Religions and Spirituality

Athlete, Coach, Teacher, Mentor and Friend, Peter Tierney Passes Away at Age 69

bc4add4345eb5821ddce_Peter_photo_for_Website_and_TAP.JPG
bc4add4345eb5821ddce_Peter_photo_for_Website_and_TAP.JPG

Peter James Tierney of Berkeley Heights, NJ passed away peacefully on Thursday, December 28, 2017 at his home at the age of 69.

Family and friends are invited to attend a memorial mass January 6, at 10 a.m., at Our Lady of Peace Church, 111 South Street, New Providence. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Paul Ippolito Berkeley Memorial. Please visit ippolitofuneralhomes.com for additional information and to send condolences. Family and friends are also invited to attend a repast in celebration of Peter’s life following the mass. In lieu of flowers please visit Peter’s memorial contribution page at https://www.inmemoryof-memorial.org/ to make donations in his memory to the Lustgarten Foundation, Rainforest Trust or to the Summit Animal Rescue Association Inc.

Peter was born in Plainfield, NJ to Ellen Elizabeth (nee Shubert) and James Edward Tierney. Peter was a graduate of St. Bernard’s Grammar School in Plainfield and Union Catholic High School in Scotch Plains where he was a member of the first graduating class of 1966. An outstanding athlete, he captained the baseball and basketball teams and was the leading scorer for his basketball team and All-County in 1966. He was also chosen as the first-ever Mr. Union Catholic.

Sign Up for E-News

 In 1971 Peter graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and government.  A thee-year starter and outstanding player for the FDU basketball team, Peter  was 1970-71 captain of the #1 ranked defensive basketball team in the nation. He and his teammates were inducted into the FDU Hall of Fame in 2009. From 1975-1980 Peter was assistant varsity basketball coach at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Peter’s amazing teaching and coaching career spanned 37 1/2 years and more as he first worked as a teacher, basketball and baseball coach at Union Catholic High School, then Rahway State Prison, Absegami High School, and finally in 1981, at Summit High School. Peter also earned a master’s degree in education and psychology  at Kean University.

In 1981 Peter became the head coach of the Summit High School boys basketball team and taught social studies, US history, and law. While at Summit High he also coached the girls basketball team and, until October of 2017, he coached the girls and boys tennis teams. Over the years Peter’s boys and girls teams earned a variety of championships under his guidance. He also earned numerous Coach of the Year awards in basketball as well as tennis.  In 2016 the mayor of Summit dedicated the Tatlock tennis court to Peter and named June 13th as Coach Peter Tierney Recognition Day. This past fall Peter was inducted into both the Summit High School Hall of Fame as well as the Union Catholic Hall of Fame for his notable contributions as both an educator and coach. One of the secrets to Peter’s success as a coach is the unavoidable truth that he was an exceptional teacher. Among the academic and teaching awards he received at Summit were the 2003 Star Ledger Scholars Teacher Award, 2004 Summit High School Faculty Teachers Award, 2005 Union County Best Teachers Award, and 2006 Howard Anderson Coaching and Teaching Award. His standards and expectations of performance in the classroom were high and were echoed on the field of play.

Man, myth, legend. “The Hawk,” as he was known by his teammates, was the epitome of courage and strength. He was a fighter and a motivator, a role model warrior who battled on until his last day. He touched so many lives as an educator, coach, mentor, father, son, treasured friend and husband. Peter was a kind, humble, and loving soul. His charismatic personality along with his wit and the twinkle in his eye could make anyone who just met him feel like they had known him for years. He loved to smile and laugh and kid people. He knew that life was not just about being successful in school or at work; the most important thing was to be a good person. Peter not only spoke about having a good heart and a positive character, but demonstrated these characteristics in all his interactions with people. 

He first met his soulmate, Mariann, in 1985 while taking grad school classes at Kean College. It was love at first sight for them both, and since then they have been inseparable. The best of friends, lovers, each the other’s biggest fan, Peter and Mariann are a perfect example of what true love looks like. In 1989, they welcomed their first born, Katherine Mary, into their lives. In 1991 came Allison Mae. Both Katie and Allie would follow in their father’s footsteps to become teachers and coaches. The youngest, Laura Lee Elizabeth, was born in 1994. All three daughters were coached by their father and eventually went on to be exemplary collegiate athletes, just like their Dad. Peter taught his girls compassion, humility, strength, and resilience. He taught them to always try to make the right choice, even if it might be the more difficult one. He taught them to not sweat the small stuff.

Peter was an avid golfer and Baltimore Orioles fanatic. He was a voracious reader of history and a dedicated picker on the guitar, and a singer. By nature he was kind to everyone he met, and extremely generous. He couldn’t help but always root for the underdog. He will be sorely missed by his family, friends, and former students and athletes.

Peter is survived by his beloved wife of 30 years, Mariann (nee Zaranka) Tierney, his loving mother Ellen Tierney, and cherished daughters Katie Tierney, Allie Tierney and her fiancée John Moll, and Laura Tierney and her boyfriend Tyler Eck. Peter was predeceased by his father James Tierney.     

Peter will be in our hearts forever, but he now has a new role: He is our greatest guardian angel. Peter would never want us to mourn his passing, but rather to celebrate life. So, as Peter would often say in his gentle way, with a hand reaching out for your shoulder, or arm or hand: “Peace, God bless, and always be kind to one another.”

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

TAPinto Spotlight on Business Features New Providence Dentistry

July 17, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - TAPinto "Summer Spotlight on Business" features local businesses and their owners who are important to our communities. Follow this column to receive a fresh perspective on small business owners and their unique needs while shining a spotlight on their stories.

This edition features New Providence Dentistry, operated by Dr. Beth Herko and her staff of ...

Avoiding 10% Tax Penalty

Do you want access to money from your retirement accounts but aren't sure of the real costs involved?

Most retirement accounts have a set age requirement you must reach before making penalty-free income distributions, which is usually 59.5 but can sometimes be as early as age 50. If you decide to access your accounts earlier, you could face penalties ranging from 10%-25%, which is not ...

Enjoy a Lifetime of Discovery in Union County Parks

July 18, 2018

July is National Parks and Recreation Month, and Union County residents are invited to celebrate this year by exploring “undiscovered” programs and activities found throughout the nearly 6,200 acres of the Union County parks system.

“Union County was one of the very first counties in the United States to establish its own county-based park system for nature conservation and ...

Union County Honored for History Projects

ELIZABETH, NJ - The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that two national achievement recognitions for history projects have been presented to the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, a division of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

“Union County is rich in history, and this Freeholder Board is committed to engaging the public with ...

Union County College Foundation’s 3rd “Close the Gap” Campaign Surpasses Goal

CRANFORD, NJ – With over 150 guests and volunteers in attendance, the Union County College Foundation surpassed their goal and raised nearly $55,000 at their 3rd Annual Close the Gap Campaign cocktail reception. Held on July 11, in the Richel Student Commons at the College’s Cranford campus, this campaign was developed by a small group of dedicated community volunteers to support the ...

ReNew Salon and Spa Welcomes Senior Stylist Joan Mormilo

GILLETTE, NJ - ReNew Salon and Spa welcomes Senior Stylist Joan Mormilo to their staff. Mormilo brings with her over 20 years of excellent customer service in the salon and spa industry.

She has extensive product knowledge, focuses on keeping up-to-date on industry standards and practices, believes in mentoring young stylists, and is a team player who strives to ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 12, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_c8cb6b45d2b342be3cbb_nancy_ori

Sat, July 21, 10:30 AM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Cuba: Observations of a Photographer

Arts & Entertainment Travel

Sat, July 21, 10:30 AM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Cuba: Observations of a Photographer at NPML

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, July 22, 2:00 PM

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Moths and other Pollinators

Education Green

Carousel_image_634bcda860ed17650f72_93a8625c-ce9d-413f-a61e-4b2df4fe0604

Tue, July 24, 3:00 PM

Grillestone Restaurant , Scotch Plains

Hear the Story of Amelia Earhart, America's Most ...

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_e6c7d5b8a558926ee4c5_8e2f7c3f3d7547130a87_swim_team_2

Tue, July 24, 5:30 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Summit Area YMCA Swim Team Tryouts July 24th

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_e6c7d5b8a558926ee4c5_8e2f7c3f3d7547130a87_swim_team_2

Tue, July 24, 5:30 PM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Summit Area YMCA Swim Team Tryouts July 24th

Health & Wellness

Special June Episode of 'Berkeley Heights Here & Now' Features 6th Annual Street Fair

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – The Berkeley Heights Communications Committee (BHCC) today announced a special edition of Berkeley Heights Here & Now is available on the Township website, www.berkeleyheightstwpnj.gov.

 

The special episode features the 6th Annual Berkeley Heights Street Fair held on June 24 and includes onsite interviews with attending residents/visitors, event ...

And Over Here is the Dining Hall 2

My very first job in admissions was while I was still an undergraduate myself as a tour guide.  Very early on they indoctrinated us with some tricks of the trade.  It’s a dining hall, not a cafeteria.  A residence hall, not a dorm.  If you have to divulge some negative bit of information, sandwich it between two positives.  There were instructions for glossing over ...

Women Have Special Financial Needs That Advisors Overlook

Women have special financial needs that advisors overlook in two ways: 1) advisors don’t always acknowledge the different planning needs women have and 2) advisors don’t always communicate well with female clients – especially if the client comes to a meeting with her husband. It’s very common for a male advisor to spend much or most of the face time in meetings talking to ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...