William Reay

Obituary of William M. Reay

William "Bill" Mark Reay, 68, of the Marksboro section of Frelinghuysen Township passed away September 15, 2021, surrounded by his family. Born in Clifton, and raised in Clifton and Frelinghuysen, NJ, Bill was the son of Katharina (Schweighardt) and William F. Reay. He is survived by siblings Kathy and Mark, daughter Danielle Reay and her husband Alex Minicozzi, son Michael Reay, ex-wife and lifelong friend Gail Keogh-Dwyer, as well as one soon to be born grandchild. A quiet man who played a loud yet melodic mahogany Gibson SG guitar, his love of music began in earnest in 1964 when his sister Kathy ran home with The Rolling Stones' debut album. They turned up the bass on their Magnavox hi-fi and experienced the raw energy of The Stones. They looked at each other and said "this is good." In addition to sharing music, Bill and his siblings also shared a sense of adventure, such as going to the Allwood Theater for a sci-fi matinee showing of The War of the Worlds against their parent's advice. They ran home numb and frightened, but determined not to let on that they had gone. In June of 1965, Bill moved with his family from Clifton to Silver Lake Road in Frelinghuysen Township where his family would spend the next several years historically restoring a circa 1770 Moravian Homestead. In 1973, his mother Kay became the sole proprietor of the Fireside Inn in Marksboro. This would be the site of decades worth of family get-togethers, celebrating birthdays and holidays with the telling and retelling of classic family stories, inside jokes, and good food - including apple cider taste tests. He graduated from North Warren Regional High School in 1971 and received a degree in Finance with honors from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1984. A talented musician, Bill performed in several bands including Lickity Split. He enjoyed record collecting and seeing live music. This love of music was supported by both his parents. His dad took him to see bands like Johnny Winter at Pope John High School and The Dave Clark Five with his brother and sister. In August of 1969, Bill and his friends Jay Ohland and Dennis Place attended Woodstock, getting a ride to the pinnacle of rock counter culture from none other than Bill's mom and sister. The friends spent the weekend building a fort out of hay bales and a tarp donated by Mr. Ohland, taking in the scene, and enjoying some of their favorite musical acts. He also had the opportunity to see several bands while stationed in Germany during his military service in the mid-1970s. He later shared this love of music with his own children, encouraging their musical endeavors, taking them to concerts, and making the annual Record Store Day trip with his daughter to hunt for that year's special releases. He held a variety of professional positions throughout his life including realtor, accountant and financial advisor, and most recently was a member of the dining services team at Blair Academy. Bill was an avid appreciator of movies, tv shows, soccer, and cycling. He took pride in supporting his son's cross-country cycling trip and never missed watching a broadcast of the Tour de France or the World Cup. Summers were often spent taking his children on beach vacations to the "Pyramid Club" or coaching their sports teams. His sense of humor was a welcome part of family gatherings and appreciated by his friends and coworkers alike. He enjoyed a good crumb bun, extra-thick coffee milkshakes, Belgian beer, and a fine whiskey. Bill was well-read and curious, with wide-ranging interests from politics, to technology, to gardening. He was a loving and devoted father, a wonderful son and brother, and friend to many. Bill will be missed tremendously by his family and friends. The family is grateful for the caring staff of the Newton Medical Center. No formal funeral services will be held but a celebration of life will be scheduled for October. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charitable organization, have a root beer float, and tell your loved ones how much they mean to you. Arrangements are under the direction of Newbaker Funeral Home, 200 Route 94, Blairstown, NJ 07825
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