John 'Jack' Henry Behnken Jr. Had a profound impact on many lives as a mentor, coach and friend John "Jack" Henry Behnken Jr., 77, of Fairfield, N.J., died on June 21, 2017, at home surrounded by his loving family. Services will begin on Wednesday, June 28 at 9 a.m. at Shook's Cedar Grove Funeral Home, 486 Pompton Ave., Cedar Grove, N.J. Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. at St. Thomas More Church, Fairfield, with interment at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Hanover, N.J. Visitation will be on Tuesday, June 27 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. at the funeral home. Memories and condolences may be shared at shookscedargrove.com. Born Feb. 7, 1940, in Hoboken, N.J., Jack was raised in West New York, N.J., and had been a resident of Fairfield for the past 45 years. Jack graduated from Montclair State University with a B.A. in health and physical education and received his M.A. from Seton Hall University in school administration and supervision. His teaching career spanned 44 years, 39 of them with the North Arlington School District. In addition, he was appointed as an adjunct professor at Rowan University, supervising student teachers majoring in health and exercise science. Jack's officiating career has awarded him with the NJSIAA State Final assignments in football, basketball, soccer, and baseball. He also officiated college basketball in the Ivy, MAAC, and NJAC Conferences for many years. He continued to serve as an NJSIAA State observer of officials. Jack has been the recipient of many prestigious awards in education and officiating. He was a 50-year member and past president of the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials (IAABO) Board 33. He also received the Frank C. Corrigan Memorial Award. For 55 years, he was a member and past president of the Bergen County Soccer Officials Association. He received the Lifetime Achievement award from the Bergen County Boys Soccer Coaches Association and received the NFHS Official of the Year Award from the NJSIAA/NJ Scholastic Coaches Association. He was awarded the Jack Schrumpf Hall of Fame Award from the N.J. State Baseball Umpires Association and also was the recipient of the Bergen County Umpires Association Barney Finn Award. He was a 46-year member of the N.J. Football Officials Association (NJFOA) serving on various committees and received their Rosati Award. In his spare time, his hobbies included landscaping, spending time with his grandchildren, and traveling. He was also an avid collector of trains and stamps. Jack had a profound impact on many lives, both on and off the fields, as a mentor, coach, and friend. He has left an indelible mark on the hearts of many and will truly be missed. He was predeceased by his parents, John Sr. and Ann (Corless) and his sister, Joan Reiser. He is survived by his beloved wife of 50 years, Dawn Behnken (Magda); devoted daughters, Juliet Saluja and her husband, Chetan, Kimberly Taylor and her husband, Thomas, Kellie Strangio and her husband, James, and Jeannine Venezia, and her husband, Rocco; cherished grandchildren, Rocco, Sameera, Jai, Julianna, Jack, Nicholas, and Emilianna; dear nephew, Joseph Criscione and his wife, Laura, and many cousins. Donations may be made to The Leukemia And Lymphoma Society, lls.org. Published in Star-Ledger on June 25, 2017
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