Philip worked as a maintenance man
at the New York Police Department's 75th Precinct
for many years and retired from that position. He also worked in the
Brooklyn Navy Yard, probably in the 40s and 50s according to his
daughter Liz. Liz also said that for a time her parents were the
superintendents of a building, which was what so many Irish did to get
started in the New York. One of his sons remembered when he was a child
living in the family home in Brooklyn, he was "snooping" around in the
basement and found some old photographs of his father as a young man
dressed like a barman standing behind a bar. Philip was probably
working at the bar at the time. In addition to his job with the police
department Philip always had a couple of additional part time jobs
according to his son.
Philip in what appears to be a uniform of some sort. He is not known to
have served in the military service, however, it could be a uniform of
the State or National Guard or some sort of Police Reserve uniform.
Each Saint Patrick’s Day, Philip
would take his children out of school and take them to the Saint
Patrick’s Day Parade in Manhattan. He reminded the children that if
they got separated in the crowds of hundreds of thousands they should
seek out a policeman for help.
Philip was an usher at Saint
Fortunata’s Catholic Church. He would normally go to the early Mass
with about 3 of the children then Mary would go to a later Mass with the
remaining 5 children.
Eventually, with growing concerns
about their East Brooklyn neighborhood and the building of housing
projects in the area, Philip and Mary decided to move their family out
of the city and bought a house on a mountain-top in Worcester, New York.
At the time the couples children, Alice, Thomas and Mary were still
living at home and moved with them up state.
Another reason for the move may have
been Mary’s health. It seemed that she had developed some sort of
seizures. Her daughter Liz remembered when the condition was first
noticed. Liz and her sister Catherine were talking in the kitchen of
the family home in Brooklyn one afternoon and they heard their mother in
the next room making noises. They thought she was mimicking them and
passed off the noises. The room Mary was in was darkened as evening had
fallen. When Liz and Catherine went into the room to talk with their
mother they found her in the midst of a seizure. They had no telephone
in the house so they went to neighbors and called for medical
assistance. Mary was eventually put on a medication called dilanton,
which helped with the condition. The family noted that when they were
on summer vacations in up state New York the condition seemed to be
improved. Thus, Mary’s condition was thought to be another reason for
the move up state.
Liz said that she remembered her
mother talking about having taken a fall and receiving a bad bump on the
head. There was some thought that the head injury might have been the
cause of the Mary’s seizures. In addition to the seizures Mary had been
plagued with a bad back. According to her daughter Liz, Mary
“suffered terrible back aches in her later years, probably because of
the work she did while helping with the building superintendent tasks
years earlier and having eleven children (she lost 3 in early
The house they moved into in
Worcester and the whole environment there was a far cry from what they
left in Brooklyn. The house had no lights or indoor toilet facilities
and was located 5 or 6 miles from the highway. At night they found
their way up the hill to the house by listening to the sounds of the
creek which ran parallel to their path.
For the first several years that
they lived in Worcester, Philip commuted to work in New York City.
During the week, he would stay in the city with his daughters Cathy and
Liz and Liz’s friend Joan who had an apartment there. Then on Friday,
he would take a bus for the 4-hour ride up state to join the family for
Talking about this country house
many years later, their daughter Mary recalled that she was always
concerned about her father making the journey from the highway after
having a couple of drinks and winding up in the creek. Although that
didn't happen, she recalled one time when her brother Dan was carrying
groceries up the hill and indeed did fall into the creek - groceries and
After living in the rustic house on
the hilltop, Philip and Mary bought a big 16-room house in nearby East
Worcester. The house was fully furnished with antiques and according to
their daughter Mary, her parents paid $3500 for the place.
Philip's grandson Philip Tinneny of
Rosedale, Queens, New York, remembered visiting his grandparents place
up state when he was a small child. He remembered that during these
visits his grandfather helped him make things out of wood in his shop.
After moving to Worcester, Philip
continued to be very active in church activities including service as an
usher for Sunday Masses.
It was while Philip was commuting
back and forth from New York City to Worcester that he began having
discomfort in his stomach. He eventually had a work physical including
x-rays and the problem was diagnosed as a stomach virus. The pain
increased and eventually he was examined at a local hospital in
Worcester. A surgeon operated on him and found that he had advanced
cancer of the stomach, which had spread to other organs. There was
nothing the surgeon could do but sew him back up. He had a very painful
time and his daughter Liz said that near the end his stomach was very
large and distended with the cancer. He died in Worcester, New York in
July 1964. He was buried in St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church,
183-185 Main Street, hamlet of Worcester Town of Worcester, Otsego
County, New York. His wife Mary died
in November, 1983.
Philip's descendants includes all Tinnenys from
Staten Island, NY and their Botte, Volkert, Aquila, Ciccarelli
and O' Shea descendants.