Statement from Ocean County Commissioner John P. Kelly,
Director of Law and Public Safety - the Passing of Thomas F. Kelaher
February 22, 2021
Ocean County lost a man of great character Sunday, with the death of Thomas F. Kelaher, a former Ocean County Prosecutor, who had also formerly served as the long time Toms River Mayor and Chairman of the Board at Community Medical Center, Toms River.
As Director of Law and Public Safety for the Ocean County Board of Commissioners, I worked closely with Tom when he served as our Prosecutor from 2002 to 2007. He brought boundless energy and years of knowledge and professionalism to the office. He was caring and compassionate about the public he served. His work exemplified the definition of character. Prosecutor Kelaher worked hard to make certain essential programs were funded and staffing met the needs of our citizens.
Tom was a 28-year veteran of the United States Marines and served as the Mayor of Toms River Township for 12 years. He and I would often cross paths in our public offices as his town hosts the County seat. He also served as an assistant prosecutor from 1968 to 1974. He was affiliated with many charitable organizations working to always improve his community and to make better the quality of life for all residents.
His adult life was truly a long time commitment to public service and in so many different ways his actions have left an indelible mark on our County.
I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to his wife Carol, his children and his grandchildren. Family was so very important to Tom.
I will always remember Tom for his legacy of good work and service. I know I will personally miss him but will never forget all that he gave to Ocean County.
Ocean County will truly miss the friendship and the legacy of Tom Kelaher.