Eugene P. Barden
AGE: 86 • Little Ferry
Barden, Eugene P. 86, of Little Ferry, passed away peacefully after a courageous battle with cancer on Saturday, March 26, 2016. He was born January 24, 1930, in Jersey City, the youngest son of Dr. Edward & Lucille Barden. Soon after, the strains of the Great Depression resulted in the rapid evaporation of the family's wealth, a circumstance that would leave a lasting impression on the young boy. As a youth, he tested his Mom's patience often. Always a free spirit, formal education was an afterthought. Charged with making money to help support his family, he worked as a shoeshine boy, a paper delivery boy & a dock worker. At the same time, he pursued his passions such as horseback riding while working as a stable boy, becoming a champion swimmer in high school, and a golden glove boxer. He was voted "Most Likely to End Up in Jail" while attending Snyder High and ran off with his best friend, Don Mullin, to join the Trenton State Carnival. Upon his return, he decided to enlist in the Army rather than graduate. He was proud of his service to his country and bragged that he played halfback for an elite Army football team. The Army straightened this wild-child out and after his honorable discharge he returned to Jersey City where he met an angel sent from heaven named Margie Breheney. They married in June 1952, moved to "the sticks" of Little Ferry, and began raising a family. Her strength and love proved the jail prediction wrong. Part of "The Greatest Generation", Gene became a doer. He joined his beloved brother Lee and developed Manning Bros, one of the premier flooring companies in New Jersey. He was elected Mayor of Little Ferry and later served on the Council for 21 years. He loved to hunt, so he organized and was President of the Little Ferry Hunt & Bow Club. Inspired by his older brother Lee, a Merchant Marine sea captain, he bought a boat. His maritime adventures included travelling the inter-coastal waterway to Florida with Margie and friends as well as multiple fishing trips and family excursions. He was a quietly religious man and felt proud about raising significant money to build St Margaret's of Cortona in Little Ferry. He loved sports, was President of the Little Ferry Boys Club and coached several Football and Baseball teams. Above all Gene valued his family. He is pre-deceased by his wife, Margaret, who he honored by hosting a family reunion each year since her death. He is also predeceased by his son and business partner Eugene M. Barden as well as his brothers Edward and Lee and his sisters Mildred Warren and Lucille Brock.
Surviving him are his daughters Margaret (of Houston, TX), Adrianne (of Dallas, TX), Heide (of Pembrook Pines, FL), Genevieve (of Raynham, MA) and Rachael (of Lake Elsinore, CA) and his sons Leon (of Morganville, NJ), Michael (of Morganville, NJ) and Joseph (of Hillsdale, NJ). "G-Pa" as he was known by his 22 grandchildren, was a warm and generous man who deeply loved and supported his family and, in turn, was loved and cherished by each of them. We all miss him.
Funeral from Costa Memorial Home Boulevard and Central Ave. Hasbrouck Heights on Thursday, March 31st at 8:45 AM. Funeral Liturgy from St. Margaret of Cortona R.C. Church, Little Ferry at 10 AM. Interment following at George Washington Memorial Park, Paramus. Visitation Wednesday, March 30th from 2 - 4 & 7 - 9 PM. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in his name to American Cancer Society
(and quit smoking!). For directions or to send online condolences, please visit www.CostaMemorialHome.com
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Published by Asbury Park Press on Mar. 28, 2016.