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Harry R. Disbrow Jr., 89, of Tuckerton, passed away peacefully at home on June 1st.
He is survived by his beloved wife Marie of 69 years, his 4 children & their spouses, his 9 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren & a large and loving circle of extended family and friends.
Born in Beach Haven, NJ, Harry - son of Pearl - started work early in his life as a mail boy at the Baldwin Hotel alongside his mother while she waitressed & lifeguarded during The Second World War. He eventually came across the bay to West Creek where he spent his childhood growing up in a hunting and fishing paradise - everything a boy who loved the outdoors could want - surrounded by loving grandparents, his sister Doris, aunts, uncles & cousins in what he considered to be an idyllic environment. Generations of his family worked in the oyster and clam business. Harry was so proud of his roots in West Creek and never forgot where he came from. His passion for hunting & ultimately off-shore fishing continued into adulthood which he enjoyed sharing with his family.
Shortly after graduating from Tuckerton High School in 1951, Harry met his soon to be wife, the love of his life Marie, of Philadelphia and Harvey Cedars, at the policeman’s dance in Brant Beach during the summer, just after he had enlisted in the United States Navy. He served for 4 years in Pensacola Florida, rising quickly to teach simulated flight instruction to commissioned Naval officers.
After the Navy, Harry gained employment as an ironworker until a serious physical injury on the job altered his life’s course. Although he qualified to have collected permanent disability from a serious on the job accident, Harry would have none of it. He never shied away from challenges…he leaned into them. At this time, married with 2 children & a third on the way…Harry enrolled, commuted and worked his way through Rider College in Lawrenceville NJ graduating in 1962 & earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.
After college, Harry worked at the Mystic Island Development Company in Sales for several years before founding his own company, The BayShore Agency Real Estate & Insurance in 1967 with his wife Marie. He owned and operated it as the broker for over 28 years until he retired & sold the company in 1995 to his son & daughter-in-law. He was so proud to be present when BayShore celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017. Harry was a founding member of Southern Ocean State Bank in Tuckerton serving as Chairman of the Board for many years. He subsequently served on the boards of Bank of Mid Jersey and Shore Community Bank. Whatever he did, he gave it 1000% and was determined to make it successful. He was always fair in whatever he did and you never had to wonder where he stood.
Harry was an active member of Tuckerton Masonic Lodge #4 and would have received his 60 year pin this August. He served as Master of the Lodge in 1970 during its 150th anniversary. He is one of the original founders of the Tuckerton Invitational Fishing Tournament which had a 30 year successful run and he was also an active volunteer and lifetime Charter Member of the Tuckerton Seaport.
In his later years, Harry was an avid swimmer, a biking enthusiast who clocked well over a thousand miles a year and he also enjoyed his antique car collection which included a 1950 Ford (that he met Marie in), providing many years of enjoyment with friendship & adventure.
Harry enjoyed traveling with Marie throughout the USA and spending time at his homes with family in Cape Hatteras, NC, and Marathon, Florida…but always emphasized “there’s no place like home.”
He loved his wife, his family, his work, his community and his country. Harry was salt of the earth and a respected role model to many. He exemplified a life well-earned and well-lived. He was deeply loved.
Harry is survived by his wife Marie, son Harry Disbrow III (Diane), Donna Rongo (Jeff), Daphne Keller (Tom), David Disbrow Sr. (Jeri)…grandchildren Lauren McGoldrick (Ray), Jessica Mullin (Brian) , Jenna Karch (Corey), Kristen Keller, Daniel Disbrow (Kinga), Emily Tarnow (Erik) & Rachel Disbrow (Edward), great grandchildren Ray Jr, Luke, Maelyn, Graydon, Cameron, Avery, Aidan, Isla and 2 more on the way! Predeceased by grandsons, David Jr. & Brian. For Julia, his caregiver at home for last year & a half, we have the deepest gratitude.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 6th from 5-8pm at The First United Methodist Church of Tuckerton (with a Masonic Dedication). On Wednesday, June 7th visitation will be held from 10-11am, with a remembrance service at 11:00am, also at the church. Burial will directly follow at Greenwood Cemetery, N. Green St., Tuckerton.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Harry’s name to The First United Methodist Church of Tuckerton or the Tuckerton Masonic Lodge #4.