Thomas MacAdams, Brooklawn leader

Thomas C. MacAdams
Thomas C. MacAdams
Posted: April 05, 2014

Thomas C. MacAdams was enough of a sports lover that he and his wife, Marie, ran a girls' basketball league on a court in their backyard in Brooklawn.

"It was almost a full court," his wife said, "for little girls" as young as 7.

On Sundays in the 1990s, the first teams in that Brooklawn Lady Bugs League would arrive about 3 p.m., and the last would leave about 10 p.m., she said.

On Saturday, March 29, Mr. MacAdams, 60, a former member of the Brooklawn Borough Council, died of complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at his home.

He was a council member from 1991 to 1996 and again from 1999 to 2010, and returned for six months in 2011, Borough Clerk Ryan Giles said.

Borough Mayor Teri Branella said that for the Democratic Party, Mr. MacAdams was a county committee member and a municipal chair for close to 20 years.

"On council, mainly he took care of our celebrations committee," she said, organizing, among other things, the Easter egg hunt and the Fourth of July and Christmas events.

"He just had a strong sense of community," she said. "He had a big heart and a radiant smile."

Mr. MacAdams grew up in Brooklawn and graduated from Gloucester City High School in 1971.

"He excelled in sports," his wife said, and was a pitcher on his high school baseball team that won a divisional state championship.

In his 20s, she said, he pitched for a softball team in a community league. For exercise, he played handball.

After high school, Mr. MacAdams worked for 12 years as a forklift operator at an oil refinery in Paulsboro.

In the 1980s, he worked for an uncle in a real estate agency in Maple Shade and then was the accountant for his wife's Sunshine Flower Shop in Brooklawn.

"He ended up working for the county as a job developer," she said, and retired in 2012 in a similar job with the South Jersey Transportation Authority.

He founded the Brooklawn Drug Alliance, which brought speakers to weekly meetings of children in the 1990s, his wife said. And he organized the Brooklawn Bees, a children's basketball team.

Besides his wife, Mr. MacAdams is survived by sons Shane and Colin; daughter Erin; father Eugene; two brothers, and a sister.

A visitation was set from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at Brooklawn United Methodist Church, 213 Maude Ave., before a 12:30 p.m. funeral there.

Donations may be sent to the Thomas MacAdams Charitable Fund, 229 Nansen Ave., Brooklawn, N.J. 08030.

Condolences may be offered to the family at

610-313-8134 @WNaedele

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