A Eulogy from my dad's dear life long friend, Bob Struffenegger
I first got to know Fred Joho close to 80 years ago. As young children, we lived in a 5 family house. These were times when most people had financial difficulties. We were far from affluent, yet we had a very active and rewarding life. We had to invent things to do and we were always busy. We played football on the Connecticut Farms Elementary school team, built tree houses, traveled far distances on our bikes, we went sleigh ridng and ice skating in cold weather months. You could have considered us as being poor, yet we were rich in reality just enjoying life.
In time he met and married Josephine, a young girl who left the peace and quiet of Pennsylvania to enter into a live in New Jersey which was different as night and day. In due time, the children came into the world, first Ronald, followed by Greg, Carolyn and finally Barbara, who was memorable for causing me lost sleep. I got a call between 2:30-3:00 am that Josephine had to go to the hospital. I quickly got over to his house and we drove to the hospital nervously imploring Josephine to "hold on". As it turned out - Barbara was late!!
I had the pleasure of watching the kids grow and it was a real pleasure for me to be a part of the family and the memories are endless. The camping trip to Maine with Ron and my nephew, camping at Lake Cayuga in the Adirondacks, the many fishing trips at the shore on party boats, later on my boat an also the night surf fishing at Sandy Hook and other locations, such as Long Branch, where his stepfather was stuck straddled on a fence to climb over to get to the jetty.
Fred was a man who overcame low vision from birth. He was a skilled carpenter, did a terrific job on his cellar and built a great bar where many of his firends and relatives spent many pleasant hours. He had a specialty making bird houses, had them all over his yard, at times it appeared to be a bird's sanctuary. Despite his visual problems, he was a great baseball player, was a catcher, how I can ever figure out. He also was an excellent ping pong player. Many evenings were spent playing in his cellar. It was frustrating for me. Here was a man with limited vision, yet he would usually beat me two out of every three games.
It has been a very long journey, and like most people who experience, there were ups and downs. But the end result is that Fred and Jo raised a very wonderful family who now are creating their own memories. From a young couple starting out the path has taken them to a new era of children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and his name and memories will remain in the minds of many of his friends. The long journey is now over and Fred is at peace.
God bless you my friend, until we meet again.