Obituary of Alfred J. Garreffa
Alfred John Garreffa, a lifelong Madison resident, died peacefully at home on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 surrounded by family. He was 90 years of age.
Alfred was born in Madison on September 8, 1929 to the late Dominic Vincent Garreffa & Christine Matilda Garreffa (nee Mischara). He was raised in a close-knit family of seven children on Walnut Street in Madison. After graduating from Madison High School, Alfred enlisted in the US Army and proudly served for several years until being honorably discharged.
Alfred had a long career as a plant manager with the Keuffel & Esser Corporation of Rockaway, manufacturers of paper products and drafting tools. He was dedicated to his career for over 40 years at the company and had a great eye for detail. Alfred was always eager to explore & develop new and innovative ways to increase productivity and efficiency. He was heavily relied upon by the company to keep the operations uniform and smooth, and he did just that for decades. He served as the fire chief for the company, and was also on the company bowling and softball teams.
Alfred had many interests outside of his career and remained a lifelong biking enthusiast. He took part in RAGBRAI, a bike ride across the state of Iowa on 15 different occasions. He also participated in bike tours in Florida, Australia, Canada and Alaska. He was instrumental in establishing bike lanes throughout the Madison area, as well as establishing the Y Cyclers group which organized many trips throughout New Jersey. Alfred also served on the Madison Traffic Committee for many years and was a charter member of the Madison Health Dept Fitness Coalition. He also often volunteered his time with the ECLC of Chatham with many bike related events over the years. As an avid biker, he could be found every morning at the early Madison YMCA cycle class. He was a 40 year volunteer which included opening the YMCA for the members, volunteering at the pancake breakfast, helping to build Kid Central, and he was also honored for the Member of the Millennium in 2000.
He was a frequent volunteer at the Spring Lake 5-mile run, and Alfred assisted with the board of elections in Madison for many years also. Alfred dedicated a great deal of his time as a volunteer to the Bargain Box of Morristown, as well as Morristown Medical Center. He also coached women’s softball in Madison for many years.
Alfred also loved the simpler things in life, such as crabbing with his children and grandchildren at the NJ Shore. He enjoyed garage sales, and was an avid gardener whose yard was always picturesque with his plants and flowers. In his spare time, he could be found sitting in the sun in his yard conversing with friends and neighbors or enjoying watching or playing golf. Not many people are aware that he was also a very talented chef.
Alfred was a hard-working, patriotic man with a with a heart of gold. He loved his family and friends above anything and would do anything for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren who he adored including babysitting, picking them up from school and attending school and sporting events. He loved his hometown of Madison and his many lifelong friends. Alfred always felt fortunate to have been raised here and have been able to raise his own family in Madison.
In addition to his parents, Alfred was predeceased by his beloved wife of 52 years, Donna Lee Garreffa (nee Haake); his siblings, Tony, Gary, Anna, Mary & Leo. He is survived by his children, Robert Dominick Garreffa and his wife, Debra of Thorntown, Indiana, Carol Lee Baumgartner and her husband, William of Florham Park, and Mark Frederick “Rick” Garreffa and his wife, Jessie Ann of Chatham; he is also survived by his only remaining brother, Albert Garreffa and his wife, Olivia, of Apple Valley, CA, his sister-in-law, Ann Garreffa of Pompton Plains, as well as a brother-in-law Peter Haake and his wife Marie of Frankenmuth, MN; 10 cherished grandchildren, Dawn and her husband, Michael Dee, Joshua and his wife, Lillie Felicia, Christina and her husband, Matthew Clark, Jesse, Amanda and her husband, Steven Daddario, Catherine and her husband, Corey Cucciniello, Cassandra, Billy, Rachel & Jessica; and 17 great-grandchildren.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend a visitation to celebrate Alfred’s life on Sunday, February 16, 2020 from 1:00PM to 5:00PM at the Madison Memorial Home, 159 Main Street, Madison. A Liturgy of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00AM on Monday at St. Vincent Martyr RC Church, Madison, followed by a military honors ceremony. Cremation will be held privately at the request of the family.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a charitable contribution in Alfred’s memory to the Madison Ambulance Corps, 29 Prospect Street, Madison, NJ 07940.
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