Frank P. Reff, Jr. age 84, of Highland Park, died on Sunday, 24 January 2016 at his home. A life-long resident of Highland Park, he was proud to say, he worked his “whole” life (except for six years) in Highland Park to make it a great place to live.
Very active in the Boy Scouts, he received its leadership award for organizing and starting Troop #54 at Irving School, and for helping to start two cub-scout packs in Highland Park.
Frank attended Irving, Hamilton, and Highland Park High School, where he played freshman basketball and JV and Varsity football. In 1949, he and a group of male friends and neighbors started the Highland Park First Aid Squad. At the Squad, he held the office of chief driver for five years and was president for three years. Upon graduating high school in June 1950, the Korean War was breaking out into an all-out war. Frank volunteered and joined the U.S. Navy and spent his full tour of duty aboard the USS Osberg de538. He was honorably discharged a Gunners Mate 3rd Class.
Shortly after his discharge, Frank joined the Highland Park Police Department. Some of his duties were to provide escort and security for many dignitaries such as J.F. Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Gary Hart, and his favorite, Bishop Fulton Sheen. Frank was the lead investigator in the very first successful organized crime case in Middlesex County. He also graduated from the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA. Frank enjoyed a very distinguished law enforcement career before retiring in 1986.
After two years of retirement, Frank entered in the race for councilman and won five consecutive three-year terms. He initiated the first recycling program in Highland Park as well as the smoking ban in all public places.
Before Frank’s full time retirement, he was chief of maintenance official at Tree Tops Apartments for 14 years.
Frank spent many years as a volunteer with the recreation department; he coached little league baseball and organized the softball leagues. He was also a member of the National Thespian Society, FBI National Academy Associates, Third Degree Member of the Knights of Columbus Council #6306, a charter and life member of the Highland Park First Aid Squad, member of the Honor Legion and life member of PBA Local #64.
He was an avid Yankees fan, attending his first game at Yankees Stadium in 1939. He was also a Giants football fan attending several road trips with the Giants road crew.
Frank was pre-deceased by his parents, Frank Sr. and Pauline Reff and a step-son, Dennis M. Cahill.
He is survived by his loving wife, Anne, a sister, Victoria Matons and her husband, Claude of Hillsborough; five children, Jodi Reff of Hillsborough, Frank Reff , III and his wife, Sherrie of Mechanicsburg, PA, Paula Rosenfeld and her husband, Steve of Port Murray, N.J., Susan Odato and her husband, Robert of Highland Park, and Donna Kasapidis and her husband, Antonio of Piscataway, three stepchildren, Robert Cahill and his wife, Laura of Edison, Frank Cahill of Highland Park, and Joanne Tshoi and her husband Frank of Brooklyn, NY. Frank is also survived by 14 grandchildren and one great-grandson.
Funeral services took place on 28 January at 9 a.m. the Jaqui-Kuhn Funeral Home followed by the interment at Resurrection Burial Park in Piscataway. (www.jkfuneralhome.com) Memorial contributions may be made to the Highland Park First Aid Squad or the Homeside Hospice.