The Cadets Mourn The Loss of an Alumni

John Plaza marched in the '61 and '62 Colorguard

Today, The Cadets remember 1960s Garfield Cadet alum John V. Plaza, 66, of Clifton, NJ who passed away on Sunday, June 24, 2012. John was born in Passaic, NJ, and he resided in Clifton for over 30 years. He was a United States Army Veteran and served our country during Vietnam in Germany, achieving the rank of sergeant. He was also a parishioner and usher of St. Paul R.C. Church in Clifton. In February, John retired from his long-time position at Janome America, Inc. of Mahwah, NJ.

"His friends called him Mr. Fantastic because when anyone asked him how he was doing he would say, Fantastic!" John’s wife, Drena, said. Christmas was his favorite time of year, and John actually wrote a book called Christmas in the ‘50s. He kept a Christmas tree in his living room year-round, and last year he decorated it with over 1,000 ornaments.

John also loved to cook and garden and wrote over 100 recipes. He was very close with his family and is survived by his wife, Drena Plaza; his daughter, Kristina Melvin, and her children, Michael and Jashi Zambrana; his brother, Joseph Plaza, and his wife, Dorothy; two sisters, Maryann Kloss and Jane Derendal; his father-in-law, Peter Osterjohn, and his wife, Helen; his step-father-in-law, Michael Schupp; and many loving nieces and nephews. He was buried at St. Michael's Cemetery in South Hackensack, NJ.

John’s favorite song was “Carol for Another Christmas,” written by Henri Mancini in 1966. He always kept up with The Cadets to see how they were doing, and the corps will miss him dearly.



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