A MESSAGE FROM THE FAMILY

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OBITUARY

Alfred F. Baffa

March 5, 1957January 8, 2019
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Alfred F Baffa was a loving and devoted husband, father, son, brother, and grandfather. He is survived, and deeply missed, by his wife, Sue, his daughter and son-in-law, Adrienne and Matthew and their daughter, Aurora, his parents, Gemma and Al, and his brother, Anthony. He was born on March 5, 1957, and was called home on January 8, 2019. He never had a particularly easy life, although you would never have known it speaking with him. He found his calling in imparting his knowledge to others, and he was as happy to teach as his students were to learn from him. At 27, he was diagnosed with AML, and sent to Seattle for a bone marrow transplant (cutting edge technology for first-round remission leukemia at the time) after discovering that, miraculously, his only brother was a perfect match. After that, he always joked that he felt like a cat with nine lives, but said that he didn’t want to know which life he was on. In more serious conversations, he said that he felt he was living on borrowed time. That feeling always caused him to appreciate life to the fullest, and put his whole heart into whatever he was doing, personally or professionally. He was a survivor, but he was so much more than that to all who knew and loved him. He touched many lives, was adored by his friends, co-workers, and family, and will be missed more than words can say. The family will receive their relatives and friends at Becker Funeral Home, 219 Kinderkamack Road, Westwood, NJ on Sunday, January 13 from 1-5PM. The Funeral Mass celebrating his life and faith will be held at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel R.C. Church, Tenafly, NJ on Monday, January 14 at 1PM. We are asking that in lieu of sending flowers, donations be made in his name to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the organization that gave him his life back, and allowed him to “borrow” another 35 years to spend with those who loved him and needed him most.

Services

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • Visitation Sunday, January 13, 2019
  • Funeral Mass Monday, January 14, 2019

OTHER SERVICES:

  • Memorial Contributions
REMEMBERING

Alfred F. Baffa

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Ron & Connie Freeman

January 14, 2019

Today we say good-bye to a man that was loved by everyone. We love you Alfred, rest in peace

Charlene Gerbig

January 13, 2019

These are tough days for my school family. We’ve sadly lost our leader and we are lost without him. Thank you, ‘Mr. B’ for your kindness and generous spirit. Personally, thank you for your support and encouragement and insight into my pedagogy, professional development and philosophy. You taught us all valuable lessons about priorities, not sweating the small stuff, loving our kids and being our best.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding

Farewell, our captain. God bless our sweet Mr. B 💔

Tommy Butera

January 12, 2019

Al- aka PopPhd,
There will never be a day that goes by that you will not be in mine and my families thoughts! The memories and laughter that we’ve had over the years was priceless. It is now proven that the heavens need more smiling faces above to keep the balance of all the frowning faces below. You have always been a father figure and best friend to me and I’ll miss our time together. The whole Butera family would like to wish you everlasting peace my friend!
WE LOVE YOU!

Daniella Riecken

January 12, 2019

Dear Al,
I will miss seeing you and your mint green Vespa passing my house every day on your way to and from work. For over 15 years you have been my work “Dad” and have been there for me through so many life changing events. My favorite memory is of you at my house during one of my specials reunions listening to me rant on and on about something that was bothering me. All you had to do was point to my kids and say “this is all that matters” and that is what I have been going by every time things get rough. I will miss you more than words can say.

Mariana Marinich

January 11, 2019

My children had Mr. Baffa as a principal in Hillside Elementary School. I worked with Mr. Baffa as a paraprofessional and a substitute teacher. He was the best boss I have ever had. My kids and I remember his kindness, his soft tone of voice, his wit, his smile, and most of all, his fairness to everyone.
Our deepest condolences to Mr. Baffa's family.

Jeff Mohre

January 11, 2019

Al will live in the hearts and minds of all who were fortunate enough to enter his life through the years. Together, we teamed as principals and cared for the heart of the Old Tappan Schools two decades ago. His passion for the education profession, deep concern for children, genuine kindness, and gentle demeanor made him the quintessential school leader. Oh the lives he touched ... countless I am certain. A beautiful, bright candle has gone out and we are all deeply saddened. Rest peacefully Mr. Baffa and thank you for making the World a better place.

Theresa Henry

January 11, 2019

Mr. Baffa was one of the greatest teachers I had the honor of learning from. He was truly a gifted educator and inspired me to become a teacher. He was so interesting, organized, fun and dedicated to his classes. My St. John the Baptist Class of 1984 was in our 8th grade year when Mr. Baffa was diagnosed with leukemia. We were all devastated as we loved him so much. We had been told that he wouldn't be able to make it to graduation but that morning, our principal, Sue Webber, came into our classroom and told us he would be coming. He came to speak to us that evening before we headed to the Church for the ceremony. There was not a dry eye in that classrooom, boys included, as we saw our beloved teacher in such a weakened state. Thank God, he was cured and went onto live a beautiful life with Sue and Adrienne. Patrick and I had the pleasure of being their neighbor on Cedar Street for 5 years and I was so happy to reconnect with Mr. Baffa. I remember so clearly the day I told him I was expecting a baby and he was truly so excited. He had such a big heart. I hope he realized what an impact he made on so many students throughout his wonderful career. He certainly made a difference in my life. God bless you Mr. Baffa and may your rest in peace. Thank you for being you! Theresa Rooney Henry

Matthew Wright

January 11, 2019

To me Al Baffa started out as the person shooting pool that I would always watch and try to figure out how he made it look so easy. After a while I started asking questions trying to learn whatever I could from him. Al was an amazing teacher no matter what the subject was. After a while of getting to know him and his family I started dating his daughter. Kind of scary, those of you that knew Al, knew he could give you one look and make you think twice. Thankfully I gained his approval and wound up becoming not only a friend but his son-in-law. Al was one of the greatest, kind hearted people I have ever had the privilege of being close to. His laugh was infectious, and the more time I get to spend with him the more I got to enjoy it. The hug and “speech” as he gave me his daughters hand in marriage is something that I will never forget. Seeing Al hold his granddaughter for the first time and the absolute joy that it brought him will stay with me the rest of my life. Al, I love you and I am honored that you let me into your life and your family, and I promise you that I will make you proud. Until we meet again I will carry you in my heart always.

Denise McVey

January 11, 2019

My children were very blessed to have Mr.Baffa as a principal in both Tenakill and Hillside School. I have worked with Mr. Baffa as a paraprofessional at Hillside School. My most fond memory of Mr. Baffa coming down the Halls in the morning and greeting us with a hello and the jingling of his keys as he passed through the hallways. He was the most gentle and kindest person I have ever met and he never judged anyone. And I will forever hold him and his memories in my heart. Rest In Peace Mr. Baffa forever the Spirit of Hillside School .

Robert Baffa

January 11, 2019

My cousin Al was an enigma. He seldomed laughed aloud but when he smiled, he lit up the room. He never shouted but when he spoke in his iminitable soft tones, everyone strained to listen. He never wanted for material things in this life but sought only to impart his knowledge and values. Al was gracious, generous and unselfish with his time his entire life both to his family and students. He had this compelling charm about him in all he did. There will never be another him. We will miss him forever. God rest his soul.