SLUZENSKI, THOMAS 65 - was born in Camden, NJ on May 31, 1948 to the late Benjamin and Helen Sluzenski and died on March 19, 2014 in a car accident outside the city of Brisbane, Australia. His family moved to Brigantine, NJ in 1959 where Tom attended Brigantine and Atlantic City Public Schools, graduating from Atlantic City Votech (now the Schoolhouse Apt) in 1967. Tom moved to Australia in 1970 and hired on as a deck hand on a shrimp trawler; better known as prawns in that country. Tom worked his way up to become a captain and eventually the owner/operator of several vessels plying the waters off The Great Barrier Reef, The Gulf of Carpentaria and the Indian Ocean. Tom enticed his sister Nancy and brother Richard to follow and they have all spent a lifetime working in the prawn fishing industry. Nancy met her future husband John, who was a Captain on another trawler, while working as a "deckie/cook" on one of Tom's boats. As Tom searched for the elusive Tiger and Banana prawn, the pursuer became like the pursued; a nomad bound to the sea, wandering the waters amongst the island nations of Southeast Asia. His ties to a singular place called home faded away and he became a "man without a country"; he lived and worked at various times in Malaysia, The Philippines, New Zealand, Australia, and Indonesia; his country was whatever solid piece of earth or deck was beneath his feet. He was the quintessential sailor/fisherman, working hard when it was time to work and partying hard when the work was done. He led an interesting and adventurous life, he will be missed by all who knew him. He is survived by his children, Ben (Cairns, Australia) and Mary Jane(Darwin, Australia); his sisters, Nancy Bruneton (John) Dunsborough, Australia, Janet Adams, Millville NJ, and Linda Guntner (Dave) Upper Township NJ; by brothers, Richard, Brisbane Australia, Michael (Mary) Brigantine NJ and Ralph, Atlantic City NJ. In lieu of flowers; throw a couple of prawns on the barbie this summer, uncork a cold one and drink a toast to Tom. The world has lost a truly nice guy.

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(1) entry

ppooley1948

Growing up & hanging out with Tom until he left for Australia were always good times! We were so silly as kids and had so much fun together. He was one of the nicest people I have ever known and he always made me laugh, oh, did he make me laugh! The last time I talked to him on the phone was here in Montana in 2003 I think, it was so nice to hear his voice, same Tommy. 😊. Even though I hadn't seen him in so many years, he was still my friend and I am so sorry that he is gone, he will be greatly missed. If anyone has pictures that they would like to share, they can be emailed to yelooptap@yahoo.com
We will miss you Tom!
Pat (Bewley) Pooley

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