Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Thomas J. Moran Jr., 85
Thomas J. Moran Jr. of Shelton, owner of TJ Moran’s restaurant in Westport for several years, died Nov. 15. He was 85.
Thomas J. Moran Jr.: owned Westport restaurant. Contributed photo
He was born in Scranton, Pa. on Jan. 25, 1928, the son of the late Thomas J. Moran Sr. and Florence Riley Moran. A musical prodigy, he began playing the piano at age 5 and was invited to attend The Juilliard School.
At the age of 16, he began touring with the Dorsey Brothers, Glenn Miller, Gene Krupa and Benny Goodman. He played in the Connecticut music scene as a regular band member with Frank Wojnarowski and Joey Zelle’s Casa Ritz Orchestra, the regular club orchestra at the Ritz Ballroom on Bridgeport’s Pleasure Beach.
He and Irene wrote and produced a number of musicals in Huntington where they raised their family. He was the owner of TJ Moran’s in Westport for several years, with his piano bar the center of the popular lounge at 36 Elm St., now home to Villa Del Sol since 1998.
In recent years as a resident of Gardner Heights Health Care Center in Shelton, he made a new generation of fans as he continued to delight residents, staff and patients with his musical talent.
He is survived by his children, Mary Beth Nelsen (Keith), Patricia Moran, Peggy Freeman (Patrick), Tom Moran, Michael Moran (Kate), Susan Kovacs; grandchildren, Matthew Troia (Heidi), Michael Kwiatkowski, Morgan Wolff (Laurel), Kelly Nelsen (Chris), Christian Nelsen, Seth Nelsen, Mary Freeman, Rich Kovacs, Kelly Moran, Michael Moran, Nicholas Kovacs, Emily Kovacs, great-granddaughter, Abbi Moran-Kay, mother of his children Irene Moran, daughter of his heart, Nancy Rogers, and second wife, Harriet Moran.
He was predeceased by sister, Carole Moran, daughter, Colleen Taylor, infant children Matthew and Anne, and granddaughter, Renay Troia.
There will be a memorial Mass at Church of the Good Shepherd, 135 Mountain Road, Seymour, on Monday, Nov. 25, at 11 a.m.
Donations are suggested in his name to the Salvation Army to help those affected.
Comments: Comment Policy
Main Street, without TJ Moran’s, has never been the same since! Right in the vicinity of Onion Alley ... Westport at its peak!
Hasn’t been the same since ... never will be again! Play that song, TJ!