HOPATCONG -- John Patrick Kadimik died on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010, at St. Clare's Hospital/Denville, surrounded by his family. He was 85.
The only child of Zachary and Marie (Chapla) Kadimik, John was born on St. Patrick's Day 1925 in New York City. During the Depression, after a bout of scarlet fever, he moved with his parents to Wharton, where they opened The Sugar Bowl, a popular ice cream parlor, candy store and restaurant. He graduated from Wharton High School in 1943 where he was indispensable on the football team and was named to the All County basketball team. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the Army, anxious to serve his country. His tour of duty took him to Japan with the 484th Traffic Regulating Company where he was an integral part of the Transportation Corps that revitalized the post-World War II Japanese railway system.
Upon his return to the states, John worked for the Central Railroad of New Jersey as a station master in Rockaway. In 1947 he met the love of his life, cadet nurse Hazel Ann Ward. They married in 1948 and together founded Merry Heart Nursing Home in Succasunna in 1956. John attended Rutgers and New York Universities and earned his health care administrator's license. He was a member of the American College of Health Care Administrators and served on the Political Action Committee of the Health Care Association of New Jersey. He sponsored and actively participated in the Merry Heart-Greystone Project, returning individuals with mental health issues to the community to live and work. For many years, he hosted a volunteer breakfast prior to the Horseshoe Lake Easter sunrise service and provided Meals On Wheels to seniors.
He served his community well as a 50 year member and past president of the Roxbury Succasunna Kiwanis Club, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Roxbury Public Library and Treasurer of the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club. He was an active member of the Roxbury Township Historical Society and a lifetime member of the Lake Hopatcong Historical Society, and a long time member of the Lake Hopatcong Antique & Classic Boat Society.
John enjoyed competitive sports throughout his entire life. He was an avid skier, sailboat racer, tennis player and golfer, attaining his first hole in one at age 80! He traveled extensively including a trip around the world on the Concorde in 1990 and a bareboat charter in the British Virgin Islands with 'the boys' in 2006. Special destinations were Zermatt, Switzerland and Barbados. But his favorite places on earth were his beloved homes and surroundings on Lake Hopatcong and in Vermont where he could often be seen cruising the lake in his 1912 Fay & Bowen or skiing down a Green Mountain slope followed by a Stoli on the rocks in front of the fire.
John is survived by his devoted family, his wife of 62 years, Hazel Ward Kadimik, two children, his daughter, Candace A. Kadimik of Sea Girt, and his son, John P. Kadimik II and wife J. Kimberly (Powers) Kadimik of Hopatcong, and four grandchildren, Natashia and John P. Kadimik III and Alexander and Megan Ruiter and his beloved cat, Zeus.
Memorial services will be private. However, there will be a Celebration of John's Life for friends and family at a later date. Donations may be made in John's memory to the Lake Hopatcong Historical Society or the Roxbury Public Library.
'Lord, help us through our grief and loss, through valleys deep when Dad is gone. Then heal our hearts, renew our joy, grant us the strength to carry on.' -- Fitzhugh.
Published in The New Jersey Herald on Dec. 3, 2010.