Louis Borbely was born into eternal life on December 25, 2018. The only child of Andrew Louis Borbely and Rose (Fodor) Borbely, he married the true love of his life, Rosanna Starr, on December 28, 1959. Together, they blessed the world with three children, Anna-Louise (Greg), Mary (Robert), and Andrew (Lisa). Louis and Rosanna have six grandchildren (Megan, Troy, Kim, Sam, Casey, Drew) and four great-grandchildren (Molly, Parker, Brody, Miles) whose hearts all hold a special place for Pop-Pop and Nana, as they are affectionately called.
Before meeting Rosanna, Louis graduated from Metuchen High School in 1952 and attended one year of Rutgers Prep before graduating from Washington College in 1957. An all-star athlete, he carried his love of sports (specifically baseball) into adulthood. After being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates, Louis played in the minor league for one year. Later, he coached both football and baseball at Highland Park High School for almost thirty years. To anyone involved in local high school baseball for any matter of time, he is a true fixture. To this day, his players still tell stories of Lou the legend.
Like his players, Louis’ students also benefitted from having him in their lives. A compassionate and caring teacher, he was their eternal advocate. He taught fifth and sixth grade for forty years at John Marshall Elementary School in Edison, and his lessons didn’t end in the classroom. To us, his family, he taught the most important things, the things that really matter.
Louis lived his life according to the virtue of loyalty. Just ask any number of his buddies, and they will tell you that. To the day he died, he maintained lifelong friendships. The same can be said for very few people these days. Whether him and his pals were attending Rutgers football games or their local VFW meetings, Louis’ social calendar was busier than most. He thrived that way, and every single person who had the honor of calling him a friend was lucky to have him in their corner.
The luckiest people of all, though, are those that get to call him family. Pop-Pop is everything to us, a true anchor to our family. Most of our very best memories involve summers spent with him and Nana, either in New Jersey or in their beloved Cape Cod. In Highland Park, if he wasn’t relishing every minute of work in the high heat of the garden, he was playing with his grandkids. Hide and seek was a perennial favorite, and we can still picture him walking towards us with eyes closed and arms outstretched, telling us that he “smelled children.” Always teasing and full of jokes, you knew you could count on Pop-Pop for a laugh. And no one, not anyone, has ever read a Dr. Seuss book quite like Pop-Pop. In Cape Cod, he and Nana enjoyed evening walks on the beach as they watched the sky turn radiant with a gorgeous kaleidoscope of colors. They loved being next to the water, and they especially loved being next to each other.
You see, there is no one Pop-Pop wanted to be with more than Nana. Family was the most important thing to him, and Nana was the most important member of his family. After meeting during a graduate course at Rutgers University, they married and shared forty-six truly wonderful years together. When Nana passed away on December 19 of 2005, Pop-Pop’s life split in two. He knew life with Nana and life without Nana, and he much preferred life with her. Every day, he asked God to reunite them, and on Christmas Day this year, his wish came true. Nana loved Christmas (so much so that she was buried in a Christmas sweater), so it’s really only fitting that she came to call him on this most blessed day. During his final moments surrounded by family, he lifted his outstretched arms in the air, and we know without a doubt that it was Nana who took his hand and walked him home to heaven.
Viewing Friday, Dec 28 from 4 pm – 8 pm at Jaqui-Kuhn Funeral Home, 17 S. Adelaide Ave., Highland Park, NJ. Funeral Service Saturday, Dec. 29 at 10 am at Jaqui-Kuhn Funeral Home with entombment following at St. Peter’s Cemetery, 500 Somerset St., New Brunswick. Donations can be made to American Cancer Society.