George F. Spath

George F. Spath passed away peacefully on the morning of Feb. 1, 2023, at the age of 89. 

He was born in Jersey City, N.J., on April 6, 1933, to Marguerite (Baumann) and George Spath. He grew up in Teaneck, N.J., and attended Teaneck public schools, playing football and wrestling during his high school years. It was at Teaneck High School that he met the love of his life, Elaine Andreana. They were married in May of 1951. George had joined the United States Marine Corps in June of 1950 as the U.S. entered the Korean War. George’s leadership skills were quickly recognized by the Marines and he was promoted to the rank of sergeant and recruit drill instructor, serving until he received an honorable discharge in June 1954. George then joined the Teaneck Police Department, where he served as motor patrol officer until he was promoted to detective in the Youth Bureau in 1963. He worked in that capacity until his retirement in September 1983. 

George and Elaine raised their four children, two daughters and two sons, in Teaneck. He loved animals, especially dogs, and their home became a sanctuary for cats, ducks, rabbits, turtles, fish and, on occasion, a pony might show up in the yard. 

He could always be seen coaching his boys, Rick and Gary, on the ball fields and also participated in many a ball game in his own backyard, which would turn into a baseball field from spring through fall. No matter the sport, he loved tossing a ball around with his kids. Their property held an open invitation to neighborhood kids, as there was always a basketball game in the driveway, baseball game in the backyard or a pickup football game in the street in front of the house. He was known as a tough Marine/cop, but his love and supporting nature for his wife, Elaine and his children would shine through, always with a disarming sense of humor that was with him until the final moments of his life. 

George loved the beach and his summer residence in Mattituck, N.Y., from his birth until his dying days. He was a member of Teaneck Police Benevolent Association Local 215, the Marine Corps League of Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J., and Knights of Columbus  Chief Justice White Council 2586 of Teaneck. 

He leaves behind his loving wife of 72 years, Elaine Spath; his four children, Laine Sullivan (Paul) of Hollis, N.H., Barbara Mercier (Thomas) of Mattituck, N.Y., Rick Spath (Patricia) of Weddington, N.C., and Gary Spath (Nancy) of Cutchogue, N.Y.; along with his 12 grandchildren, Brendan, Conor, Nicole, Alexander, Joel, Steven, Nicholas, Anne-Marie, Michael, Christina, Tim and Theresa; and 13 great-grandchildren.

Interment will take place at George Washington Memorial Park Cemetery in Paramus, N.J., with a private graveside service. 

DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Mattituck is serving the family.

This is a paid notice.