Master Michael “Mike” J. Torpey, 97, of Lakewood and formerly of Locust, passed away on Tuesday, November 7 after a brief illness. Mike was born on July 7, 1920 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to Stephen and Amelia Schwartz Torpey. He graduated from Lehigh University in 1941 where he was a star quarterback for the football team.
Upon graduation, he enlisted in the Army where he became a decorated member of the Airborne Army Rangers in World War II serving in the South Pacific. He was awarded the Purple Heart in 1942 and 1944, the Bronze Star in 1942 and the Silver Star in 1944.
After the war, Mike pursued a career in journalism where he was editor-in-chief for various magazines and newspapers. Inspired by his love for horses as a young boy, Mike founded Hidden Hollow Farms in Middletown, where he ran an equestrian riding school. He was also the founder and president of Hidden Hollow Hounds Fox Hunting Club, leaders in the sport of fox hunting for decades. Upon his retirement, his daughter Mimi, took over the farm and continued the family business.
In addition to his parents, Mike was predeceased by his siblings, Stephen, Pat, Anita and Dolores; his pet chimpanzee of 20 years, Jocko; and his sidekick Jack Russell Terrier, JR. Mike is survived by his beloved wife of 44 years, Augusta C. Torpey; three daughters, Mary Jane (Jim) Weythman of Red Bank, Ruth “Rux” Galatro of Lynchburg, Virginia, and Mimi (Richard) Kesselman of Little Silver; eight grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Jean and Jackie. Mike is also survived by his sister-in-law, Dolores Widmann of Lakewood; a nephew, Christian Widmann of Fort Worth, Texas; and a niece, Diana (Christopher) Welch of Colts Neck, and their children, Austin, Morgan, Zachary and Lance.
Mike truly was the best at everything he pursued in life and he did it his way. He was one of a kind and will be missed by all who knew him.
Thompson Memorial Home, Red Bank, was in charge of arrangements. “Tally-Ho Mike!”
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