“A father’s tears and fears are unseen… but his care and protection remain as a pillar of strength throughout our lives.” These are words that ring true for our husband, our dad and our pop. Thomas Petner, 71, passed away Sunday, July 1, 2018 in the midst of a hard-fought battle against cancer. He was sick for over a year, but, despite his illness, and, as was his style, he continued to worry about the well-being of “his girls.”
A lover of good storytelling and journalism, Tom was an old-school newsman. Those who worked with him in newsrooms around the Northeast described him as a “gentleman” of the business – tough, but fair… devoted to getting it right, and doing it right. Tom was not just a celebrated leader, but also a teacher and mentor – from giving young journalists their first “shot” at a television job to the more traditional role as a journalism professor at several universities, including his alma mater, Temple University.
While Tom loved a hard news story, he had a soft spot for his family. He is survived by his wife, Connie, of 51 years; his two daughters, Aimee (Dan) and Jessica (Adam); and three granddaughters, Madeline, Abby and Izzy. He enjoyed spending time on the beaches of the Jersey shore surrounded by his family, playing a game of “chase the monster” with his granddaughters, Friday night (Italian) dinners out with his wife, a good (and big) bowl of ice cream, strawberry shortcake, reading, and listening to Fats Domino and Chuck Berry. We will miss you so much Pop.
A visitation will be held at the Clayton & McGirr Funeral Home, 100 Elton-Adelphia Road (Route 524), Freehold Township on Friday, July 6, 2018 from 2:00 to 6:30 PM with his funeral service to follow at 6:30 PM. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate your contributions to the American Cancer Society, 2310 Route 34, Suite 1D Manasquan, NJ 08736 or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105. For information, directions, or condolence messages to the family, visit www.claytonfuneralhome.com.
“Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.” -L.M. Montgomery