Thomas E., of Ramsey and Mahwah, NJ, died on Monday evening, March 11 following a short illness of pneumonia. He died in Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, NJ, after a short stay. He was to celebrate his 84th birthday next week on March 19. He was the son of John Young Dater, the third JYD, and Eleanor Gott Dater of Grove St., Ramsey, NJ. Survivors are his wife, Joan Lutz Dater, and a son, Christopher Edward Dater. He was predeceased by a daughter, Gretchen Joyce, 20, who died in the terrorist bombing of Pan American Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, on Dec. 21, 1988. Both he and his wife have been active in the advocacy work of Victims of Pan American Flight 103. He served on the Scottish Cairn Committee to build a Cairn in memory of the 270 victims at Arlington Cemetery, Arlington, VA. Tom was a graduate of Ramsey High School, several trade schools in the printing industry and attended Jersey City State Teacher's College and then Princeton University
where he remains a member of the Class of 1951. He was then employed by the National Broadcasting Company in New York City as a guide and then inside company announcer. In 1953 he joined his father in Ramsey who was then publishing the weekly newspaper, "The Ramsey Journal," that covered four local towns surrounding Ramsey. Later on, Tom expanded the newspaper and re-named It "The Home and Store News." He widened its coverage to include 13 towns in Northwest Bergen and Rockland Counties. He then sold the paper in 1994 and it was continued to be published for several years more. Tom was active as a community leader. In the 1950's he helped to organize the Junior Football Assoc. and served as a coach. During his long business involvement, he served as Bergen County Coroner in 1962-65; President of the Ramsey Volunteer Fire Department, serving as a firefighter for 25 years. He was awarded exempt status. He served as President of the Ramsey Library Association and campaigned for and supervised the construction of the The Ramsey Free Public Library. It was dedicated in 1968. He was the Director and president of the former Ramsey's Savings and Loan. He served as President of the Ramsey Chamber of Commerce when in 1995 he received the Chamber's "Man of the Year" award. He was active in several local historical societies and advocated for the preservation of the Old Stone House on Island Rd., Ramsey. He sponsored the drive to save the House after its 50-year lease was up. He purchased the House and property and transferred ownership to the Borough of Ramsey. He served as Ramsey's historian and has personally preserved the newspaper archives and town documents. He was an elder in the First Presbyterian Church, Ramsey, and served as Clerk of Session. In 2008 he was chosen to lead the Ramsey 100-Year Celebration in the town-wide parade as Grand Marshall. The Bergen Highland Ramsey Rotary Club
recently recognized his achievements by awarding him the Dr. William H. Kelly Community Service Award, given occasionally to a deserving citizen. He had been working with his son in property management, Dater Realty Co., Inc. in downtown Ramsey. Visitation will be held on Friday, March 15, from 2-4 and 7-9 PM at the Van Emburgh-Sneider-Pernice Funeral Home, 109 Darlington Ave., Ramsey. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, March 16, at 11 AM in the First Presbyterian Church, 15 Shuart Lane, Ramsey. Interment will follow at Redeemer Cemetery, Chapel Rd., Mahwah, NJ. A repast will follow the burial at the Ramsey Fire House on 25 South Island Ave., Ramsey. Donations may be made in lieu of flowers, to the Ramsey Volunteer Fire Dept., in name of Tom Dater, P.O Box 164, Ramsey, NJ 07446. Please send tributes, memories and expressions of condolence to the Internet address: www.vanemburghsneider.com
Published in The Record/Herald News on 3/14/2013.