Thomas R. Kitchen Jr. was born March 19, 1949. He was raised in Hackettstown and loved it so much he raised his family here. . He graduated from Hackettstown High School in 1967. He lettered in Football, Wrestling and Track and Field. He held the Shot Put Record for many years. He was in the United States Navy and served in Vietnam from 1968-1969.
Even before getting married and having children Tom started volunteering and giving back. He coached youth football in the Warren County League and later went on to be the Co- Founder of the Tiger Athletic Association, which started in 1993. This supports youth football, softball, baseball, wrestling, cheerleading, field hockey and basketball. He also started the Hackettstown Girls Fastpitch Softball league in 1993 to serve as a feeder program for the high school. He started coaching his daughter's softball team in 1993 and coached many teams before his passing in 2013. Tom and another friend helped build the football field snack bar and donated their own time to build the softball field dugouts and get the score board donated. In May 2014 the varsity grils' softball field was named after him and will forever be called the Thomas R. Kitchen Jr. Field. He also found time to volunteer and was past chief of the Hackettstown Fire Department and a member of the American Legion. He also enjoyed working as a security guard at Hackettstown High School for all sporting events. He ran the Hackettstown DPW for over 20 years before becoming the Warren County Road Supervisor.
Vince Lombardi once said, "It is time for us all to stand and cheer for the doer, the achiever- the one who recognizes the challenges and does something about it."
. Anyone who knew Tom had kind words to say about him. He was a very caring and selfless man. As a friend says "He gave a lot, asked for a little". He enjoyed volunteering, giving back to the community, helping youth programs to grow and athletes to succeed. Tom has left a great legacy and was a great role model for all that he coached and who knew him.
Cholangiocarcinoma (Bile Duct Cancer), is a cancerous (malignant) growth in one of the ducts that carries the bile from the liver to the small intestine. It is often known as the silent disease because the symptoms go unnoticed until the disease has spread.