Waldwick – Donald G. Veleber, age 87, entered the Gates of Heaven on May 29, 2021. Don is survived by the love of his life, Mary Ann, his wife of 61 years and a loving family: son Jeff (Lisa) of Saint Johns, FL; daughter Kim Peterson (Jim) of Westfield, NJ; son Todd (Julie) of Phoenix, AZ; and by eleven grandchildren – Matt, Brad, Ryan, Brody, Dayne, Austin, Elena, Nevaeh, Josh, Kiley, and Griffin. Don is predeceased by parents George and Helen Veleber and brother Robert.
Before retiring, Don had a 35-year career as a journalist, being employed by award-winning Worrall Community Newspapers of Essex and Union counties as executive editor for seven years, by the Herald News of Passaic as sports managing editor for 18 years, and by the Ridgewood Newspapers as sports editor for ten years. Don was also a consultant for Athletic Organizational Aids of Midland Park.
A graduate of Garfield High School, Don earned 1952 Group 4 Newark News and Star Ledger all state first team honors and Herald News All Passaic Valley Conference first team honors as a catcher. After high school, Don signed a professional baseball contract to play for the New York Giants Sandersville, GA affiliate of the Class D Florida-Georgia League. Don, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame as a writer, played baseball for a number of area teams including the Albion (Clifton) Memorial VFW Post, Clifton Dodgers, Clifton Cardinals, Clifton Parker Daytons, Passaic Indians, Passaic BBC, Garfield Benignos, Nutley Colonels, Montclair BBC, Glen Rock Fabers, and Midland Park Rangers.
Inducted into the Garfield High School Athletic Hall of Fame, Don proudly served in the U.S. Army as a tank commander and served as a social director, athletic director, baseball / football / basketball coach of the American Youth Association while stationed in Gelhausen, Germany. Among other sports related activities, Don was a 59-year member of the Bergen County Umpires Association; boys’ and girls’ basketball public address game announcer at Paterson Kennedy and Midland Park high schools and the Passaic County basketball tournament, in addition to announcing at Fairleigh Dickenson University men’s and Montclair State women’s games.
The Veleber family will receive family and friends on Tuesday, June 1, 2021, from 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm at the Vander Plaat Funeral Home, www.vpfh.com, 257 Godwin Ave., Wyckoff, NJ 07481. A Funeral Service will be held Wednesday, June 2, 2021, 10:00 am at the Funeral Home with the interment to follow at George Washington Memorial Park Cemetery, Paramus, NJ. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Don’s memory may be made to; Allendale Waldwick PBA 217, P.O. Box 166, Allendale, NJ 07401, or Waldwick Volunteer Ambulance Corps., http://waldwickems.com P.O. Box 244, Waldwick, NJ 07463.
This obituary was written by Don prior to his passing.
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Waldwick Volunteer Ambulance Corps
P.O. Box 244, Walwick NJ 07463
Allendale Waldwick PBA 217
P.O. Box 244, Waldwick NJ 07463