BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Bridgewater Township recently lost a pair of prominent residents, both of whom were remembered publicly July 21.
Former Martinsville Fire Department Chief James Kennedy died at age 86 on July 12. A former fire commissioner of Bridgewater Fire District No. 1 for 16 years, his passing was recognized by Councilman Allen Kurdyla, himself a volunteer firefighter and a fire commissioner in Bridgewater’s Fire District No. 4.
“It was a very difficult job at times,” said Kurdyla of Kennedy’s work as a fire commissioner. “It’s a loss for Bridgewater Township.”
Born in Bayonne, Kennedy retired from Bell Labs/AT&T in Murray Hill in 1990 after over 33 years of service, primarily as a tool-and-die maker, before he moved up to the supervisory level.
Locally, he was involved with Little League baseball and served as a trustee for Boy Scout Troop 154. He was also a life member of the Elks Club, and a former Elk of the Year, and was a member of the 200 Club of Somerset County.
“He was a man for all seasons,” added council president Howard Norgalis, a retired firefighter and former fire commissioner. “We will miss him.”
The council also recognized that Hobbstown resident David Miller died on July 16 at age 78.
Bridgewater Mayor Matthew Moench said Miller had been aware before his passing that the Monmouth Avenue Recreation Field had been renamed the David and Philip Miller Park, after the Miller brothers from Hobbstown, at the town council meeting held July 6.
“Thanks to the council for moving on that,” said Moench. “It was more timely than we realized.”
According to the township’s resolution for the renaming of the park, David Miller served honorably in the United States Army from 1962 to 1965. His assignment was to the Third Infantry Regiment, known as “The Old Guard,” which is responsible for keeping watch over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery, in Virginia.
A graduate of Somerville High School, Miller also played minor-league baseball for the Raiders, a New Jersey club that he later managed along with his brother, who died in 1999. Both went on to mentor numerous local student-athletes and other youths in the Hobbstown area of Bridgewater.