Tag Archives: Fair Haven Fire Department

Memorial Services Set for Fair Haven’s Will Jakubecy, 32

“In a perfect world we would all get the chance to say goodbye to each other before leaving. Unfortunately like we’ve experienced with many other friends and loved ones that just isn’t the case.”  ~ AJ Fox ~ excerpt of a Facebook post to Will Jakubecy

The Fair Haven community and beyond has been blanketed with sadness, shock and a lot of love since hearing of the sudden death of 32-year-old Will Jakubecy on July 20.

Messages and photos in remembrance of the Fair Haven native flooded social media, honing in on a vibrant life well-lived, shared and taken too soon.

And on July 26, from 4 to 8 p.m., the remembrance will continue with first a visitation at John E. Day Funeral Home, Red Bank. It will be followed by a “Big Ass Repast,” according to Will’s obituary, at the Fair Haven Firehouse on Saturday at 2 p.m. for which all who loved Will are invited to come equipped with their favorite stories and photos of him.

As for any other details … the family, in his tribute, asks that “in lieu of flowers, please hold your loved ones close and call your mother. She worries.”

Will’s obituary/tribute from John E. Day Funeral Home, put together by his loved ones, paints the picture of his life … and it’s a giant canvas filled with bright color and unabashed detail.

Here it is … RIP, Will Jakubecy. You are remembered.

Wil Jakubecy
Photo/Jakubecy family via John E. Day Funeral Home

“On July 20, 2017 our hearts were forever broken when Will was taken home on a country road. Will passed away due to unknown heart disease and stubbornness.

Will grew up in Fair Haven and attended Knollwood School. There he terrorized his teachers and made lifelong friendships with many.  He put in his four years at Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School where he had a notorious football career as a stud fullback with the Bulldogs. Number 33 was known as “The Tank.” A man of tradition, he painted himself green and streaked through the halls of RFH on St. Patrick’s Day.

Will graduated from West Virginia University and was a proud Mountaineer. He rarely missed a football game and was a die-hard fan of Blue & Gold.  “BZ” or “Be Easy” was a familiar face at Mario’s Fishbowl and all the local pubs of Morgantown. He never missed a chance to toss ‘em back and chase some girls.

After college, Will packed up his ski gear and moved to Bend, Oregon where he perfected his big mountain powder style. He upped his game on various back country trails with great friends and family. He was always prepared with a lifter in the pocket of his jacket.

Will came home and picked up a trowel to work alongside his dad and best friend, Bill.  He became an accomplished mason, and they enjoyed many lunch breaks at Val’s Tavern.  He eventually moved on to work with his cousin Jake and the dockbuilders of Local 1556.

Will travelled the world in search of the best powder with the West Long Branch Ski Club. He was a proud member of the esteemed club within the club, The Bushwackers. There he was named “Soaring Eagle” for the obvious reasons.

An all-American boy, Will enjoyed many sports including softball, hunting and fishing.  He swung his bat for The Machine in the Rumson Townie Softball League with his dad and longtime buddies.  The whitetail population of Monmouth County can sleep a little easier knowing Will has finally hung up his bow. His presence will be sorely missed at the Muzzy Stump Shoot this year and every year to come.

Will was the proud godfather of three: Johnny, Cole and Timmy. Not especially religious, he shared few bible verses, but he taught them loyalty, kindness and strength. He loved them hard and taught them how to properly have a good time. He made sure they would become aces in the snow and knew how to hold a rod & reel.

Will’s beloved dogs, Tanner & Clay, will never be the same.  When you see them running through Fair Haven Fields, please send them home.

Will is predeceased by his grandparents Carl & Margaret Jakubecy and Jack Costello and his Aunt Jackie Lake. He also is giving Heaven some Hell with his cousin Mike Sharkey.

Will is survived by countless heartbroken friends and family members, most importantly his parents Joy (Costello) & Bill Jakubecy, his sister and brother-in-law Alison & Kevin Countryman and his beloved nephew & niece Timmy & Maggie. He is not survived by any children of his own (as far as we know).”


Focus: Fair Haven Fire Department’s Triple Wetdown

Call it a christening of sorts — a wetdown. It’s the traditional ceremony celebrating new trucks and honoring the retired ones by hosing them down, the drivers of the old ones turning over the hose to the new.

And the Fair Haven Fire Department Triple Wetdown Dedication did just that on Sunday to celebrate the arrival of a new (1372 Mack) truck and two command vehicles (1366 and 1355), a fire chief’s command and first responder command vehicle. The old 1372 was retired after 41 years of service.

The celebration is a grand one in fire company tradition. In addition to the wetdown rite of passage, there’s a community party with music, food and drink and fire departments from all over joining in the welcoming of the new and retiring of the old.

Take a look … (Be sure to CLICK on each pic to enlarge!)

— Elaine Van Develde

Services Set for Longtime Fair Havenite, Fire Company Member Phil Binaco

The marquee at the Fair Haven Volunteer Fire Company’s Firehouse is once again imparting the sad news of the passing of another of its longtime members — Philip Bianco.

Continue reading Services Set for Longtime Fair Havenite, Fire Company Member Phil Binaco

Retro Fair Haven Fire Department Installation Dinners

Photos by Kathy Robbins … Slideshow by Elaine Van Develde

The Fair Haven Fire Department recently had its Installation Dinner. Every year, traditionally on the Saturday after the New Year, new line officers are officially installed and honored and outgoing officers and members are honored in a thank you dinner dance — a festive gathering for good times and the making of milestone moments.

Our Retro Pic of the Day today has turned into several retro pics in a slide show honoring the Fair Haven Fire Department’s Installation Dinners of the past.

A special thank you to Kathy Robbins, who provided all the photos!

Just click the center arrow and then the bottom right icon to enlarge. Enjoy! And congrats and thank you to all the members of the Fair Haven Fire Department’s Fire Company, First Aid Squad, Fire Police and Ladies’ Auxiliary.  RIP to those in this slideshow who have passed.

Focus: New Year’s Day Fun at Fair Haven Firehouse

It’s a first day of the new year tradition.

Fire and first aid companies reorganize, naming new line officers. And festivities take hold at fire houses all over.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect made it to Fair Haven where there were a lot of familiar faces from all around the area — and a few reunions of RFHers.

Take a look …

And congratulations to the new line officers! They are:

Fire Company

Tim Morrissey, chief; Matt DePonti, deputy chief; Christopher Schrank, first assistant; Matthew Bufano, second assistant.

First Aid

Kim Ambrose, captain; Katy Frissora, first lieutenant; Daniel Kane, second lieutenant.

— Elaine Van Develde

Focus: FHFD Car Show

The sun was out and there was a lot of vintage car reflecting and showcasing at the 17th Annual Fair Haven Fire Police and Fire Department Auxiliary Car Show on Saturday afternoon.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect missed some crowning moments, but managed to get there to grab some photos to give a glimpse into the day.

Tom Kelly’s Dodge Dart got a prize (photo contributed by Evie Connor Kelly included below). We missed that moment, but arrived right after for some lingering chat and show’s end time.

Oh, and there was a birthday boy on the grounds. Happy Birthday, former Chief Dan Kane!

Take a look at some of the final moments of the day …

— Elaine Van Develde


Retro FH Fire Company Picnicking

A gathering of Fair Haven Fire Department folks of the past. Photo/FHFD Yearbook, courtesy of Evie Connor Kelly
A gathering of Fair Haven Fire Department folks of the past.
Photo/FHFD Yearbook, courtesy of Evie Connor Kelly

On the cusp of Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair, thoughts turn to the longtime members of the fire company who have made it happen every single year for more than a century.

The people of the fire company have remained friends for generations. And outside of the fair, they have always gathered with their families for many a social event.

There are many memories.

So, the Retro Pic of the Day honors those memories of camaraderie and fun with a look back decades ago to a picnic party.

Check out the cat eye sunglasses. That’s a giveaway of the era.

Do you know when this pic was taken? Recognize any of the adults? Kids? Who’s a fireman now?

— Elaine Van Develde

Special Delivery for Fair Haven Fire Chief

There’s been a special delivery of an official sort of third-generation Fair Havenite — and just in time for the fair!

Fair Haven Fire Department Chief Michael Wiehl and wife Gloria announced the birth of their first child, Abigail Rose, at 8:57 p.m. on Aug. 13.

Abigail Rose Weihl Photo/Facebook screenshot
Abigail Rose Wiehl
Photo/Facebook screenshot
Abigail Rose Weihl Photo/Facebook screenshot
Abigail Rose Wiehl
Photo/Facebook screenshot

Abigail weighed in at 6-pounds, 12 ounces and “everyone is happy and healthy,” Gloria said to Facebook friends.

Grandma and Grandpa, Bonnie and Jeff Wiehl are thrilled.

Michael Wiehl is a third-generation native Fair Havenite, the grandson of Cora and Bill Kacen, longtime fire department members.

Young Fair Haven Firefighter Faces Aggravated Arson Charge

A young Fair Haven volunteer firefighter was arrested on Saturday and could face up to 10 years in prison on a charge in connection with a Friday arson in the borough in which he serves after also responding as a firefighter to extinguish the blaze, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni announced in a released statement.

Nicholas Joyce, 19, of Fair Haven, also a former boy scout in the borough, was arrested on one count of second-degree aggravated arson after he allegedly set fire to a storage shed on Friday afternoon on the property of the United Methodist Church at 300 Ridge Road, the release said.

The Fair Haven Fire Department, Joyce included, responded on Friday, April 1, at 4:28 p.m., to a report of a fire in the back of the church property at a storage shed belonging to a local scout troop, the release added. Responding firefighters quickly extinguished the fire, which was contained to the exterior of the shed.

A joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Fair Haven Police Department resulted in Joyce’s arrest the next day, Saturday. The investigation revealed that Joyce had allegedly set fire to the shed, returned to the fire house and then responded to the scene with other firefighters when the fire was reported, according to the Prosecutor.

Joyce was released from custody after posting $5,000 bail with a 10 percent option, set by Municipal Court Judge James Berube.
If convicted of Aggravated Arson, Joyce faces up to ten years in a New Jersey state prison, subject to the No Early Release Act (N.E.R.A.), requiring that he serve 85 percent of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

The case has been assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Decker.


Remembering Fair Haven’s Patrolman Robert J. Henne


It was a year ago today that Fair Haven lost Patrolman Robert Henne. The loss of the friendly, compassionate cop was a devastating one.

We, at Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect, again offer our profound condolences to his loving family and many colleagues and friends. 

In memory of Robert, we are re-running our tribute to him that was originally published after his funeral and final call on March 31, 2015. 

RIP, Robert. You are remembered … 

By Elaine Van Develde

There was something about his face.

Always a content smile emanating from underneath his police hat, Fair Haven Police Patrolman Robert J. Henne seemed to wear his pristine, proud heart on its brim. And it seemed as if St. Michael, patron saint of police officers, was perched right next to it, guarding it. Always.

Whether or not you knew the officer well, it didn’t matter. Just one glance of his bright doe eyes and beam from under the brim of that officer’s cap that seemed to embrace him, and you knew you were home, cared for and protected.

And so was he.

“He was emblematic of everything that’s good in this town,” Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli said with crestfallen pride as he reflected on the untimely March 23 death of the 23-year-old third-generation policeman and fireman. “He represented what small-town community life should be.”

The mayor knew him. He knew him well. He knew how he always wanted to be a police officer. He knew that Robert embraced his calling and the people in his community who he served.

The mayor also knew that it gave him much joy to sign off on the promotion of Henne to a Special Class II officer in 2012. He had seen Henne rise through the ranks from police explorer. He remembered. Many others remembered, too.

They remembered every nuance of what they knew to be a modest, fun and compassionate public servant, son, brother and friend.

But you didn’t have to know him well to know the same thing that the mayor and the people closest to him knew — that Robert Henne was a strong, gentle, protective presence in the lives of every citizen with whom he came in contact.

I knew of his impact and pride of being on the job. And I knew there was something special about him.

I could see it in his smile. Many could.

It seems uncanny sometimes how people pass through our lives, in anything from a fleeting moment, to a few casual encounters and even longstanding relationships.

Yet, however long they are a presence, some seem to etch an indelible mark in our hearts.

As a journalist, this happens to us frequently. And, while the always unique fingerprint of some lives imprinted onto ours can inflict searing pain or a dull ache, it can also leave an impression of tremendous joy. But both teach us. We are grateful for both.

Some stay. Some go. But there’s always an impact in one way or another. And we are fortunate to have had a glimpse into their lives — if only for a moment. And we reflect. Sometimes aloud. Sometimes  unwittingly through our actions.

Reflection enriches us all. Having known such an incredible cross-section of people makes us see how one moment with one person, even just passing through, can make a difference. The difference it makes can be celebrated. It can change us forever — for the better.

There are people with whom we’ve grown up whose deaths we must sadly report on. We grapple with how to best honor them. There tragic accidents involving people we do not know, but to whom we can relate because we have a child, a brother, a sister or a friend whom it could have been.

There are people who have just once shared with us an unforgettable gut laugh over a silly outtake moment in an interview. There are centenarians whose amazing lives we are privileged to look back on with them and write about.

There are people who face adversity and share their experience with us. There are people  with whom we chat and come to know when visiting municipal offices or just being out and about in towns we cover. There are villains. There are heroes.

And there are young men like Patrolman Robert J. Henne whose smile I think we will always see when we round a corner, go to an event, or see a uniform, a fire truck or a patrol car in our Fair Haven.

Thank you, Robert Henne for protecting and serving us and for giving us another reason to be grateful for having known someone like you — if only for a moment.

— Slideshow by Elaine Van Develde … Photo credits: Elaine Van Develde, Fair Haven Fire Department, screenshots from Facebook, courtesy of Tom Kirman and other friends and family of Robert J. Henne.