John F. Cali Jr., passed away after a courageous battle against lung cancer on November 27, 2015. He was 64. Born in Orange, N.J. he lived many years in Kearny before moving to Florham Park 14 years ago. His arrangements are being handled by The Armitage Wiggins Funeral Home 596 Belgrove Drive Kearny. www.armitagewiggins.com His wake, however at John's request, will be held at the Thiele Reid Funeral Home 585 Belgrove Drive, Kearny on Sunday from 3 until 7 p.m. and Monday from 4 until 8 p.m. His Mass will be held at St. Stephens Church at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday and entombment will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Hanover.
John "The Man with the Can" was a huge presence in Kearny. Generous, funny, kind and loyal are only a few words to describe this incredible man. John began his employment at the young age of 14 working in the family business for his father at Kearny Esso. He briefly worked for the Operating Engineers. He was also a talented all around contractor specializing in demolition and excavation. His skills were often called into service to moderate landfill fires. John's career in the solid waste business began over 40 years ago when he became General Manager for Allstate Carting where he managed the day to day operations. John went into business for himself as Cali Carting Inc. in 1983. His hard work and dedication, as President, has provided a strong foundation to build upon.
John has been a vital part of his community and was active in a multitude of civic and social events. In 1996 he was honored by the American Lung Association with the Emily Bissell Award. He was also active with the Lung Association's Sir William Osler Society "Camp Superkids" leadership committee in which John initiated a personal week long campaign that resulted in more than $12,000.00 in donations for the 1996 Camp Scholarship Fund. He served on the Board of Governors of The Archdiocese of Newark. He was instrumental in the purchase and reopening of the former Kearny P.A.L. building which was re-named to The John F. Cali Sr. Youth Center in memory of his father. John took a hands on interest in building the 9/11 Memorial and he was instrumental in the installation of the turf field both at Kearny High School. He was a member of Kearny Lions Club, Unico, Pioneers Boys Club and The Hanover Park Wrestling and Football Clubs. He was also an honorary member of The S.M.I.L.E. Organization. John was always supporting Kearny Recreation Little League Baseball, Softball, Soccer and Football. Over the years he sponsored many local, county and statewide sports teams. For John's support of Kearny Board of Education Athletics, he was recently nominated to The Kearny High School Athletic Hall of Fame as a contributor and will be honored at the induction ceremony in April of 2016.
Son of the late Jack and Dolores (nee Kelly) Cali, he is survived by his loving wife Yvonne (nee Sarcone), Yvonne's parents C. Robert and Jeanette Sarcone, his cherished children John F Cali III (Erica), Jeanine Iorio (Gerald) and Robert Cali. Dear brother of Doreen Cali, Ellen Fiore, Patricia Milford and Gary Cali he is also survived by his precious grandchildren John IV, Nina, Jace, Lola, Dean and Presley.
In lieu of flowers kindly consider a donation to The American Lung Association or SMILE (Steven Milford Independent Living Experience). www.smilefil.org