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Remembering Jack M. Dudas

I knew Jack for the past fifteen years. He was a very intelligent and thoughtful person. Paul asked Jack to be his best man in our wedding since Jack was such good friends with Paul’s brother, Dale Morris who had suffered a heart attack in 2002. The paramedics brought him back, but Dale suffered global brain damage and is in a nursing home. Jack was happy to be our best man.

During the wedding Jack sat for hor’devours with the bridal group. There was a monsoon that day. Jack sat down and water dripped from the ceiling of the Armory onto Jack’s head. Jack moved his seat. Like in a bad cartoon, the water then dripped on his head in his new seat, and it stopped dripping in his old seat!

I gave one dance to Jack at the wedding. He seemed a bit awkward dancing, but I think he enjoyed himself.

Jack loved Halloween and liked to sit at the Cottage handing out candy to trick or treaters. Jack, of course would eat too much of the candy himself, then get sick.

Jack loved history, especially the history of Perth Amboy. In 2007 when Paul and I were writing Then and Now: Perth Amboy, Jack loaned Paul his photos, many of which were used in the book.

Jack M. Dudas

Jack had written a brief history of Perth Amboy for the Tercentennial of the City. I had used it as one of my sources in Stories From Perth Amboy. Jack always made certain of detail and wanted everything to be perfect. I had asked him to help me with my book and he loaned me some books to help me with my research. He knew what books said what and which ones were the most accurate. He offered his insights on the earlier drafts. I gave the book to him to proofread, but by then his health wasn’t the same and he wasn’t up to it.

Jack also loved the Civil War and loved to go to Gettysburg. He also loved World War II history.

Jack, Paul & I went to see the Mets with him in 2005. I don’t remember if the Mets won or lost that game, but I do remember we had a great time.

Jack came to Paul’s 50th birthday party in 2007, but left early due to the death of a relative. Jack was a pallbearer when Paul’s sister, Faith’s husband, Miguel died.

He was an active member of the Kearny Cottage Historical Society, but in the last few years his health prevented him from attending many of the events but he always held a special place in his heart for the Cottage.

Jack had a lot of health problems and his health got worse in the past two years. He spent a lot of time indoors reading and he didn’t go out too much anymore.

For me, when Paul’s sister, Angel unexpectedly died of an aneurism in 2010, it was a wake-up call that God can call you any time, any place at any age. Now that Jack died, it was a wake-up call that when you argue with people, regardless of who is right or wrong, you should make your peace. Paul’s disagreement with Jack over who should get credit for who put the roof on the Cottage was not only ridiculous and stupid, but now the point is moot and the argument is over. I never held any ill will toward Jack, no matter what he said. Rest in peace, Jack.


My memories of Jack goes back over 40+ years when Jack was friends with my brother, Dale. To me, Jack was a substitute for my brother, Dale who took ill. Jack and I had a lot in common: history, old horror movies, The Prisoner Series with Patrick McGoohan.

Back in ‘96 I remember meeting Jack out taking pictures of the Blizzard. I remember Jack’s fondness for Halloween and the fall. He used to come out to the Cottage and hand out candy.

He is going to be greatly missed. As much differences we had recently I never truthfully stopped thinking of him as a friend and as a brother. The only problem I had is that his life was cut short too soon. He was the one who got me back into the Cottage. Jack had a tendency of recruiting people into organizations such as the Odd Fellows, Kearny Cottage, the Historical Commission, etc. In a very funny way, Jack could see potential in individuals that could be benefit to these organizations.

Recently Jack and I had disagreements. It was apparent in the paper. It was a personal disagreement. To me, it didn’t take away the good Jack has done for the City. Like with any family members you have disagreements, then move on. Jack will always be a friend and family in my thoughts. P.W.

I first became familiar with Jack when I worked with Bill George at the Amboy Beacon. Bill would sometimes call Jack when he needed some legal advice on a story he was researching. As a member of the Kearny Cottage I would also see Jack along with his mother at some of the Cottage events. He and his mother seemed to enjoy the annual Kearny Cottage Christmas Tea the most. Jack was also instrumental in getting repairs done and the Simpson Methodist Church. The last phone conversation had with Jack, he was in a lot of pain. I told him I had something to tell him to make him very happy. The Barge finally reopened after Superstorm Sandy!” He was delighted and said, “I’m surprised that Alex didn’t tell me!” Hopefully Jack was able to go to the Barge after it reopened. C.M.

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