Jeffrey Joseph Tinley, Sr., 66, passed away on September 3, 2021.
Born in East Northport, NY on July 4, 1955, Jeff grew up close to the Long Island Sound.
In 1973, he entered SUNY Stony Brook and ultimately obtained a degree in English and Environmental Studies. Part of the curriculum included meeting his future wife, Marygaye Lynch, in statistics class. During college, he drove a mustang, worked as a locksmith, and catered for banquet halls.
Jeff loved reading and writing and decided to employ those talents as a lawyer. He completed law school cum laude at St. John's University in 1980 in the top two percent of his class. Jeff and Marygaye married the same year, and he began a respected career in litigation at Cummings & Lockwood in Stamford. Soon after, the Tinleys moved to Orlando because Jeff had been recruited by Robert Merkle to serve as an Assistant United States Attorney there. As an AUSA, he handled both civil and criminal matters and earned two DOJ special achievement awards for his exceptional work. After three years in Florida, the Tinleys moved back north to Farmington, where Jeff worked at Gager Henry as a partner in commercial litigation. Soon after, Jeff founded his own firm in Waterbury, Tinley, Nastri & Renehan (now Tinley, Renehan, & Dost). The Tinley family settled in Southbury, where they raised four boys on Lake Lillinonah.
Jeff had a career-long interest in fairness and took on difficult cases involving both medical and legal malpractice. He was scrupulously ethical and committed to the legal profession. As an active member of the Connecticut Bar Association, he served on the Professionalism and CLE Committee and on the Professional Discipline Executive Committee. He was generous with his time and talents and enjoyed taking on pro bono cases, serving as the town attorney of Southbury, and advocating for environmental preservation as a board member of the Friends of the Lake. In 2011, Chabad Lubavitch of Northwest Connecticut named him Man of the Year. As a litigator at a small firm, he frequently stood as the David to the Goliath. He never shrank from a challenge and was a fierce advocate for his clients and anyone in his life that sought his help.
Jeff was selflessly devoted to his family, his wife of 41 years and four sons. In his spare time, Jeff was a tinkerer. There was nothing that he couldn't take apart and put back together. He put in showers, laid flooring and tiling, built cabinetry, and transformed a pontoon boat into a new dock. He also loved being on the water. At the age of 17, he acquired his first boat, a 14 ft. power boat that nearly met her end in flames on the Long Island Sound after a crabbing expedition. In Southbury, he taught his sons and their friends to enjoy power boats, kayaks, canoes, and water skiing. In his last years, he introduced his granddaughters to the lake and the pleasure of eagle watching.
He was predeceased by his parents, James and Adeline Tinley, and his beloved youngest son, Kevin McPhillips Tinley. He is survived by his wife, Marygaye Tinley; his children, Jeffrey Tinley, Jr. and Gina Di Salvo, James Tinley and Hannah Vahl, and Christopher Tinley and Ivette Tapia; his grandchildren, Adeline DiSalvo-Tinley, Bernadette DiSalvo-Tinley, and Nora Vahl-Tinley; and his brother and sister-in-law, Dennis and Mary Tinley; his sisters-in-law, Kathleen Lynch and Emily Kahn; and nephews, Sean Lynch and James Nuttall, Brian Lynch, Michael Tinley, and Christopher Falcioni.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, September 10th at 11am at Sacred Heart Church in Southbury. Services also will be streamed via Carpino Funeral Home website https://www.carpinofuneralhome.com. Covid-19 mitigation and prevention protocols, including masks and social distancing, will be observed.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Friends of the Lake https://friendsofthelake.org, St. James Lutheran Preschool https://stjamesct.org, or the Knoxville Jewish Day School https://www.kjds.org/.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jeffrey Joseph Tinley, Sr., please visit our floral store.
Friends of the Lake
P.O. Box 403, Bridgewater CT 06752
St. James Lutheran Preschool
111 Peter Road, Southbury CT 06488
Knoxville Jewish Day School
1529 Downtown West Boulevard, Knoxville TN 37919-5407