John J. Karole
1925 - 2019
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John J. Karole

Ridgewood - John J. Karole, the loving husband of the late Jean Brewster Karole, died peacefully at his home in Ridgewood on August 28, 2019.

Born in Jersey City on January 12, 1925, son of the late Joseph A. and Helen E. Jurgielski Karole and older brother to the late Leon Karole, John was a member of the Class of 1943 at Regis High School in New York City. He attended Yale University and entered the United States Naval Officer Reserve V12 program in November 1943. In the summer of 1945, John continued officer training at University of Notre Dame and then served in the South Pacific and Far Eastern Theatres of Operation. A member of the Greatest Generation, he served as a deck and co-navigation officer on the hospital ship USS Comfort SSHS6 and was honorably discharged as an ensign. After the war, John returned to Yale University in September 1946, and he graduated in February 1949 with a degree in industrial administration. He received his MBA from Rutgers University in 1960.

John worked for American Appraisal for 32 years in various domestic and international sales and directorship positions; he also served on the company's board of directors for 7 years. John retired from the company in 1990.

On November 18, 1950, John married the love of his life, Jean Brewster, in Jersey City. He is survived by his children: Susan Reisman (Michael), Jean Nugent (Vincent), Thomas Karole (Anya), and Nancy Kennedy (David); he was predeceased by his son Kenneth Karole in 2018. John was a devoted grandfather to Mary Kay Mykytyn (Michael), Jean DiNapoli (John), Elizabeth Reisman, James Reisman, Caitlin Nugent, Katherine Karole, Brendan Nugent, Thomas Karole, Moira Nugent, Ariadna Karole, Peter Karole; and he adored his great-grandchildren, Lucas and Reis DiNapoli. He also leaves behind many nieces and nephews.

Family, friends, and faith were the centerpieces in John's life. A humble man, John trusted his children to do the right thing, and he trusted his faith to achieve the everlasting life he deserves. John's pleasures were modest: an engaging conversation, a few daily newspapers and a pair of scissors, an exciting baseball game or golf match, the nightly news, a good classical music station, a delicious meal with his family or friends, and perhaps a side of extra crispy bacon. He relished his golf outings with his sons, brother, nephew, and friends. Family gatherings were paramount in his life --- summer vacation rentals with his family in Ocean Beach, Bayhead, and Normandy on the Jersey Shore or Christmas dinner with the extended family.

Presiding as patriarch of a large family, John had seen his share of family drama, great joy and tragic loss; yet, through it all, he remained the steadfast rock, the veritable sage. As needed, he assumed "business mode" in order to transcend and prevail over life's challenges, guiding us all through our own individual travails and family hardships. He was also the quiet force that bound the family together. Perceptive, insightful, astute, Dad / Grandfather was not prone to lecture; he employed more of a Socratic method, asking the pertinent questions, delving into the heart of an issue, allowing us to arrive at the correct solution on our own --- or so we thought.

John Karole --- Dad, Grandfather, Uncle John --- lived a life that we will reflect upon for many years to come, a life that we will use as a model for our own lives. To paraphrase a popular bumper sticker, we will be asking ourselves, "What Would Dad Do?" or "What Would Grandfather Do?" After a courageous battle on his own terms, John is finally at peace; and we can only hope that his love, wisdom, and example will continue to guide the rest of us through our lives.

Memorial contributions may be made in John Karole's name to Smile Train: PO Box 96231 Washington, DC 20090-6231 or

Arrangements will be handled by C.C. Van Emburgh Funeral Home, 306 E. Ridgewood Ave. Ridgewood, NJ 07450

Visitation: Friday September 6, 2019, 4 pm to 7 pm.

Mass: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Saturday, September 7, 2019, 10:30 am.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Record/Herald News on Sep. 5, 2019.
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2 entries
September 9, 2019
To all the Karole kids,
My parents and your parents were dear friends (your mom always had a watch broken for cocktail time!). I remember your Dad with the train and Byers Choice set up at Xmas. I think it took him about a month. He treated your Mom like a Queen. It was always "Yes Dear". He was a wonderful man. He even came to my father's funeral mass. Awesome . He and Jean are together again.
Meredith Nelson
September 5, 2019
Eternal Affection Arrangement- BASKET INCLUDED
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