- Deceased's name: J. Robert Tracey
- Age: 87
- Date: Sept. 26, 2012
- Hometown: Morristown
Bob was recognized as one of Morris County's most dedicated volunteers in civic as well as veterans services.
A livelong resident of Morristown, he was best known as the Morristown Postmaster for nearly 30 years, from 1961 to 1989. He was a Charter Member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Morris County. He was active in services that directly benefit and honor military veterans. A veteran himself, he served in the Navy during WWII, in the NJ National Guard and in the Army during the Korean Conflict. For more than 50 years, Bob was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5461 and of American Legion Post 59, Morristown, where he was past commander. He also served as an American Legion vice commander and State Vice Commander. Additionally, he was a member of the Jewish War Veterans of America, which honored him with its Community Relations Plaque for his involvement in civic and veterans affairs and its State Citizen of the Year. Bob also was a trustee of Amvets Post at Lyons Veterans Administration Hospital, where he contributed more than 2100 volunteer hours in patient support since 1993.
For 25 years, Bob was a member of the Morristown and Morris Township Veteran's Day and Memorial Day Committee. He served as its ceremonial officer and chaired the committee. For 20 years he was a member of the Morris County Veterans Service Officer Committee, and for over 15 years, he co-hosted a weekly radio program that provided information for veterans.
Bob also worked to maintain historic sites. As chairman of the Morristown Monuments and Statues Restoration Committee, he led the effort and helped raise more than $100,000 to clean and repair memorials in the community. He also volunteered his professional training as a carpenter to help restore the Community Theater.
Bob served six years as a member of the Morristown Board of Alderman and nearly 30 years on the Morristown Juvenile Conference Committee. He was a member of the Morristown "Christmas on the Green" committee since 1979 and of the Morristown Recreation Committee since 1989. Bob shared his love of sports with the community's young people. He was a former Police Athletic League (PAL) boxing coach, Little League coach, and served as a member and director of the Babe Ruth Baseball Middle Atlantic Tournament. He also coached the Assumption Church CYO girls basketball team, St. Elizabeth' College basketball team and was a member of Coach Flynn's Boys Football Committee.
Among his numerous honors, Bob received Morristown's Unsung Hero Award, the Town of Morristown Distinguished Service Award, service awards from the Mayors of Morristown, Morris Township, Morris Plains and the County of Morris, the Morris County Grand Juror Award, and the Knights of Columbus Patriot Award. In 2000, he was inducted into the Morristown High School Wall of Fame. He also was cited by the Morris and Sussex County units of the American Heart Association, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Morris County Voluntary Action Center, and the Morris County Historical Society, among others for contributions to those organizations. In March, 2001 he was selected as Grand Marshall of the St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Bob graduated from St. Margaret's Catholic School and Morristown High School. He was a parishioner at St. Margaret's Church, Morristown and an usher for over 60 years. He was a member of its Ministry of Christian Care, the Legion of Mary and the Knights of Columbus. In 2009 he received the Vivere Christus Award for many years of dedicated service St. Margaret's Church.
On July 4, 2012, the Town of Morristown dedicated the park at South Street & Madison Ave. to the J. Robert Tracey Veterans Memorial Park
Bob is survived by his wife, Mary (Loreto), and four daughters; Kathleen Dabinett, Toms River; Mary Jane Cullen, Brookhaven, NY; Deborah Morris, Mount Arlington and Patricia Pellegrino, Morris Township, his four sons-in-law, George, Brian, Layne and Ronald, 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Margaret's Church, Morristown, NJ on Monday at 11:00AM. Entombment Holy Rood Cemetery. Hours of visitation at the Doyle Funeral Home, 106 Maple Ave., Morristown on Sunday from 2-6PM.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Veterans Memorial Park. Send to Town of Morristown, 200 South Street, P.O. Box 914, Morristown, NJ 07960. Make check out to Bob Tracey Contribution, Town of Morristown.