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Thomas Killeen


Dr. Thomas F. Killeen, PhD, 68 of Wayne, passed away suddenly on October 17, 2017.

Tom was born in Jersey City, NJ and lived in Lyndhurst as a child. The family moved to Wayne when Tom was a teenager. He graduated from DePaul High School and received his undergraduate degree from Siena College.

Tom began a long and distinguished career in education, retiring as a principal of KAS Prep in North Bergen, NJ. Through the years he managed to add two Master’s degrees and a Doctorate Degree to his list of accomplishments, along with the publishing of two books. Tom would tell you that his greatest achievement however, was the countless students he helped to reach academic goals they only dreamed of before coming to KAS Prep…a father figure to some and a friend to all.

Even in retirement, he was continuing in his pursuit to “save kid’s lives,” by speaking to politicians, including the Governor, about establishing what he knew was a successful program for young people struggling in school. Tom grew increasingly frustrated by their bureaucratic inaction. Tom lived by the famous words of Jim Valvano; “Don’t give up…don’t ever give up,” right to the day he died.

He leaves behind his wife “Kitty” of Wayne, his daughter; Heather of Lincoln Park, two brothers; Peter Killeen of Manahawkin, NJ and Francis Killeen of Jupiter, FL, sister-in-law Diane Killeen of Hawthorne, NJ, and three nephews; Ryan, Kyle, and Sean. He was predeceased by his brother Michael Killeen of Hawthorne, NJ in 2012.

Friends may visit with the family at the Vander May Wayne Colonial Funeral Home, 567 Ratzer Road, Wayne, on Saturday, October 21, 2017 from 2-6 PM. Funeral Services will be held at 1 PM on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017 at the funeral home.

Donations in Tom’s memory would be greatly appreciated. He always had a special place in his heart for animals, so it would be appropriate if you made a donation to your local animal shelter.

Guest Book


Dear Kitty and Heather, We are so shocked and saddened to hear about Tom. He was a life long friend from grammar school thru high school, and we wished he could have been at the reunion. Our prayers are with you and the family. Kathy and Mark Granstrand

Kathy and Mark Granstrand


Tom Killeen was a warrior on the field and in the classroom. He helped the DePaul Varsity Football Team become the champions we were. His lineman talent (RT) in Freshman and Senior years blocking for me, allowed me to rate very high in State statistics. DePaul's front line was epic ! We connected a few years ago about a baseball story property he had. He was brilliant writer, educator, motivator and a credit to DePaul,Sienna College and all of the other institutions lucky enough to have him. With deep sympathy, Edward Lozzi DePaul 67'

Edward Lozzi


My heart breaks for you, Kitty and Heather. Tom was a DePaul classmate and good , good friend. Spent a weekend at Siena with Tom and Fred Schmitz a hundred years ago, still remember it clearly.You have been blessed with a good, good husband and father. Most sincerely, Barbara Chirichella Sturgeon

Barbara Chirichella


So sorry to hear of Tom's passing. I first met him at IHM in (IIRC) 8th grade (ca. '62/'63) when he transferred there..he was a good friend at IHM...then through our four years at DP. After we graduated I lost track of him until a few years ago when I found him again on FB through the DePaul Class of '67 group. I will add prayers for the happy repose of his soul (as well as prayers for his family & friends) to my list of special intentions in my daily prayers and at Sunday Mass. Please accept my sincere sympathy at the loss of Tom.

Chris Brosnahan


No one knew Tom as well as I knew him. Rest In Peace. Smooch the Mack. My prayers are with you Kitty, Heather and the rest of the family. Sincerely, Gerry Paglione

Gerry Paglione


From the minute i stepped into your office until the minute i shaked your hand on stage 8 years ago for me to receive my highschool diploma you were not only my principle but my mentor, my friend, a person who ive had ups and downs with during my school year but always believed me and continued to believe in me even after highschool! You were an awesome person killeen and you will forever remain that awesome person in my heart. Literally it broke my heart to hear what happened, but we shall soon see each other again because good people who do good things go to paradise! God Bless You Dr.Killeen, My condolences go out to your whole family. RIP DR.KILLEEN ??

Steven Valarezo


Mr. Killeen, I’m gonna miss you. You were the father I never had. You helped become a man. Your words of wisdom will never be forgotten. The lessons and values you taught will live on through me and through my son. Because of you I learned how to be a father and how to always tell my son “I Love You.” You always made sure to tell me you loved me before the end of every conversation. I do the same with my son. I could go forever on what you meant and still mean to me. I love you and will always remember you. You believed in me when no one else did and taught to “never give up or give in to my circumstances.” You also taught me always see the good in people and not to live in my emotions but live with emotion. Til I see you again. I love you and I know you will be watching me and all your loved ones.

Leonardo Garcia


Crying wrtting this message .. you believed in me and gave me a chance when no one would... you noticed the potential in me that no one saw i graduated high honors because i had you by my side im where im at because of you .. i will miss you and remeber you always my great hero Mr.killeen. love you

Otilia linares


Crying wrtting this message .. you believed in me and gave me a chance when no one would... you noticed the potential in me that no one saw i graduated high honors because i had you by my side im where im at because of you .. i will miss you and remeber you always my great hero Mr.killeen. love you

Otilia linares


Dear Kitty and Heather...I am so very sorry for your tremendous loss. Tom's all too soon passing leaves me deeply saddened. He was my first new friend freshman year at DePaul and my continued friend and teammate at Siena. Though we hadn't kept in close contact for some time, our periodic "catch ups" assured me of his continued love and passion for family, service, education, and of course baseball. I am praying for and will always remember my dear friend Leener...Fred Schmitz

Fred Schmitz


I knew Tom as a brother to Mike. I liked Tom and he was a good brother to Mike, my best friend when we were growing up and best man at my wedding. I hope they are happy again being together.

Bob Drag


My condolences to the family. May the love you share and beautiful memories help you through. Mr.Killeen will live in the hearts of all those whom he inspired and who's life he changed forever, like ours. With Love and and Respect, Cecilia and Gary HTHS Class of 1998



Just reading the history on your husband- what a wonderful man who gave so much of himself to help others. No words will give you comfort, however those memories and all the people who lives he affected will hopefully give you some comfort. Prayers for the next few days as your family sends him on his next journey and strength for you live each day surrounded by your angel.

Joanne and Team Paper Store-Parsippany


My brother Tom was a very special person. He lived his life in pursuit of making the world a better place by encouraging people, especially the students he worked with over his professional career as an educator, to strive to be the best person that they could be and achieve goals so to make the world a better place. He was the purist form of an idealist, holding strong to his belief that every student should be given the chance to succeed. He loved his family, he loved his animals, he loved his time down on the Jersey Shore, but most of all he loved the possibility that he could make a difference in everyone's life who he met along the way. Tom, you were a special person and a wonderful brother. I will miss you so very much. Love, Peter

Peter Killeen


My condolences to all of you. I ran into Mr. Killeen when I was in a local business lot. We struck up a conversation. He was my teacher at Wayne Valley High School, He actually remembered me. He was a great teacher. He had such a positive influence on me. I opened up my yearbook with his faculty picture and thought how amazing he was. God bless you during this time.

Marleen McMurdy


I am so saddened at my brother's passing. A shock to all of us. He has touched so many people in so many wonderful ways. He loved his family so much. He was such a wonderful husband, father and brother. We both loved baseball. I remember playing catch on the front lawn with him all the time and I will never forget it. He told me recently how proud he was of his daughter Heather, and his nephews, Ryan, Sean, and Kyle. I will miss you Tom and always love you. Your brother Fran

Fran Killeen


I never met you but I saw tom every day . he saved my life.he is my hero

joe sepede


I never met you kity but I saw tom every day . he saved my life.he is my hero

joe sepede


Peter and family, we are so sorry for your loss. May Tom Rest In Peace in the arms of the lord and the company of your Mom and Dad and brother Michael. We wish you peace and strength in the days ahead. Kathy & Scotty

Kathy Laulette


A beloved colleague at KAS Prep for over a decade Tom was an educational warrior and hero to generations of young people over 5 decades. He would continue his quest of "Saving Kid's Lives" even after retirement, engaging, questioning and sometimes confronting politicians and NJ educational state administrators about why they are so unwilling to implement a proven model of success particularly for young people who were unsuccessful in traditional education. I will treasure the numerous emails we shared in the years after he retired, updating me on his numerous "engagements" with these political and educational "elites". He will always be our "FATHER TOM" I am honored to have been a part of his book "The School that Saved Kid's Lives" To the family of Tom Killeen be assured he will be remembered in the hearts and minds of generations of students and adults forever-so so sorry for your personal loss

Darell A Richardson


Dear Kitty, Chris and I are so sorry to hear of Tom's passing. I'll always remember playing baseball and basketball at Packanack with Tom. We had great arguments about who was better, Mantle or Mays. Tom and I shared lots of experiences as roomies at the cabin and during our early teaching days in Wayne. Tom will be fondly remembered. Please accept our heartfelt condolences, Charlie and Chris McGuire

Charles McGuire


Mr k , was toughest teacher I ever had, he told me straight up "I know you can do better Chris, I see potential in you " when I went back to High tech , I caught Mr k. walk-in through the hall I was with my daughter Katie and he says you turned out alright , I see your posting on Facebook, I'm proud of what you're doing...... Honestly he will be missed..

Christopher R. Anderson


I'm so sorry to hear of Dr. Killeens passing. He was such a wonderful teacher and friend while go through the Wayne School system. He made a difference and I still think of him at times and things he said. I graduated in 1980 from Wayne Valley. He made a difference and will be missed. Ellen

Ellen Klein Specht


I'm so sorry to hear about Tom's passing. I remember Tom from his DePaul high school days and as a co-worker at Wayne Valley. With deep regrets, I was just informed of this news today. Sorry I could not attend the services. Respectfully, Bob Bishop

Robert Bishop

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