Thomas J. Sharpe, letter carrier for 30 years

Thomas J. Sharpe
Thomas J. Sharpe
Posted: February 01, 2014

Thomas J. Sharpe, 86, of Pitman, a letter carrier from 1956 to 1986, died of advanced dementia Saturday, Jan. 25, at Pitman Manor, a senior care community where he had lived since 2012.

After his first wife, Frances, whom he married in 1950, died in 1970, "he worked a lot of side jobs" while a mailman to support their five children, said a daughter, Fran Montgomery, principal at St. Joseph Pro-Cathedral School in Camden.

Mr. Sharpe and a friend "would work a full day at the post office, and then they would go out in the evening and would paint offices or clean offices."

For a lawyer whom he knew, Mr. Sharpe remodeled a kitchen, she recalled.

Montgomery, who was 18 when her mother died, said that "if nothing else, my dad instilled in us that you work hard for a living."

Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Sharpe grew up in Fishtown and dropped out of high school to join the Navy in 1944.

After being schooled as a cook and baker in Washington, Mr. Sharpe was assigned to a Merchant Marine ship that took part in the 1945 Marine invasion of Okinawa.

While living after the war in Oaklyn and what is now Cherry Hill, Mr. Sharpe worked as a heater repairman in Philadelphia before joining what was then the Post Office.

In 1976, Mr. Sharpe married Eva Feather, a postal clerk with whom he worked at the Cherry Hill office.

While living in Haddonfield, Mr. Sharpe paid to have the shell of a house built in Vincentown for their family, Montgomery said, "and then he finished it, inside and out."

After they retired in 1986, the Sharpes bought a recreational vehicle and traveled to every continental state and Canadian province.

They settled near Orlando, Montgomery said, and worked as weekly volunteers at a food pantry, cooking and serving meals to low-income people, before returning to South Jersey.

Besides his wife of 37 years and his daughter, Mr. Sharpe is survived by another daughter, Beth Fallon; sons Tom, Charlie, and Jerry; stepdaughters Susan Bomberger and Patti Wasko; stepsons Joe, Michael, and Ed Feather; a brother; 24 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

A visitation was set from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at St. Joseph Pro-Cathedral, 2907 Federal St. Camden, N.J. 08105, before an 11 a.m. Funeral Mass there.

Donations may be sent to the St. Joseph Pro-Cathedral School at the above address.

Condolences may be offered to the family at www.mccannhealey.com.


wnaedele@phillynews.com

610-313-8134 @WNaedele

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