DENVILLE, NJ -- On April 10, Bill Kader of The Rotary Club of Denville, along with Senior Vice Commander Thomas Zaleski Sr. of Denville American Legion Post 390, and Denville Mayor Thomas Andes, re-dedicated the Robert D. Kearney Memorial at a ceremony at Gardner Field.
Relatives of Robert present were his niece, Dawn Messier, and her husband, Todd Messier, and their two children. They came from Coventry, Conn., to attend the ceremony.
Along with invited dignitaries Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, Senator Tony Bucco, Assemblyman Anthony Bucco, Freeholder Director Kathy DeFillippo, Freeholder-Elect Deborah Smith, Council President Chris Golinski, Councilman Gene Fitzpatrick, Councilman Doug Gabel, Councilman Don Kuser, Councilwoman Stephanie Lyden, Councilman John Murphy, Councilwoman Nancy Witte, Former Freeholder & Former Denville Mayor Gene Feyl, Acting Administrator CFO Mike Guarino and Township Attorney John Jansen, more than 200 residents, family and friends gathered to honor Robert and his shipmates.
Robert, along with 128 shipmates, perished while on maneuvers off the East Coast of the United States on April 10, 1963, while serving aboard USS Thresher SSN593 Navy Submarine. Two plaques honoring Robert that had been at Gardner Field near the volleyball nets for years have been refurbished and placed on a marble monument near the Gardner Field pavilion.
The Rotary Club of Denville is the main sponsor along with Denville Post 390, SAL Unit 390, Ladies Auxiliary Unit 390 Denville, Denville PBA #142, Eagle Scout Candidate Jack Tucker and Denville Boy Scout Troop 17.
Tucker was instrumental in arranging most of the details, as this is his Eagle Scout project, and Jack put in an amazing amount of time and energy to make this project a success.
Denville American Legion Unit 390 Mike Little was the project leader on this endeavor for Post 390. Mike put in a great amount of time and effort to help make this a success.
The public is invited to visit Gardner Field to see the Robert D. Kearney Memorial. The memorial is near the Rotary Pavilion, adjacent to the snack bar.