John Fagan
John Fagan
John Fagan

Obituary of John James Fagan

John James Fagan, 80, of Morris Plains, NJ, formerly of Spring Lake Heights, NJ, passed away at Sunrise of Morris Plains on March 13, 2021. Born in Long Branch, NJ, John resided in Spring Lake Heights, NJ prior to moving to Morris Plains, where he has lived for the past six years. John attended Long Branch High School and went on to graduate from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA in 1962 with a Bachelor of Arts degree before furthering his education with two Master of Arts degrees in Guidance and Special Education. John was known for his love of the beach. Growing up "down the shore", he spent lots of time at the beach club with his brothers and sisters--and later in life, with his own family. He was great at riding the waves and always made it the furthest to the shore. As the oldest of six siblings, John was known for directing holiday plays for the kids to perform at family holiday gatherings and telling ghost stories to his brothers and sisters. Although he was legally blind, that didn't hold John back from traveling across the nation and going away to college or from trying things like roller skating, ice skating, bowling and darts. While John loved to entertain and have a party, there was a very serious, disciplinarian side of him too. He loved his children and instilled in them the importance of hard work, higher education, and always doing your best. Before his retirement in December of 2002, John was an Education Supervisor for the New Jersey Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired Newark, NJ for over 30 years. In this role, John worked with visually handicapped high school students throughout the State of New Jersey and helped them prepare for college. While at the Commission, John started a Summer College Experience Program--the first of its kind--at Drew University. Blind and visually impaired high school students in their senior year had the opportunity to experience what living in the dorm is like--from eating in the dining hall to doing their own laundry. John received several commendations for his work at the Commission. John was a devout Catholic and a parishioner of St. Virgil's Church in Morris Plains. John is survived by his loving children, Diane Swisher, and her husband, Brian, of Morris Plains and Michael Fagan and his wife, Kelly, of Scotch Plains, his adoring grandchildren, Ella Swisher and Kaitlyn Fagan, and the caring mother of his children, Carolyn Fagan. John is also survived by his devoted siblings, Evelyn Rother, and her partner, Burgess Berlin, Wendy Paterson, and her partner, Bob Bigelow, Karen Lammann and her husband, Steve, Thomas Lehmann, and his wife, Liz, and Robert Lehmann and his wife, Dawn, and many cherished nieces and nephews. Family and friends are welcome to gather on Saturday, March 20, 2021 from 1-4 pm at Dangler Funeral Home, 600 Speedwell Avenue, Morris Plains. Masks and social distancing are required. Face shields will also be available to those who want them. In lieu of flowers, donations in John's memory can be made to Ennoble Care Hospice, 1 Edgeview Drive, Suite B2, Hackettstown, NJ 07840 or to St. Virgil's Parish, 250 Speedwell Avenue, Morris Plains, NJ 07950 or online at

Memorial Gathering

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Saturday, March 20, 2021
Dangler Funeral Home
600 Speedwell Avenue
Morris Plains, New Jersey, United States
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