Thomas Briscoe of Naples, Florida, Spring Lake and Kearny, NJ passed away peacefully after a short battle with an extremely aggressive glioblastoma on November 18th, 2021 in Naples, Fl at the age of 79 surrounded by his family. He was a history teacher for 41 years in Kearny High School, NJ, and at Lely High School, Naples, FL. He was an expert in Irish History having traveled and studied in Ireland many times. In 2007, he was privileged to be invited to and attended the installation of Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein and Ian Paisley of the DUP as co- executives of the Northern Ireland Government in accordance with the Good Friday peace agreements.
Predeceased by his loving parents, Michael and Sarah (McGuckin), Tom was born on June 9, 1942 in Jersey City, NJ. He grew up in Kearny, NJ with his two brothers, Michael (deceased) and John, and his beloved sister Lorraine (deceased). Tom received a B.A.in Education and a MA degree in History from Jersey City State College and a M.A. in Administration from Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ. He excelled in soccer, his favorite sport and continued to play into his 60’s. He was inducted in 1979 as a charter member of the New Jersey City University Athletic Hall of Fame. His plaque reads, “Tom is regarded as perhaps the greatest all around soccer player in the college’s history.” He was Tri-State (NJ, DE, PA) first team in 1965 and MVP in 1963,1964,1965 and 1966 and all conference for all four years. He was later inducted into New Jersey Soccer Hall of Fame.
Tom had a great passion for learning and taught History for many years at Kearny High school as well as becoming the Athletic Director. He also coached the Kearny girls and boys High School soccer teams. He moved to Marco Island in 1988 where he taught History at Lely High School, Naples, FL. for 21 years. He coached the boys soccer team at Lely High School and the girls and boys soccer teams at St. John Neumann High School. Throughout Tom’s career he was selected Teacher of the year several times.
Tom was a voracious reader who loved being active. Along with playing soccer until he was in his late 60’s, he was an avid tennis player until a few months ago. Tom loved people and could talk to anyone. He loved Irish music and Tom would happily serenade anyone who would listen to him sing an Irish tune. His last words to his family were to “Just have fun!”
He leaves behind his beloved family: wife, Patricia (Leonard), of 36 years and his daughters, Cherie McCain, Pam Johnson (Tim), Melissa Bortko, Tricia Canon (Ben), and son Michael; grandchildren Kevin and Colyn Wilkerson; Duncan and Katie McCain; Ethan, Molly and Olivia Canon; brother John and wife Kathleen (McGillion), nieces, Bonnie Chase (John), Colleen Ferris (Michael), Marybeth Thomas (David), Kaitlin Valcarcel (Kevin), Heather McPherson Egan (Conor) and nephew Jamie McPherson (Anne); grandnephews and nieces Connor, Jack, Patrick, Aidan and Brendan Chase; John and Katherine Ferris; Dylan, Charlie and Emma Thomas; Liam and Ewan Egan; Keenan and Julian McPherson.
Visitation at Fuller Funeral Home East, 4735 Tamiami Trail East, Naples, Fl., on Monday, November 22nd from 5-8pm and O’Brien Funeral Home, 2028 Hwy 35, Wall, NJ on Sunday, November 28th from 2-6pm. Mass with christian burial on November 29, at 10:30, St. Catherine’s Church, Spring Lake, NJ.
In lieu of flowers please donate in Tom’s name to Mary’s Child Pro-Life Ministry ℅ St. Catharines Church 215 Essex Avenue Spring Lake, NJ 07762, or Avow Hospice 1095 Whippoorwill Lane Naples, FL.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thomas A. Briscoe, please visit our floral store.