HRFA Fallen Members
|George Graf||Danny Bontempts||Tom Paciorkowski|
|Rudy Padro||Ray Marione||Fred Edwing|
|Darren Cardinal||Tom Bromilow||Rich Berlingeri|
|Lou Obsuth||Jack Lipton|
JACK LIPTON PASSES 6/2013
I remember his devotion, patience and enthusiasm for these remarkable children, especially a trip to the Jersey City walkway, where the excited screams of the kids reverberated as they caught slimy wriggling eels! At the last general meeting he was fondly eulogized by friend and fellowlong time HRFA member Sergio Radossi. Jack was a very active member for decades and often attended meetings for not just our group, but also the PIP (Palisades Interstate Parks Commission). He did volunteer work for Hackensack Medical Center, Meals on Wheels, The Special Olympics, and Camp Sunshine.
Our sincerest condolences go out to his wife, Jeanette, and his entire family. Donations to the Make-a-Wish- Foundation may be made in his memory.
By Carl Bruger
Without ever knowing the facts we lost one of our longest members in the HRFA this past summer. Tom Bromilow was a veteran retired Game warden who was a fountain of knowledge for any of us lucky enough to fish with him extensively. His passing due to a heart attack was confirmed to me by a Captain of the Woodcliff Lake Police who had even been a fellow trainee with Tom many years ago. I count myself lucky to be in that privileged few who called Tom friend; because he could be quite a curmudgeon who, as Shakespeare said, could never suffer fools. His dry wit and fishing skills ranged from shad excellence on the Delaware to musky fishing from Jersey to Canada. He was an HRFA member for close to thirty years. He and I fished both sides of Lake Ontario for years and he was a welcomed guest at my summer camp on the lake. In his later years he donated many articles of fishing gear to help get kids into fishing. I sure will miss him.
A report on the death of Rich Berlingeri came as a sudden shock just as we went to press. Rich was the father of eleven children and for years was a very active club member. I remember he was recently doing missionary work and also participated extensively in last year’s auction when he seemed to be in good health. Bob Kaczorowski saw him just a few weeks ago at a street fair where he seemed well. Rich was an active angler and enjoyed fishing the Hudson River where he owned a boat with fellow member Christian Hoops. Our deepest sympathies are extended to his wife, children, and extensive family.
Lou Obsuth, better known to HRFA regulars and fishermen as “Hot Dog Louie” died recently. He often chartered Darren Cardinal’s old charter boat Hyper-Striper out of Twin Lights Marina in Sandy Hook and was one of Captain Pete Wagner’s steadiest fares. I’ve seen the man haul in every catch from trophy striper to puppy drum despite his ill health that had him on an oxygen bottle in between fish battles! His generosity regarding the product he sold and the beloved nickname he earned will be remembered by all those who fished with him and enjoyed those tube steak repasts.
Pete Barrett Award Winner, Youth Anger Program Chairman, youth Scholarship Chairman
1952 - 2009
Carl Bruger River Views Sept 2009
We have just lost a Titan of an HRFA member with the sudden death of a man who was in this writers opinion, our best angler, youth angler supporter, scholarship fund benefactor and personal friend. Darren had just spent some time up on Lake Ontario fishing with his son Brendan and our favorite guide Chris Cinelli with the usual limit catches of smallmouth and other targeted fish. I heard the tragic news in a shocking phone call from our mutual HRFA friend, Wayne Geider while I also was fishing, but on the ESLO side of the lake, (East Side Lake Ontario).
Darren was only
fifty-six, having been born on October 22, 1952 and passing on this 9th of
August. My son-in-law Brian Rutigliano, a
fellow HRFA member, remembered that that was
the same date when Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead
Rock group died and he was a man whose music I often heard in Darrens Hummer on our
long trips north along with loud heavy metal bands like Black Sabbath
that he and I enjoyed from our younger days. I
always thought in his later years that Darren
looked a bit like the bearded Garcia and even
more like my favorite author, the great Ernest
Hemingway, who was also a great angler of
international renown. For our members that did
not know him well, he was, as I described him, a giant in heart and generosity, plus
business and fishing achievement each a parallel to his bearlike stature. Also the man could snore! If you ever shared a
motel room on a fishing trip with Darren you
expected the paint might be sucked off the walls by morning.
Poor Mike Waslo got stuck with
both of us in the same room and we nearly kept the young HRFA member sleepless in Lewiston.
Darren was adept, accomplished and expert at both salt water and fresh water angling pursuits. He holds both the salmon and released striper HRFA club records and a few others with less notoriety. I know for a fact that he could have held records that he never even declared or entered, whispering once in my ear that it meant far more to a current record holder, so he refused to register the fish. In the last year he became one in a million who caught and released all three species of sturgeon from the Pacific, Great Lakes and Atlantic. In his early days he was a physical overmatch, beating up giant tuna and swordfish to win many tournaments and earn a few prizes. He was great to fish with on a boat and his dry sense of humor and busting chops made every day on the water one to treasure. On our last time together on Lake Ontario he was very sleepy in Chris Cinellis boat, but we were over ravenously feeding Lake Erie smallmouths. In the middle of a snore a huge smallie strike nailed Darrens minnow and levered the rod and reel so it looked like it was destined for the deep. Cardinal grabbed the rod in mid-air in mid-snore and brought in a trophy four pound bronze back as Chris and I stood open mouthed. This was the only man I ever met that could catch a fish while he was asleep!
The HRFA honored Darren with the coveted Pete Barrett Award two years ago, emblematic of our highest honor and sort of like winning the MVP in baseball. When he spoke at this years awards dinner in giving it to our newest recipient, Gil Hawkins, Darren brought down the house by saying, This has to be the first time a real estate developer ever gave the same award to a conservationist!
The bond for both men and all of us is fishing. We also believe this love for angling needs to be passed on to the next generations. Along with Glenn Blank and many others in the club, Darren stood at the forefront by backing extensive pier and boat trips for thousands of boys and girls over the years. Youth anglers from Jersey City to Guttenberg to Leonia to Kittatiny all benefited from his generosity. The HRFA scholarship fund was unanimously voted to bear his name in the future. There was also interest in sinking a ship or having a reef location named for Darren off the North Coast of New Jersey. I bet close to a thousand people paid their respects to Darrens wife Brenda and their three young children. I also got to see Darrens older son Brett and daughter, Lacy, who both came up from Florida. Brett, who is the image of his dad in those tuna trophy shots we saw at the wake, is an oceanography expert. We got to fish together last year and plan on a reunion to keep the tradition alive plus make a trip down to Costa Rica to go for roosterfish and other exotics. Those who would like to make a donation to the scholarship fund in Darrens name are encouraged to do so by mailing tax deductable checks to the HRFA scholarship box #421 in Cresskill, NJ 07626.
HRFA President 1988
The HRFA lost another good friend this pasted August 28th Fred Edwing died
HRFA member, Pete Barrett Award Winner, Fishing contest Director, Director
January 20, 1929 - July 15, 2005
Danny Bontemps, a
On Saturday, July 16th, 2005 Warren (Danny) Bontemps, one of the original club members, passed away. While this may not be a familiar name to many, those that knew him well, also know what he did for the H.R.F.A.-N.J. Chapter. You may have heard me talk about a group of people that helped to get the club back on its feet in the mid-late 80s. Danny Bontemps was one of those guys!
It was Danny who kept club patches from being discarded at a time
when the club was close to disbanding. Those
patches provide a revenue source to keep us on our feet. In
addition to the club patches, Danny insured that key club literature was not lost. Danny arranged for the club to use the
Lets not forget Danny the fisherman. Not too long ago, stripers were few and far between, they almost made the endangered species list. During those years, Danny taught me the secrets of the river and we had no trouble catching and tagging (and yes eating some) bass. Weakfishing, however, was Dannys weakness. If I were to tell you that it was not uncommon to throw back weakfish under 6 lbs as 12-14 lbs fish were the norm... Would you believe me? Well you should, it was true in the late 80s. From flounder to tuna, Danny did it all. As you might guess there are more fish tales than we have room for, so let me just give Danny Bontemps his due Danny was one heck of a great fisherman!
It was my good fortune to have known him and be able to call him friend. I will miss Danny. Please join me in a moment of silence, with the hope that he is on a calm sea, that he has wind and tide in his favor and is busy catching 17 lb weakfish.
Past President and Corresponding Sec.
HRFA Member George Graf
HRFA NJ President
1999 through 2001
Former Director, Trustee
I'm going to miss you George...Your friend, Chas <'////><
Words from HRFA members...
|From Sergio Radossi
To George Graf .... A note of Thanks
Shortly after I received the sad news of George Grafs
|Long time HRFA Member Rudy Padro known for his ability to win every prize
raffled out at our HRFA Awards dinner every year sadly passed away in 2009.
Rudy loved fishing and loved the HRFA. He attended all our events and served as a shining example of a proud fisherman in the HRFA.
|From Carl Bruger August
With a heavy heart I must confirm reports of the passing of long time HRFA member and dear personal friend Rudy Padro. Having just seen him at a recent winter HRFA meeting, it didnt seem possible that my old salmon fishing buddy had caught his last steelhead on this side of heaven. I want to deeply thank John Golon, Darren Cardinal and finally Bruce Halstater for factually confirming his demise with a neighbor at his last known address. These three men and I encountered mistrust, resistance, discourtesy and downright rudeness in our sincere efforts to confirm that Rudy had indeed passed away. Bruce finally solved the mystery to give us the closure that a staunch member was now busy catching fish with St. Peter and other top heavenly anglers.
At one point in the scheme of things Rudy
had the second heaviest steelhead ever taken from
Rudy was an expert on engines and repaired antique kickers as part of his love for boats. He always owned a couple of craft and constantly was fixing and fussing with one outboard or another. He was an original member of the Ask Us Sports Bergenfield gang that leader Kel Hiltsley used to bring up to Lake Ontario for a yearly mid October angling adventure. He was one of the first men I encouraged to join the HRFA when all of us got involved in the early 90s. Current HRFA guys like Dan Reimann, Al Sternberg, Al White, and I can attest with the rest of every regular meeting attendees that Rudy was the all time legendary luckiest 50/50, door prize, and raffle winner of all time. He once showed me a room filled with angling accoutrements stuffed from floor to ceiling and said, Every thing you see here I won at the awards dinners and general meetings. I fully believe the man because I was there and a witness.
I remember Rudy in so many pictures with fish, grandchildren
and group shots of happy anglers. In the best
way I believe he had the jolliest photogenic mug in the club and always brightened a room
when he entered it. Ill always know he
was the best of souls because even my grouchy dog, Maggie,
liked him when he slept over at our NJ home before wed head up north to
HRFA member from 1983 to 2009. A director for most of those years, we lost our good friend Ray Marione in May of 2009.
Ray loved the HRFA and he was loved back by all it's membership.
Ray, in the center with the gray suit is surrounded by HRFA friends while being honored at the
"JCAA Sportsman of the Year"
November 10, 2002
By Carl Bruger
On the same day,
May 22nd, that his dear friend and fellow HRFA and Bergen Salt Water angling buddy, Joe Platonni passed away, our beloved Ray Marione went to heaven at age 91. He was the
beloved husband of
Also over 600 HRFA members and their families mourn his passing. There may be more members signed up in this club thanks to Ray than due to any other member. He got me to join after signing me up as a guest speaker way back in 1990 so every HRFA member who joined under me was due to Ray & the many other men directly signed by him.
Ray was a submariner in the Great War and
represented the greatest generation by serving in the South Pacific. He once shared with me that the toughest time was
picking up the shark attack victims of the sinking of the
Ray earned and received many honors for his
dedication to so many aspects of angling. He
was always willing to travel all over the state to help get passage of the Striped Bass
Gamefish Bill which became a state law in 1991. He was instrumental in the improved Hazards ramp construction below the GW
Bridge. Both Ray (in 2002) and Joe were honored as state sportsman of the year on
separate occasions awarded by the governor after nomination by the 75 member clubs in N. J. S. A. A. (
How ironic that we used to tease, stand up Ray! to a man who was really a
diminutive giant, gifted in every aspect of what made an HRFA member great. Ray was my surrogate father in so many ways. He
and my late father Herb Bruger, were both born
on the same day
Ray loved every type of fishing and was a jack of all trades and master of each. Al White was reminiscing about a trip they had with Bruce Halstater on the formers old boat back in 2003 when Ray diamond jigged up a battling thirteen pound blue at the age of 85. Worrying if he was exhausted by the spirited tussle Al said he turned around and Marione was already casting right back in the brine after another bluefish!
I reflect fondly on our
cod trips to
Tim Burden was especially saddened to have been at both wakes because he got his first striped bass at Montauk years ago when Joe Platonni and Ray drove up with him to the Long Island Mecca for a memorable and successful trip.
From Tony Evangelsita:
On one of the days I
visited with Ray alone at the nursing home in
How do you sum up a super life of 91 years? Beloved family member, fluke specialist, savvy in fishing politics, award winner, renaissance wisdom, speaker, debater, keen judge of men, loyal and devoted dear friend, good sport, chop buster. Who wouldnt want this guy as a friend, fellow HRFA member and one of the winners in the human race.
Future years will always have his name before us in the form of a memorial Ray Marione award. Im going to propose this at the next session of the E-board. More details on this will follow in your next issues of River Views.
Ray Marione was everybody,s friend we all loved him and he was a true HRFA leader, Ray was
very instrumental in our access committee one of the first to serve both the JCAA &
Access. In it's early days Ray would attend the Jcaa meetings in south Jersey and report
to us at our general meeting word for word of what was discused I could remember at one of
the meetings where Ray was called up to give his report and as he stepped up to the
potum someone yelled out to Ray and said "Hey Ray Stand up" and Ray answerd
"I'm standing on a Box" he was a good sport and always played along with the
guys always teaseing him.
From Jim Campbell:
Congratulations to HRFAs Ray Marione, JCAAs Sportsperson of the Year. You will have to look for the fishtale in this months article; it will not be obvious. On November 10, 2002 the Jersey Coast Anglers Association, JCAA, honored long time HRFA Member Ray Marione with their annual Sportsperson of the Year Award. The Event was held at the Crystal Point Yacht Club in Point Pleasant, NJ. The HRFA had 20 members join 20 members of Rays family for a great night.
The highlight of the event was Governor James McGreeveys remarks about Ray. The Governor joked with Ray particularly about his age and activism, and apparently, his availability later on in the evening. It seemed as if Jim McGreevey really knew Ray. Governor McGreevey also played to the JCAA crowd by teasing JCAA President Tom Fote. The Governor said he wants to be a friend to the environmental community; I think we will have to remember and perhaps remind the Governor of his promise.
Now back to Ray. Raphael, (Ray) Marione was nominated for this prestigious award for his many years of hard work. In fact, one of the nights speakers said that Ray had been a conservationist, environmentalist and fishery manager for over fifty years. In the HRFA, Ray is well recognized as a friend of fishes, primarily because he never caught anything. Ray usually fishes with teasers and no hooks. Only kidding, Ray has been a master and mentor for many members in our club.
Another speaker told about Rays early days in the Navy. Ray relayed this story while fishing until 1:30AM on the beach at Seaside Park one summer night. How is that for age, activism, and enthusiasm? Another story had Ray, who was a seaman aboard the Submarine USS Tuna when the skipper, Captain Rickover, got his boat entangled in fishing nets. The word quickly went out for volunteers. Only Ray Marione was able to leave the sub through its torpedo tube. Ray left the sub with only a mask, fins, snorkel, and a knife in his teeth. Ray not only freed the submarine from the mess of fishing nets, but he also proceeded to swim around the harbor, freeing one trophy fish after another. Thus Rays productive career as a conservationist began.
Congratulations to Ray Marione for being selected as JCAAs Sportsperson of the Year. I know I speak for all our members when I say that the award you received also reflected positively on the HRFA. In our colorful history, this will be one of our finer moments. The HRFA is very proud of you and your accomplishments. The time you have spent with us has built a stronger more vibrant club. Ray, this is the legacy that you have left the HRFA; we will miss you but never forget you.
My own words faltered and failed, and therefore, I have borrowed words from Rays prayer card that is more fitting way to say good bye to a dear friend. A Fishermans Prayer God grant that I may fish until my dying day. And when it comes to my last cast, I then most humbly pray, When in the Lords safe landing net Im peacefully asleep. That in His mercy I be judged as big enough to keep. Amen. Tightlines in Heaven, Little Buddy!