Thomas D. Miserendino, “Chief”, age 71, was born April 26, 1944, in East Orange, New Jersey, and moved to the Borough of Beachwood, New Jersey, in 1971. Tom served in the United States Navy, where he attained the rank of senior chief, and he was a decorated Vietnam Veteran. After retiring from the Navy, Tom’s second career was with the Long Branch (NJ) Public Schools as a facilities director.
Tom joined the Beachwood Volunteer Fire Department in Ocean County, New Jersey, in 1971 and actively served for 44 years, earning his life membership. Tom moved through the ranks and was the chief of the department for 11 years.
During his service with the Beachwood Fire Department, Tom received several citations which included: the 200 Club of Ocean County Meritorious Service Award; a two-time recipient of the Beachwood Fire Department President’s Award; the Beachwood Fire Department Chief’s Award; the Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Length of Service Award, and numerous letters of recognition.
As a Beachwood firefighter, Tom represented Ocean County on the board of managers to the New Jersey Firemen’s Home for 20 years and was chairperson to their executive board. Tom was secretary to the Beachwood Firemen’s Relief Association and was a life member of the Ocean County Firemen’s Association and New Jersey State Firemen’s Association.
Tom was very active in the community and was a Beachwood Councilman at the time of his death. Tom was a former member of the Beachwood Planning Board and former member of the Toms River Board of Education, where he represented the Borough of Beachwood for several years.
On the morning of May 25, 2015, Tom answered his final alarm. As the fire department prepared for its annual firefighter memorial services and parade, they responded automatic aid for an alarm in the neighboring town of Pine Beach. Upon returning from the fire call, the department went right into its memorial services, when Tom suddenly became ill and was ultimately transported to the hospital. Tom passed away on June 4, 2015, and was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.
Tom is survived by and proudly remembered by his wife, Patricia; his daughters, Jessica, Jennifer, and Suzanne and husband Ralph; his grandchildren, Anthony, Thomas, Joseph, Rhiannon, and Abigail; his sisters, Ruth Ann, Joan and husband David, Priscilla and husband Martin; his best friend, Bob Tapp, and family; and his brother and sisters in the Beachwood Fire Department.