PARAMUS, N.J. -- Beloved high school football coach Peter John LaBarbiera Jr., of Paramus, died on Thursday, Dec. 15. He was 78.
LaBarbiera was born and raised in Lodi, graduating Lodi High in 1956 as a known athlete. He earned a B.S. degree in physical education from Seton Hall University and a master's degree from Columbia.
He was a football coach and teacher at Hasbrouck Heights, Nutley, and Paramus high schools. His PHS career record spanned 40 years, was 168-83-8 and included five state titles. In Hasbrouck Heights, he had five state titles in 15 years, with a record of 109-25-4. At NHS, he led the team to its first-ever playoff game and finished his eight year career there with a 48-26-2 record.
He enjoyed his family life and cherished his lifetime friendships with many former colleagues, students and players.
His career included serving as head football coach, athletic director, vice principal, and president of the Bergen County Coaches Association. He also served in the National Guard.He truly loved bringing the best out of young people. His leadership and efforts resulted in reviving the Bergen County Jamboree Tournament.
LaBarbiera Jr. received numerous lifetime achievement award, including the Lodi Boys Club, YMCA, Howard Bollerman Award, NJ Hall of Fame, and Hasbrouck Heights Hall of Fame.
He also enjoyed long tenures as a basketball official, and as a financial advisor for the Mid Atlantic Resource Group. He was a parishioner and catechist at Immaculate Conception, South Hackensack.
He is survived by his wife, Beatrice Ostrowski; children, Peter III, and his wife Mary, James and his wife Ula, Richard and his wife MaryAnn, Anthony and Maria; grandchildren, Patrick, Richard, Julia, Vincent, Jake, Nicholas, Johnny, Tess, Grace and Michael.
He was predeceased by his loving sister, Joyce; and his infant daughter, Suzanne.
Family will receive friends on Sunday, Dec. 18, from 6-9 p.m. and Monday, Dec. 19, from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at the Vander Plaat Memorial Home, 113 South Farview Ave., Paramus.
Funeral service will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 20 at the funeral home, followed by a 10 a.m. mass at Our Lady of the Visitation R.C. Church, Paramus. Interment will be at George Washington Memorial Park, Paramus.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his memory may be made to Coach Pete LaBarbiera Student-Athlete Scholarship Fund; 281 Dunkerhook Road, Paramus, NJ 07652