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Becker Funeral Home

OBITUARY

Jack Stephans

March 31, 1939September 29, 2020
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Jack Stephans, a longtime Montvale, NJ resident, was born in March of 1939 in Hoboken, NJ. He passed away peacefully and on his terms early morning September 29, 2020, surrounded by his family after a long battle with ALS. Jack was a graduate of Memorial High School in West New York, NJ where he was an All-Group IV football player for the Memorial Tigers. Jack played as a center and middle linebacker and helped the Tigers go 67-0 in his four years at Memorial. After graduating Memorial, Jack was offered and accepted a football scholarship for the Gamecocks of the University of South Carolina, but then ultimately transferred to Boston University where he enjoyed a successful college career for the Terriers as both a center and linebacker, including never leaving the field of play during his junior and senior years. It was also in Boston, where Jack met the love of his life, Judy, then a flight attendant for Eastern Airlines. After graduating Boston University with a degree in Education, Jack followed his passion and began his football coaching career with North Bergen High School as an Assistant Coach and Physical Education teacher. After North Bergen, Jack went on to coach at Montclair State University as an Assistant Coach before being offered the Head Coaching position at Saint Joseph Regional High School in Montvale. While also at St. Joseph’s, Jack was hired as the first Head Football Coach at Jersey City State College (JCSC) and coached both teams simultaneously for multiple seasons. Jack remained as the Head Football Coach and Assistant Athletic Director at JCSC for eight years and enjoyed a career record of 63-15, while also obtaining his Master Degree in Education at JCSC during this time period. Jack was honored to be inducted into the JCSC Hall of Fame in 1983. Following his time at JCSC, Jack became the Head Football Coach at William Paterson University and then Fordham University. After a short departure from football and education when Jack started a construction business in Naples, FL, he eventually returned to the field of education as the Vice Principal of Manchester Regional High School and soon thereafter assumed the role of Head Football Coach before retiring. Retirement from football, however, was not long lasting and Jack returned to his passion, as well as his Hudson County roots one more time, and served as an Assistant Coach at Weehawken High School as a volunteer. In April 2006, Jack received a further honor and was inducted into the Hudson County Sports Hall of Fame. Regardless of his success on the field, Jack was always most proud to hear of the impact he had on the players and coaches he was blessed to coach and work with over the years. The memories and stories Jack had were a true measure of a life complete. The only love in Jack’s life greater than football, was his beloved family. Jack was a loving and caring husband, father, and grandfather. Jack is survived by his wife Judy, and his children, Jason (Debra) and Jared (Paige), as well as his four beautiful grandchildren, Taleen, Alexa, Jack and Mikki. In lieu of flowers, Jack’s family requests that any donations be made to The ALS Association, www.als.org.

Services

  • Visitation

    Monday, October 5, 2020

  • Funeral Mass

    Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Memories

Jack Stephans

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Ira Thor

October 28, 2020

On behalf of the New Jersey City University Athletics Hall of Fame (Jersey City State College), I would like to extend my condolences to Coach Stephans family during this time of sorrow.

While I never got to work with Coach Stephans, his legend became evident to me in the fondless his former players relayed in stories over the years. Those memories will keep his legacy intact.

We published the following tribute on behalf of Coach Stephans.

https://njcugothicknights.com/news/2020/10/28/202010-28_athletics-hall-of-fame-njcu-mourns-the-passing-of-legendary-hall-of-fame-coach-jack-stephans-1939-2020.aspx

Prayers to your family.

robert masella

October 6, 2020

My first meeting with Jack was in 1961 at North Bergen High School. He was my PE teacher and our idol as a teacher and all state football player from Memorial. Then in 1966, I played for Trenton State against his Montclair team and we won and he made it a point to come over and congratulate one of his HS players, And lastly I had the pleasure to Coach with him at Fordham. Jack always had the respect from his players and peers. We certainly lost another wonderful person. May he enjoy HEAVEN.

Michael Guasconi

October 5, 2020

We were very fortunate to have Jack on our staff at Weehawken in the late 90’s Not only did the kids benefit from his knowledge of football but the adults benefitted as well. Many of our coaches were young and inexperienced and looked at Jack as sort of o father figure. They had the utmost respect for him and absorbed everything that came out of his mouth. For me, I will always be grateful for the Monday meetings at Horace Mann where Jack would go over his assessment of our opponent and give me his defensive game plan. I got a first hand insight to his football knowledge and usually at the end of our meeting there would always be a restaurant recommendation—usually a BYOB.— that he would share. We were truly blessed by his presence. Our prayers are with you Judy and your entire family. God bless

Suzanne Lippe

October 5, 2020

My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire family. Jack was a true family man.

Carol Ann Brennan

October 2, 2020

So grateful for my memories with Jack. He was always so full of life, loved to joke and laugh; and enjoyed being together with our large family. God speed my dear cousin as you take this last journey. Hopefully we will meet again. Love carol.😇

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