Joseph V. Gobolos passed from this life into his eternal life with Jesus this past week at 88 years old.
Joseph, known to many as Grandpa Joe, Mr. Gobolos (as in the teacher), Joey, Zeke and Dad, was predeceased by his wife Marjorie, his father Joseph and his mother Regina.
Joseph is survived by his two sons Jay and Scott, and their wives Melody and Lisa. His adored grandchildren, Bodi, Lyndsay, Rebecca and Abigail all took up prominent space on his refrigerator door and additionally Grandpa Joe supported and loved his grand-son–in laws Stephen, Gary and Josh.
Born in the Lakawanna section of Buffalo, N.Y., in 1933, Joseph was a tough and street smart kid who didn’t even speak a word of English (unless you count the extensive profane vernacular) until the third grade. His Hungarian immigrant parents were “Old World tough” and taught Joey the morals and ethics that would ultimately influence his life and so many people that he touched.
Astonishingly as a high school student, Joseph (Zeke) was barely literate yet secured a spot on the football team which eventually propelled him to a Wofford College football career and scholarship.
There he fought an uphill battle against his literacy issues and succeeded to later go on to a Masters degree at Vanderbuilt University and marriage to Marjorie the love of his life.
On a friend’s recommendation, the minimum 400-mile gap between parents and in-laws ensured both a successful marriage and great job opportunities. North Jersey became his home and in the early 1960’s he purchased property and ultimately built his Ringwood, N.J., Cupsaw Lake forever home.
He was a world traveler and was often quoted as, “He’d never been anywhere he liked better than being on Cupsaw Lake.”
Joseph had an extensive career in education. Mr. Gobolos’ influence was felt at the high school, grammar school and collegiate levels. Any of which churned out students that admired and loved his no bones creative style yet left administration shaking their heads!
Mr. Gobolos also took his love of teaching to sports. He coached multiple hockey programs at recreation and collegiate levels, was instrumental in building the Ringwood hockey program. He honed his coaching skills at a summer symposium by studying under Herb Brooks and others of the 1980 Olympic “miracle on ice” hockey team and N.Y. Rangers fame in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Dad, you left us on Jesus terms but you left us with a treasury of great life lessons. You took us to church even when we didn’t want to go and told us that someday we were going to need God – you were right. Quotes like, “the slower you go the farther you go,” “Patience and tolerance wins the race” and “I love you” are always constant reminders of your legacy.
Thank you and peace always be with you in heaven, you did a good job with your time here on earth. Memorial visitation will be on Friday, October 29, from 5-9 p.m. at Richards Funeral Home, 1440 Union Valley Road, West Milford.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be sent to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065 or https://giving.mskcc.org/.