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John J Komar Sr.
July 17, 2023
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John J. Komar, Sr. of West Nyack, NY and Melbourne, FL, passed away after a brief illness on July 17, 2023. He was the eldest son of Yonkers Police Officer John J. Komar, and Jennie (Fabiszewski) Komar. Born in Yonkers, NY in 1927, he attended Yonkers High School and after graduation entered the U.S. Navy where he served from 1945-47 as a Seaman First Class on the USS Honolulu. In 1945 he married Dorothy L. Mollan, a Yonkers girl who graduated from Gorton High School. Their daughter Susan J. Komar (Tallman), who predeceased John, was born a year later and the new family moved into a one bedroom walk-up apartment in Yonkers.
After discharge from the Navy John went to work as a lineman for New York Telephone where Dorothy worked as an “operator”. In 1953 the family moved to Pearl River in Rockland County and at Thanksgiving in 1954 they celebrated the birth of a son, John Jr. The family lived in Pearl River for more than 40 years and while John continued to work for the phone company he became active in the local community as a member of the American Legion, the Excelsior Fire Engine Company, the Pearl River PTA Council, co-chairman of the Parent Scholarship committee of PRHS and chairman of the Pearl River Republican Club in Nauraushaun. He became a licensed real estate broker and co-owner of County Realty of Rockland, and the owner and operator of “Times Square of Yulan”-- a summer business in upstate Sullivan County, where he also built and operated a miniature golf course with his uncle Lou and brother Allie. His favorite ballplayers were Roy Campanella and Willie Mays, and he didn’t mind that his son became a Yankees fan while he took to the Mets.
In 1968 he entered politics by challenging fellow popular republican Eugene Levy for the nomination to be candidate for the NYS Assembly. John lost the race by a whisker but won the hearts and minds of the voters of Orangetown who in 1969 elected him one of the first members of the original Rockland County Legislature, and then as Supervisor of the Town of Orangetown in 1971. He served for one term in each office devoted to the ideals of small government by the people and for the people.
He was the last surviving member of the original RC Legislature that assumed office in January 1970. He served as Chairman of the Planning and Public Works Committee where under his leadership many important aspects of Rockland County life became a reality, including the modernization and expansion of Rockland Community College, and the construction of the Fire Training Center in Pomona which continues to serve thousands of firefighters annually. In addition, he brokered an arrangement with the five Rockland town supervisors to divide development responsibility for public parks between the towns and county, which resulted in adding ballfields, tennis courts and thousands of acres of passive County parkland for open space recreation. He was also instrumental in the growth of “Blue Hill” in Pearl River from a small private golf club into a 27 hole championship public golf course. The legacy that John created lives on in many aspects of Rockland life today.
In 1985 John retired as an executive with the phone company and became a snowbird with the purchase of a home in Melbourne, FL where he and Dorothy spent winters from January to May until Dorothy’s passing in 1995. Two years later he married the former Helen Trachtenberg of West Nyack, and they shared a life with friends and family between West Nyack and Melbourne for more than twenty years until Helen’s passing in 2018.
Above all, he was a devoted son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend, who loved family gatherings and sharing life stories. In addition to Dorothy, Helen and Susan, John is predeceased by his brothers Alfred and James, and his sisters Mildred, Edna and Evelyn. He is survived by his sister Barbara Reed of Stony Point NY, his son, John Jr. of Brooklyn, grandchildren Brian, Mark, Kelly, Tracy and Lizzie, great grandchildren Gavin, Emma, Abigail, Benjamin, Atticus, Connor, Hunter and Layla, and 13 nieces and nephews. The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorial donations be made to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, 2361 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10306 or to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, 2900 Rocky Point Dr., Tampa, FL 33607. A memorial service will be held on August 26, 2023 at 11:30am at St. Stephen’s Church in Pearl River, NY followed by interment in St. Stephen’s columbarium.