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In Memory of James Tormey Clare, a Fellow Researcher Who Made Valuable Contributions to Our Knowledge of Tormey History

On September 12, 2005, the Tormey Clan lost a great member with the passing of James Tormey Clare, a long-time friend, Fellow Researcher and valued contributor to the Tormey Family History Website. James Clare was passionate about his research and his work shall be valued by Tormeys and Clares for generations to come.


Following is a Reprint of James Clare's Obituary, as Was Published in the Pocono Record, September 15, 2005

James T. Clare, 72, of Greentown, [Pennsylvania], died Monday, [September 12, 2005], in VNA Hospice at Moses Taylor Hospital, Scranton.

Born in the Vailsburg section of Newark, N.J., he had lived the majority of his life in the Newark area and in Greentown since 1986.

He graduated from Seton Hall Prep in 1949 and Niagara University in 1953. He was at the top of the class in 1956 at Seton Hall Law School.

After law school, Mr. Clare joined the U.S. Air Force and served with the Judge Advocate General Corps until 1960. In 1960, he entered private practice, concentrating on complex civil and criminal litigation matters. His most well known case is State v. Funicello, a murder case in which he represented Victor Funicello who was sentenced to death for the 1967 for the murder of a Newark car salesman. During the appeals process of the case, the U.S. Supreme Court, in 1972, declared the New Jersey death penalty unconstitutional and overturned the death penalty that was imposed on the defendant.

In another well publicized case, Mr. Clare represented U.S. Steel in a suit by a number of Costa Rican families as a result of a spectacular bridge collapse in Costa Rica. In that case, a replica of the Costa Rican bridge was reconstructed for the jury in the Essex County courtroom in which the case was tried.

After leaving private practice in 1980, Mr. Clare became an assistant prosecutor in the Essex and Passaic County prosecutor's office and a deputy attorney general. Between 1980 and 1986, he prosecuted 43 homicide cases and obtained 42 convictions in Essex County alone.

Of Irish descent, Mr. Clare became enamored with the Irish people and Ireland and hitchhiked around the Emerald Isle. He was an accomplished Irish genealogist, composing his own family history. He also authored many articles on local history about Pike County.

Always interested in the Irish social and political consciousness, Mr. Clare's "Priest and Patriot: a Short Sketch of the Life of Michael Tormey," a 19th century Irish priest and political activist, was published and well received in Ireland in 2004.

Irish theater was also a hobby. Friendly with John B. Keane, a well known Irish playwright, Mr. Clare produced "Big Maggie," a Keane play that appeared on Broadway in 1983.

Mr. Clare was a member of St. Mary's Church, Ledgedale, and past commander of Post 100 AmVets, Vailsburg, N.J.

Surviving are two daughters, Anne Clare of Morristown, N.J. and Elizabeth Surman of New Providence, N.J.; two sons, Kevin Clare of Greentown and Patrick Clare of Whitehouse Station, N.J.; eight grandchildren; and one brother, John Clare. He was preceded in death by one son, James T. Clare, Jr.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at noon Friday, Sept. 16, in St. Mary's Catholic Church, Ledgedale, Wayne County. Interment will be in St. Mary's Cemetery.

Friends may call from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, at Preston Funeral Home, South Orange, N.J., and 9:30 to 11 a.m. Friday at Arthur J. Frey Funeral Home, Route 191, Village of LaAnna, South Sterling.

Memorial remembrances may be made to VNA Hospice, 301 Delaware Ave., Olyphant, PA 18447.

Related Links of Interest...




Pennsylvania Tormeys


James and Mary Tormey of Athleague, County Roscommon, sought refuge from the Great Potato Famine by emigrating to America. They ultimately settled in northeastern Pennsylvania...

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Father Michael Tormey: Priest and Patriot


Arguably, the greatest and most prominent anti-English voice in the post-Famine years in Ireland belonged to a young priest, Fr. Michael Tormey, a native of County Westmeath...

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Tormeys of Historical Note in Ireland


Over the past 400 years, various members of Tormey families have been recorded, primarily for their political activities against English rule of their homeland...

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