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Thomas Vila
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Thomas W.
1929 - 2017
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Obituary for Thomas W. Vila

Thomas W. Vila, 88, of Manalapan passed away on Sunday, May 28, 2017 at CentraState Medical Center, Freehold Township. Tom was born in the Bronx, where he attended St. Mary’s Parochial School and Cardinal Hayes High School.

His dream of playing shortstop for the Yankees began with the N.Y. Dexters, Winners of the 1947 Kiwanis Championship. He was discovered by Yankees Scout, Bots Nicola and was offered a tryout. Paul Krichell, Head Scout, who was pleased with his performance, asked him to return the following Spring in 1951 after a weight building program. Unfortunately, Tom was drafted in December 1950 and served with the 2nd Armored Division (Hell on Wheels) and 14th Armored Cavalry. In 1953, he continued his education at Iona College, where as captain and shortstop, received the MVP in 1957.

In 1958, he was accepted on NY Life’s First Administrative Training Program and later was offered the position of Vice President and Chief Underwriter with North Atlantic Life Insurance Company, the first life insurance founded on Long Island, NY. He then accepted the position of Vice President, Chief Underwriter and Public Affairs Officer with Bankers National Life Insurance Company in Parsippany, NJ.

In 1958, he married Fran DeRosa, the love of his life, whom he met on Friday the 13th in 1954 at an Italian Feast in the Bronx.

In retirement, he spent 6 years as a substitute teacher for Dover School System in Morris County. After moving to Manalapan in 2005, he volunteered with the Child Placement Review Board and the Juvenile Conference Committee of the Monmouth County Court System, receiving the “Volunteer of the Year” Award.

Thomas leaves behind his beloved wife of 58 years, Frannie; his wonderful children, Tom Vila, Jr. of Denville, Carol Ann Duffy and her husband, Michael of Freehold, Barbara Ann Noon and her husband, Stephen of Millstone Township, and MaryAnn Sicurella of Manalapan; and grandchildren, Alyssa, Joseph, Caitlin, Kristen, Kelly, Emily and Steven.

A 10:00 AM Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, June 2, 2017 at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, 16 McLean Street, Freehold. Entombment will follow in Holy Rood Cemetery, Morristown. All services are under the direction of the Clayton & McGirr Funeral Home, Freehold Township. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Thomas’ name may be made to the Iona College, 715 North Avenue, New Rochelle, NY 10801 or Cardinal Hayes High School, 650 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451. For information or condolence messages to the family, visit

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