The following is a death notice for Howard L. Ball Jr., of Pompton Lakes, submitted by the Richards Funeral Home, in Riverdale.
Ball, Howard L. Jr., born on July 3, 1929 in Haskell, NJ and lived since he was 6 months old in Pompton Lakes, NJ.
Mr. Ball, an award-winning community newspaperman, was the long-time executive editor and a much-beloved columnist for the Suburban Trends. Generations of readers in northern Passaic County and eastern Morris County relied upon the work of Mr. Ball and his staff as their primary source for news and information about the daily events, large and small, in their hometowns.
In his popular “Bits & Pieces” column, he lovingly shared his personal stories about families, friends and neighbors, often noting the birthdays of the waitresses at his favorite eateries, the retirement of school lunch ladies, the kid down the block who did a good deed. A dedicated civic and religious leader in northern New Jersey throughout his life, Mr. Ball, was a past president and engine captain of the Pompton Lakes Fire Department, as well as a volunteer firefighter with the Greenwood Forest Fire Company in West Milford.
In his retirement, he served as Chaplain for the Pompton Lakes Fire Department, Riverdale Fire Department, , West Milford Company 4 Macopin Blacksheep, Riverdale Police Department, Passaic County Fire Academy and Passaic County Mutual Aid Society. He was the Executive Director of the Upper Passaic County Community Action program where he pioneered the Meals-on-Wheels and the Congregate Feeding programs, as well as an Assembly of God minister who led congregations in both and Edgewater, NJ and past president of the Butler Rotary Club and Tri-Boro Chamber of Commerce. He was also a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and could trace his ancestry to Minute-Men who fought in the Battle of Lexington and Concord. A Lifetime Award recipient from the Pompton Lakes Republican Club, confidant and advisor to a diverse range of political leaders including U.S. Reps Robert A. Roe, a Democrat and Dean Gallo, a Republican.
A member of numerous other political and volunteer organizations, Mr. Ball also was 25-year member of the local U.S. Congressional selection committee for the national service academies, and former master sergeant with the Michigan National Guard. Mr. Ball was a 1947 graduate of Pompton Lakes High School, where he was president of the Cardinals Marching Band and Outstanding Senior Boy. A 1951 graduate of Western Michigan University, he was a member of the Beta Beta Beta fraternity and mentor for the freshman class. While at Western Michigan, he built a bootleg radio station in his dorm room, which launched his life-long passion for radio, including turns as “Jeff Lane on the Street of Dreams” at WKMI in Kalamazoo, MI; “Coffee Time With Uncle Howie ,” broadcast from Lakeview Lanes in West Milford; and various news and entertainment spots on radio stations including WTTM, WCTC, WKER, WNNJ and WGHT.
Mr. Ball was the son of Howard L. Ball, Sr. a textile worker and union local vice president in Pompton Lakes, and Harriet V (Stephens) Ball, both predeceased. He is survived by his five children, Guy D. Ball, Mark Griffith, Diane (Grant) Mone, Patricia Mitchell (Ball) Stephanie Bassler, (Ball), 11 Grandchildren Nicholas, Alexander, Daniel, Debbie, Michael, Erich, Stephen, Kelly, Kim, Thomas and Sara. He had 10 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren. Funeral service 10 AM Wednesday, June 6, 2012 at the Richards Funeral Home, 4 Newark Pompton Turnpike, Riverdale, NJ. Interment at North Hardyston Cemetery, Hamburg, NJ.
Friends may call on Tuesday from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. and 7 p.m.-9 p.m.