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Thomas 'TJ' Tunney Jr., 62, Wilton Police Department Sergeant

Thomas Tunney
Thomas Tunney Photo Credit: Deborah Burnley

STAMFORD, Conn. – Sgt. Thomas J. Tunney Jr., known to many as "TJ," lifelong resident of Stamford and a member of the Wilton Police Department for 31 years, died Sunday, Jan. 3. He was 62.

During his time with the Wilton Police Department, he received many awards for his service, including the law enforcement award in 2009 from American Red Cross and the First Responder Hero Award in 2014. In 2012 he was awarded the Wilton Police Department Medal of Valor, the New England Association-Chiefs of Police Medal of Valor and the American Red Cross Hero's Award for an incident where he rescued a crash victim from a burning car.

In May 2011, while off duty on I-95 in Darien, he witnessed a reckless driver cause an accident in which a gasoline tanker rolled onto its side and attempted to save the occupants while the truck was on fire. He then detained the suspect who was attempting to leave the scene.

In June 2008, Tunney, along with Off. Phillipson and Off. Barrett located a woman in her car and in labor at Splash Car Wash. They assisted in delivering the baby, which had an umbilical cord wrapped around its neck. Both mother and child are doing well.

He is survived by his sister Kathryn Tunney Mindlin; nephew George M. “Skip” Dana III; nieces Stephanie Dana Schmidt, Michelle Dana Rutledge and Melissa Dana Robinson; three great-nephews; four great-nieces; and four cocker spaniels.

He was predeceased his father, Thomas J. Tunney Sr.; mother, Kathryn Hagan Tunney; sisters Patricia Tunney, Elizabeth Ann Tunney and Dana Tunney; and brother Daniel J. Tunney.

Wilton police will hold a celebration of Tunney's life at the Ponus Yacht Club in Stamford Thursday at 6 p.m. Tickets are $40, with proceeds benefiting the Tunney family funeral expenses.

The family invites the public to join them Saturday at 11:30 a.m. for a celebration of life mass at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church, 1200 Shippan Ave., Stamford. Interment will be private.

The Nicholas F. Cognetta Funeral Home & Crematory is assisting the Tunney Family with the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations are being accepted to Wilton Police Benevolent Association, 240 Danbury Road Wilton, CT 06897 and The Connecticut Hospice, 1 Park St., Norwalk CT 06851.

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