Thomas Millard Masteller, 81, passed away at his home in Westfield, New Jersey, surrounded by family, on Tuesday, November 14, 2023.
Tom was born on February 17, 1942, to Marvin Masteller and Ruth Thomas Masteller, and was raised in the hard coal region of eastern Pennsylvania. He graduated from East Stroudsburg University with a degree in education, and later earned his Master’s in Education from Wesleyan University.
Following college, Tom moved to New Jersey, where he began his teaching career in Westfield at Roosevelt Junior High School in the Social Studies Department. There he met and married his wife of 50 years, Wendy Ellen Koop, a fellow teacher from the Science Department. Together in Westfield they raised their two daughters, Carrie Elizabeth Masteller and Susan Leigh Masteller.
Tom had eclectic interests he passionately pursued, ranging from New Jersey Revolutionary War history to good scotch and cigars. His love of amateur photography developed into a small wedding and special events photography business in the ’80s and ’90s. Tom also had a love of brewing coffee, experimenting with every type of brew, and cooking, where his specialties were chili, cheesecake and deepfried turkey. He was, however, most well- known for his love of NASCAR, never missing a race and collecting all manner of Jeff Gordon memorabilia.
Tom and Wendy have been active members of the First Congregational Church of Westfield for over 40 years. He found great joy and camaraderie in being a member of the Chancel Choir. It was with the choir he had the opportunity to travel to and perform in famous churches in Salzburg, Austria and Leipzig, Germany. After retiring from teaching, Tom began a second career with Transportation Care, driving special-needs students to school and injured adults to medical appointments. He enjoyed this work and was appreciated by his coworkers and customers for his kindness and humor.
Tom is survived by his wife, Wendy Masteller; daughters, Susan Masteller and Carrie Brundage; son-in-law, Christopher Brundage; and granddaughters, Riley Elizabeth Brundage, Logan Olivia Brundage and Taylor Kathryn Brundage.
A Memorial Service will be held at the First Congregational Church of Westfield on Saturday, November 25, 2023, at 2 p.m., with a reception to follow in Patton Auditorium.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his honor to the First Congregational Church of Westfield Memorial Fund or the American Heart Association.
Arrangements are by Gray Funeral Home of Westfield.
November 23, 2023