James Karbach

February 4, 1932October 31, 2013

James (Jay) B. Karbach, 81, of Surf City, NJ, died October 31, 2013 at home with his family by his side.

Jay was born in Philadelphia, but proudly grew up in Surf City and was an avid sailor in his youth. He was a charter member of the Surf City Yacht Club where he spent many years sailing his Lightening and Moth. He also spent many happy hours crewing on the boats of friends. He served in the United States Army during the Korean War where he was stationed in Germany. Jay was a proud member of the Bordentown Elks #2085.

Jay met his wife Alyce in Surf City and they were married September 11, 1954. Jay and Alyce left the Island to live in Alyce’s hometown, Columbus, NJ, as Jay took a job with Public Service Electric and Gas where he worked for 34 years. They raised their 2 children, Donna and Bill there, but the call of the Island was strong and they moved back permanently in 1992.

He is survived by wife of 59 years, Alyce N. Karbach, daughter Donna R. McDowell and her husband Michael, son J. William Karbach and his wife Cathleen, seven grandchildren, Robyn McDowell-Sullivan and her husband Terrance, Megan McDowell and Daniel, Nicholas, Amy, Jonathan, and Elijah Karbach.

Jay enjoyed his vegetable gardens, supplying the neighborhood for many years with good Jersey tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. In years past, he spent many hours fishing both on the beach and offshore. Those who knew him, knew he was a man of pride and integrity. He knew how he wanted things done and would settle for nothing less. He was a good man and will be greatly missed by his family and friends. Ohana, Jay.

Visitation will be held at 11:00 on Saturday, November 16, 2013 at the United Church of Surf City, 7th Street and Central Avenue, Surf City, NJ . Services will be held at 12:00 noon. Friends are invited to join the family immediately after at the Surf City Firehouse for a celebration of life.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Surf City Volunteer Fire and EMS, 713 Long Beach Boulevard, Surf City, NJ, 08008, United Church of Surf City, PO Box 625, Ship Bottom NJ 08008, or Holy Redeemer Homecare and Hospice, 1228 Route 37 West, Toms River, NJ 08755 Condolences may be sent to


  • Visitation Saturday, November 16, 2013
  • Memorial Service Saturday, November 16, 2013

James Karbach

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted

Jack Tranter

November 10, 2013

I'm so sorry to hear of Jay's death. I will remember him as the good, solid man that he was. I mostly recall talking to him on the beach, with the entire Surf City crowd in the background. He will be missed.