August 30, 1938 – May 8, 2019
Jan Wilgenkamp J, 80, of Lafayette, NJ, passed away on May 8,2019. Jan was born in Brooklyn, NY on August 30, 1938. He lived in Merrick, NY, Holbrook, NY, Middle Island, NY and Lafayette, NJ. Concurrently, he worked weekends as maitre d' at the Sunrise Village in Bellmore and later at the Bavarian Inn in Ronkonkoma NY. In 1973 he started his second career as proprietor of the Island Squire Restaurant in Middle Island NY. From 1973-1991 he created a one of a kind establishment marrying entertainment with fine dining. Each weekend he would put his immense vocal talent on display with the help of his friends in the Perry Lane Orchestra. Many weddings were hosted and many great times were had. Upon the shuttering of the business, he once again returned to performing by heading the National Touring Company production of 'Man of La Mancha". Lastly, he returned to his true love, teaching music. From 2000-2012 he taught 7th and 8th grade music at Kittatinny and Bloomfield Regional Junior High School. He directed many NYC bus trips for NJ parents and students alike to enjoy the magic of Broadway in person. Every year he would lend his talents to the role of Santa in the school's Christmas concert, a role he loved to play. Upon retiring, he enjoyed golf with his 3 sons and his pals Bud Chase and Gerry Huelbig. He enjoyed many trips with his wife Maureen to Newport Rhode Island, a place they both loved. Along with his daughter Laurie, Jan made a pilgrimage to Holland, his father's birthplace where they discovered WILGENKAMP street! He was famous for his daily phone calls to family and friends alike. He very much loved to check in with everyone and very much cherished spending time with the grandchildren Avery, Zoe, Jasper and Ryan. They filled his heart with love.
But mostly, he never got tired of sharing his greatest gift, performing and that beautiful voice.
Jan was predeceased by his beloved parents Jan Wilgenkamp and Madeline DeLavore, and his brother Richard. He is survived by his loving wife Maureen and her daughter Kym Frank, husband John Pierce and their children Zoe and Jasper as well as her son Matt Frank and his daughter Avery. Jan is also survived by his 5 children, sons Chris, Steven & Paul and daughters Tracey and Laurie as well as granddaughters Victoria and Ryan. In addition, he had a wonderful group of extended cousins, the Sicilian connection, including Diane Illiano Yonkers of Chicago, Ill, Dick Lavelle of Los Angeles, CA, Tony and Louis Gianaola of Las Vegas, NV as well as a Dutch contingent headed by distant cousin Marja Wilgenkamp.
Visitation will be held on Monday, May 13, 2019 from 5 - 9PM at Goble Funeral Home 22 Main St., Sparta, NJ 07871. In Lieu of flowers, donations in Jan's memory would be greatly appreciated to either of the following organizations: ACC C.U.R.E., 6 West Lake Drive, Montville, NJ 07045 or Kittatinny Regional High School Att: Betty Scymanski, 77 Hallsey Rd., Newton, NJ 07860.
- ACC C.U.R.E.
Kittatiny Regional H.S.
Att:Betty Scymanski 77 Hallsey Toad , Newton, NJ 07860
- Visitation Monday, May 13, 2019
May 16, 2019
I was fortunate to work on obtaining my Masters Degree in Education with Jan at Bloomfield Middle School. He always added a dose of humor to the reality of the "school world". I found Jan to be kind, generous and inspirational. He loved his students and proved it to them everyday through his passion for music. I am lucky to have worked with him and send my condolences to his family. RIP Jan...
May 13, 2019
I first met Mr. Wilgencamp when I started working at Trico Federal Credit Union which became Visions. He always came in with a smile and chocolate or some other candy from the Chocolate Goat. He loved making people smile . He made it a point to get to know us personally. He will greatly be missed. My prayers go out to his family.
May 12, 2019
Maureen...I know you were happiest after you married Jan. I am so sorry for your loss. He was a fine man. Take the time you need to grieve. Then,when it gets warm and you feel up to it, you need to come to the shore. Meanwhile, love and prayers. God bless you.
May 11, 2019
I am very sad to write this. Ian was a classmate at Mepham and a friend of mine and my bride Arleen. Arleen's maiden name was Wolsiefer so they sat next to each other through Grammar school at Camp Ave. school in Merrick, and in homeroom at Mepham High.
We kept in touch after school and were regular patrons of the Island Squire. I would always get him to sing "You’ll Never Walk Alone", the signature song of the A Capella Choir at Mepham.
R.I.P. Ian too young too soon.
My deepest condolences to Ian's family and friends.
May 11, 2019
Mr. Wilgenkamp was my voice and chorus teacher at the Bloomfield Summer Arts program for many summers. The passion and joy that he brought to teaching music every summer made me really fall in love with singing in music in general. He taught me how to sing. I'm now an adult and sing in a semiprofessional choir and cantor at my church. I can definitely say that would not have happened with Mr. Wilgenkamp's joy, passion, strength, and his love of both music and his students. My heart goes out to all his loved ones.
May 10, 2019
I love to hear these details of Jan’s amazing life! I have to add that his role of Santa was more of a magical transformation from man into myth.
Jan, your powerful presence will be missed every moment and these memories will feed our fire. Ryan, Avery, Zoé and Jasper, we all are so lucky to have basked in your glow.
May 10, 2019
Have fantastick family in holland that I was priveledged enough to take this trip with my dad! I’m so lucky to have been able to experience this with him. And to stand where his parents stood many years earlier! I will never forget this trip
May 10, 2019
My memories are from many times at the Island Squire of you and Paul singing! Your voice was beautiful to listen to. I thought it was so special for you and Paul to share that bond of singing. I will miss you and was happy to see you in the past 8 or so years! Rest In Peace! Love, Christine
May 10, 2019
Mr. Wilgenkamp was the KRHS junior high music teacher and was the director of the junior high musicals. He cared deeply for his students and always wanted to help them become the best singer/performer/artist that they could become. I will always personally remember him attempting to give me acting/singing lessons in class, for my roll in the Quartet in The Music Man, and as Rolf in our rendition of The Sound of Music. A great man, I will never forget.
May 10, 2019
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time of sorrow.
Deborah Coleman & Family