Edward John Firgau, 90 years old, entered eternal rest to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He passed away peacefully on March 20, 2021 in his home, with his family at his side. Ed was born and raised in Rahway, New Jersey, the fourth of five children born to Venezuelan immigrant parents.
He graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy, King’s Point, NY earning a degree in Marine Transportation, a Merchant Marine officer’s license, and a commission in the United States Navy Reserve. He served during the Cold War in both capacities.
Prior to leaving the Navy he married the love of his life, Beatrice Kiss of New Brunswick. Together they raised 9 children in Highland Park. Ed was hired by Ethicon Inc. (Johnson & Johnson), and had a 38-year long career, holding various management positions. He believed in giving back to his community, serving on several ministries in his church, St. Paul the Apostle. He volunteered for 22 years with Meals on Wheels, delivering meals to the elderly, and served, for a time, on their Board of Directors. He also served as Chair of the Highland Park Zoning Board of Adjustment, Chairman of the Highland Park Republican Organization, and on the Board of the then, Cerebral Palsy Organization of Middlesex County. Ed was also a founding member of the Knights of Columbus Council 6306.
To say that Ed enjoyed life was an understatement. He was devoted to his wife, family, and church. He was an avid reader, immersing himself in books on U.S. History, Science, and Nature. He loved fishing, gardening, and sharing a good meal and a glass of wine with family and friends. Every summer, Ed invited his large extended family to join him on Cape Cod. He loved being near the water, exploring and enjoying the sunsets. He dearly loved all his children and grandchildren, and frequently traveled to visit them.
A man of faith, Ed loved volunteering, helping others, and supporting the work of his church.
He is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Beatrice, dearest granddaughter, Suzanne Niederland of North Carolina, and his parents, John and Delia Firgau. Surviving are his 9 children: Stephen (Diane), of Bridgewater, Lisa of Edison, Jeanette Venarchik (George), of Franklin Lakes, Eileen of Highland Park, John (Tracey) of Virginia Beach, VA, Claire of Mississauga, Ontario, Alice Niederland (Alan) of Chapel Hill, NC, Edward (Amy) of Orient, OH, and Celeste Buckelew of Wall. He also leaves behind 11 precious grandchildren: Trevor, Nina, Nicholas (Angela), Paul (Anna), Zoe, James, Austin, Spencer, Bo, Brian, and Robert.
Surviving also, are his siblings: Aura Kontra of Northridge, CA, August (Maryann) of Shelton, CT, Olga Wolf (Howard) of Doylestown, PA, and Alice of North Plainfield.
He also leaves behind many loving nieces and nephews, his dear friends, Bill and Ann Volpe and Mary Anne Day of Highland Park, and many others.
Relatives and friends can pay their respects to the family on Sunday, March 28, 2021 at the Jaqui-Kuhn Funeral Home, 17 S. Adelaide Avenue, Highland Park, NJ between the hours of 2 pm and 6 pm. Guests may also come to the funeral home on Monday morning between 8:30 am and 9:30 am. A Mass of the Christian Burial will be offered on Monday, March 29, 2021 at Saint Paul the Apostle Church, corner of Raritan Avenue and S. 6th Avenue, Highland Park, NJ at 10 am. Edward will be entombed next to his beloved wife immediately after the mass at Saint Peter's Cemetery, New Brunswick, NJ.
CDC protocols must be observed when at the funeral home including the wearing of a face covering and social distancing is highly encouraged. Parking is available in the lot immediately behind the funeral home or on South Adelaide Avenue.
In lieu of flowers, donations honoring Ed’s memory may be made to:
Meals on Wheels in Greater New Brunswick, 211 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 (www.MOWGNB.org)
Or a charity of your choice.
Ed, as well as his family, wanted to extend a special thank you to Dr. Anupama Doraiswamy, Andrew Kass, and Kira Voitle, and the entire care team of Rutgers CINJ for their incredible care and support.
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