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Thomas Frederick Tunstead

August 11, 1928 ~ October 24, 2022 (age 94) 94 Years Old
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Obituary

Thomas Frederick Tunstead of Lake Hopatcong passed away peacefully after his battle with cancer on Monday, October 24th at the age of 94. 

 

Tom was born on August 11, 1928 in West Orange, New Jersey, to John and Linda Tunstead, and was raised in Livingston and Whippany. He had a love for farming, and spent the last two years of high school in Texas so he could obtain an agricultural high school diploma from Waco Texas High School, class of 1948. Tom then hitchhiked back to New Jersey and began working on a farm near his family home. In 1950, Tom enlisted in the United States Army and served two years on the front lines in Korea, where his life was saved by a can of Spam. Tom then returned to New Jersey, where he married Ellen Fredericks in 1956 and began living on Weldon Road, in Lake Hopatcong. Sadly, Ellen passed away from cancer in 1972; they had no children. Tom then met Mary Ann Adam, whom he wed in 1977. Together they raised one daughter, Elena. Tom worked for Picatinny Arsenal from 1957 to 1996 on site and as a truck driver, then retired and drove a parts truck for Dover Brake until 2011.  

 

Tom was always happiest when he was outside; he loved camping with the Family Motor Coach Association, gardening, digging up rocks with his Kabota, and plowing snow in exchange for cherry pies. In his younger years, you would find him whipping around the woods with his Jeep Club or on his ATV. He was also known as Mr. Maps, because he could tell anyone how to get anywhere long before GPS. Tom and Mary Ann were avid square dancers for many years. He was an active member of the North Jersey Antique Engine and Machine Club, and loved his time with the Club at events, parades, and the Sussex County Fair. Tom will be remembered as a man to always tell it like it is, and a man that was always there to help a friend or a stranger in need. 

 

Tom was preceded in death by his parents, sister Hazel, brother Jack, and nephew Billy. His wife Mary Ann, daughter Elena and her fiance Harry Rusbach, honorary brother Blace Flatt and his wife Gale, and his nieces and nephews, as well as their families, survive to carry on his memory. 

 

Tom would have preferred toasts to tears, so please come have a “cheap beer” and raise a glass to celebrate a life well lived on Sunday, November 20th from 1:00 to 4:00 pm at Gatwyns II in Lake Hopatcong. 

 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations to the American Legion Post 245 Rebuild Fund at P.O. Box 187, Lake Hopatcong, NJ 07849, or the North Jersey Antique Engine and Machine Club, 67 Branchville Lawson Road, Newton, NJ, 07860-7034.

 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thomas Frederick Tunstead, please visit our floral store.


Services

Celebration of Life
Sunday
November 20, 2022

1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Gatwyns II
900 Route 15 North
Lake Hopatcong, NJ 07849

Donations

American Legion Post 245 Rebuild Fund
PO Box 187, Lake Hopatcong NJ 07849

North Jersey Antique Engine and Machine Club
67 Branchville Lawson Road, Newton NJ 07860-7034

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