🔵 Tommy G. was on the air at New Jersey 101.5 in the late night

🔵 He later hosted a podcast focused on Manalapan

🔵 Colleagues, friends shared memories with NJ 101.5's Steve Trevelise

Former New Jersey 101.5 host Tommy G died Monday after touching the lives of friends, colleagues and residents of Manalapan.

Tommy Gordon was the self-proclaimed "leader of the late night" from 2004-2009. He later worked at WCTC in New Brunswick before starting his own streaming program and then a podcast that focused on his adopted hometown of Manalapan.

A cause of death was not disclosed by his family. He was 67.

"He was a great, great guy. He was greatly respected, very kind. He's admired. He was loved by all. People looked to him for advice on lots of thing," Manalapan Mayor Mary Ann Musich told New Jersey 101.5. "He had this Facebook page that everybody checked in on every morning. You would say 'good morning' and, kind of catch up with everybody in town."

Musich said he served on the Manalapan Arts Council and always hosted Manalapan Day.

Former Mayor Susan Cohen, who was also on the arts council, said she received calls from all over the country when they learned of his death.

Tommy G's NJ101.5 official photos
Tommy G's NJ101.5 official photos (Gellman Images)

Ray Rossi

On the air Tuesday night, New Jersey 101.5 host Steve Trevelise talked about Gordon with close friends and colleagues. It was not a good day for Gordon's best friend, Ray Rossi. He couldn't believe the news when he heard from his former producer.

"Tom was bigger than life. He was as big as Manalapan is, which is a pretty decent-sized township," Rossi said. "He was the kind of guy who got involved in a lot of community affairs, a lot of community happenings and things like that. He was known not only for being an entertainer on the radio, like a PT Barnum type, but I'd say, without even being elected, he was a civic leader."

Rossi said that Tommy looked "vibrant" when he saw him at the recent wake for former New Jersey 101.5 promotions director Dave Kirby who passed away in March.

"He looked like he turned the clock back 10 years. So when I heard the news this afternoon I'm saying 'no, no, this can't be.' I mean it's too hard for me to fathom," Rossi said.

Tommy G on the air with WCTC
Tommy G on the air with WCTC (Suzanne Kirby)

Jeff McKay

Former traffic reporter Jeff McKay was also close to Tommy and considered him a brother. They talked almost daily. Tommy once acted as Jeff's agent and called him "relentless" when trying to land a job. After asking McKay what he thought was a fair salary Tommy turned around and asked for double the number. And a new laptop.

"Would you believe he got everything he asked for," McKay said.

McKay said he drove from Washington to his former hometown of Manalapan on Tuesday. He sensed a cloud hanging over the township when picked up dinner at a pizzeria.

"A woman comes in, almost in tears. And then says 'did you hear about Tommy G,'" Here she is she just walked into this pizzeria and it was literally just the way the day was here in Manalapan," McKay said. "That's the kind of impact he had on anyone."

Tommy G with Rep. Frank Pallone (L), Bert Baron
Tommy G with Rep. Frank Pallone (L), Bert Baron (Bert Baron)

Craig Allen

The former New Jersey 101.5 on-air personality was also a board op and engineer for both Tommy and Trevelise in 2004. Allen recalled Tommy came in with a prepared script for his first show and met then-nighttime host Mary Walter just before the show.

"Mary Walter walked up to Tom took his opening statement that he scripted out, ripped it in half and threw it in the garbage," Allen said.

Tommy was in shock and didn't know what to do. Allen assured Tommy that he just needed to be himself and everything would be fine.

"He opened up strong. I would jump up and down to help him rally and keep his energy up," Allen said. "The phone lines were flooded for some guy that no one had ever heard up before. At the end of the night, he turned to me and Wendy who was answering the phones and said, 'hey, it's really nice knowing you guys and meeting your guys. Give me your number just in case I never ever see you again. I want to stay in touch with you."

Tommy G
Tommy G (Gellman Images)

Rob Littleman

Rob was a producer for Big Joe Henry during his time with New Jersey 101.5. One night be was asked by program director Eric Johnson to fill in as producer for Tommy's talk program. After answering some calls, Tommy called him into the studio.

"He showed me the ropes of the board and like other callers have been saying he would give the shirt off his back to you. And he's like the father figure you will look up to in radio and that's what I felt in my heart," Littleman said.

New Brunswick colleague

Anne McGlynn, who ran the board for Tommy at radio station WCTC, called him funny and genuinely caring about his co-workers no matter their title.

"He was down to earth. He made you feel like you're his equal. And I didn't know him that well but I got to know him just by speaking through to him through the mic and hearing his conversations with his co-host.

Jackie Berman, another colleague from WCTC, said she and Tommy were close and he was like a little brother to her.

"He was there for me. People have no idea all the stuff that he did. He went to my mother's funeral. When my daughter was in the hospital he was there for me. He was always a great friend. And more important he loved his family more than anything. His family and his grandchildren were the love of his life," Jackie said. "I've been crying all day and my phone has been going off the hook with people knowing how upset I am about losing Tommy."

Tommy G's NJ101.5 official photos
Tommy G's NJ101.5 official photos (Gellman Images

Gary Gellman

Tommy often found himself on the other side of the lens of Gary Gellman's camera. The owner of Gellman Images, who also sponsored Tommy's podcast, recalled having lunch with Tommy at Wendy's in Manalapan to look at some proofs.

"We're sitting there looking at the photos. A lady across the restaurant would say 'are you Tommy G?' And he was so excited that people actually listen to the radio and listen to him," Gellman said.

Tommy also called Gellman when his mother passed away to offer his condolences.

"He started crying. Though Tommy had a big heart, bigger than we can imagine, he affected so many people and will be missed," Gellman said.

Tommy's funeral is Thursday.

Bert Baron contributed to this report

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