan III (Tommy), Erin Joan and Shannon Catherine, His adoring Dad Tommy, his loving sister Kelly King and husband John, his dearest mother-in-law Cathy Mendola, Sister and Brother in laws Jeanine & David Holland, Philip & Lisa Mendola, Colleen and Greg Varnum and his cherished nieces and nephews, John Nelson, Emily & Katie King, Emily & Jessica Holland, Phil and Marissa Mendola and Jake & Amanda Varnum. Just as close to his heart were his many cousins, aunts and uncles from America and Ireland.
Relatives and friends are invited for visitation on Thursday from 4-8 pm at St. Elizabeth Church, 700 Wyckoff Avenue, Wyckoff, NJ 07481. A Funeral Mass to celebrate his life will be offered on Friday 11:00 am at St. Elizabeth Church, Wyckoff, NJ and will be livestreamed at https://saintelizabeths.org/live-streaming.
Condolences and memories may be shared at Vander Plaat Funeral Home https://www.vpfh.com/
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in T.J.’s memory for the T.J. Sullivan Scholarship Fund to St. Peter’s Prep War Dog Athletic Club of which T.J. was a founder and board member.
War Dog Athletic Club, 88 Carlson Parkway, Cedar Grove, NJ. 07009.
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