Thomas J. Flaherty, Jr., 85, of both Spring Lake, N.J. and Vero Beach, died on Monday, March 15, 2010. Born and raised in Bayonne, N.J., he lived in Phoenix and Manhattan before residing permanently in Spring Lake and Vero Beach.
Mr. Flaherty is predeceased by his parents, T. Joseph Flaherty Sr. and Teresa Carroll Flaherty and his sister, Audrey Schachinger. He is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, Patricia Flaherty, his son Thomas J. Flaherty III of Vero Beach, his son Sean C. Flaherty and daughter-in-law Katie Flaherty and two grandsons Liam and Shayne Flaherty of Spring Lake.
Mr. Flaherty was known for his world travels and amazing scope of knowledge. He was the consummate story teller who captivated his friends and family throughout his life.
One of Tom’s passions was his philanthropic work, especially Holy Family Academy in Bayonne, N.J. His philanthropy extended to New York Hospital, Manhattan College, Indian River Medical Center, Boys and Girls Club of Vero Beach, Christian Brothers Academy in New Jersey, Jersey Shore Medical Center, VNA of Vero Beach and St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Ireland.
Mr. Flaherty was a graduate of Manhattan College in the Bronx with a BS in Theology and a grade point average of 4.0. He was a US Army Veteran of WWII from 1943-1946. After the war, he was based in Fort Ord in Monterey, Calif., where he forged a lifelong love and passion for Carmel, Calif.
Mr. Flaherty started as a salesman at Gimbel Brothers in NYC. From his experiences there he learned he was a born salesman. He went to Arizona and started his own insurance company – selling door to door – and become an overnight success. Tom was proud to be involved with the Jaycees in Arizona.
Before leaving Arizona, he kicked off his philanthropic work by funding and building “Our Lady of Perpetual Help” a Roman Catholic Church in Scottsdale. He also started and ran the “Valley of the Sun” a school for handicapped children.
From there he moved back east to Manhattan and taught himself to sell stocks and bonds. He was asked to join the firm of Fahnestock & Company in 1957 and requested to take over sales and management of the Philadelphia Fund. While at Fahnestock, Mr. Flaherty was the financial advisor to the Vatican in Rome from 1961 to 1975. He was responsible for creating, launching and managing the Eagle Growth Shares Mutual Fund and became a partner of the firm in 1966.
He went on to create Universal Programs which encompassed all of his mutual funds and investment responsibilities. Mr. Flaherty retired in 1985 as President of Universal Programs and Partner of Fahnestock & Company. He was a past governor of the Metropolitan Club in NYC, past president of the Spring Lake Bath and Tennis Club and the president of the John’s Island CCSI Association.
He was listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in Business in America for many years.
He loved horse back riding, playing tennis and playing cards with his boys and grandson Liam. He was a communicant of St. Catharine’s Roman Catholic Church in Spring Lake and Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church in Vero Beach.
Mr. Flaherty was also a member of The John’s Island Club in Vero Beach and the Spring Lake Bath and Tennis Club in Spring Lake.
Aside from all his achievements, Mr. Flaherty was better known as a wonderful provider to his family and friends.
Visitation will be on Friday, March 19, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the O’Brien Funeral Home 2028 Hwy 35, Wall, N.J. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 20, 2010 at St. Catharine’s Church in Spring Lake.
Entombment and military honors will be at St. Catharine’s Cemetery, Sea Girt, N.J.
In addition to flowers, the family requests donations to be made to the “Thomas J. Flaherty, Jr. Cardiovascular Educational Fund.”
Donations can be mailed to his son Sean Flaherty, Merrill Lynch, 2504 Highway 35, Manasquan, N.J. 08736.
For further information or to send condolences, please visit obrienfuneralhome.com