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John F., age 92, of Midland Park, formerly of Paramus, NJ died, Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center, Secaucus, NJ. John was born in Brooklyn, NY and had resided in Paramus before moving to Midland Park in 2004. John was employed by NY Telephone Company, New York, NY for 39 years retiring in the position of manager. While employed at NY Telephone, John served as former President of the Telephone Employee Organization which had over 11,000 members. Following his retirement, he was employed for 20 years at Beth Israel Hospital, Passaic, NJ. John is a US veteran having served in the Marine's during World War II attaining the rank of Corporal. He was a very active member of the VFW Post 6699. Paramus, NJ where he served as the Publicity Chairman, publishing a newsletters for the VFW Post and actively selling "Poppies" for Memorial Day right up to this past May. He was a former parishioner of Church of the Annunciation, Paramus, where he served on the Cornerstone Team. Currently, John was a parishioner of Church of the Nativity, Midland Park, serving as a Lector for many years. John was also an avid ice skater and taught lessons at the Bergen Mall outdoor rink. He was a "self- taught" bass harmonica player and became a member of the Garden State Harmonica Band, playing for Non-Profit events throughout Bergen County. John had a great love for public speaking and writing as reflected in teaching Public Speaking at Bergen Community College and being a frequent contributor to "Letters to the Editor" of the Bergen Record. John also had an article featured in the December 2013 Bergen County magazine "201", entitled "Sally Cohen scores a hit at The Tonight Show". John was very active and served as President of the Paramus High School PTA. One of John's proudest moments was being an integral part, serving as Chairman for the World War II Memorial that was erected at the "Circle of Honor" located on the grounds of the Bergen County Court House at Moore Street in Hackensack, NJ. John was predeceased by his beloved wife, Patricia A. (nee Rockwell) Rhatigan in 2009. Surviving John are his three daughters, Maureen Firth and her husband, Stephen of Haledon, NJ, Patrice Tobin and her husband, Frank of Midland Park and Lynn McVey of Hawthorne. Also surviving John are his two grandchildren, Matthew Gabbianelli and Murphy McVey. The family will receive friends on Thursday, July 10, 2014 from 4-8 PM at the Vander Plaat Funeral Home, www.vpfh.com, 257 Godwin Ave., Wyckoff, NJ. A Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, July 11, 2014 at 10:30 AM at the Church of the Nativity, 315 Prospect Street, Midland Park, NJ 07432. A private cremation will be held.
Vander Plaat Funeral Home
257 Godwin Avenue Wyckoff, NJ 07481
Published in The Record/Herald News on July 8, 2014