PARAMUS, N.J. -- Larry L. Luing, patriarch and chairman emeritus of Berkeley College in New Jersey and New York, died on Thursday, Nov. 17. He was 86.
He was a longtime New Jersey resident, having raised his family in Oakland and Kinnelon. He most recently resided in Boca Raton, Fla.
"Mr. Luing was a great visionary who was largely responsible for establishing Berkeley College as a leader at the forefront of career-focused education," said Berkeley College President Michael Smith. "He touched the lives of tens of thousands, not only throughout our region but globally as well."
Born in Iowa, he was an entrepreneur from a young age, selling milk, strawberries, greeting cards, garden seeds and household items door-to-door. After graduating from the University of Iowa, he enlisted in the Army and served in the 143rd Field Artillery Battalion of the 40th Division in Korea.
After the war, Luing landed a job in the sales department at the Gregg Division of the McGraw-Hill Book Co., where he was responsible for selling textbooks to business schools around the country.
In 1965, he joined the Berkeley School as vice president of administration, and he ultimately became the school's president and chairman of the board. Under his leadership, the school earned regional accreditation and became able to award associate and bachelor's degrees, and by the time of his retirement in 2001, it had been renamed Berkeley College.
"Education is a people business," Luing had said. "Whenever I am asked to identify the best thing about Berkeley, I invariably respond, 'Our people -- faculty, students, administrators -- everyone in the Berkeley family.'"
He was involved in various other business ventures during his lifetime. He had ownership interests in the Concord Motor Inn, Keystone Court apartments and Chateau guest house in Stone Harbor. He built The Leeward, a 24-unit condo complex, also in Stone Harbor.
Luing also operated Stafford Hall, a secretarial school in Summit, and he was a partial owner of the Taylor Schools, London School of Publishing and London School of Insurance.
After he retired, Luing traveled extensively, including two years aboard his boat, Quixote. He celebrated New Year holidays on each of the seven continents. He also wrote books and a study guide.
He is survived by his husband, Dario Espinosa; sons Kevin, Randy, Timothy and Brian; grandchildren Kelsey, Maxwell, Heather, Courtney, Brett, Erica, Allison, Matthew, Cassandra, Tyler, Danielle and Kayleigh; and sister Lois Cerka.
He was predeceased by his parents, Donald and Ethel Luing.
Visiting hours were held Monday, and a memorial service was held on Tuesday morning at Butler United Methodist Church, in Butler. The M. John Scanlan Funeral Home in Pompton Plains assisted with arrangements.
A leader in providing career-focused education since 1931, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls more than 8,000 students -- including more than 600 international students -- in its master, baccalaureate and associate degree and certificate programs, in more than 20 career fields.
The college is composed of the Larry L. Luing School of Business, the School of Professional Studies, the School of Health Studies and the School of Liberal Arts. The School of Graduate Studies offers a master of business administration degree, both online and on its Woodland Park campus.
The college's five New Jersey campuses are Dover, Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park. Its three New York campuses are Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains.
Berkeley College Online also serves a global population, and U.S. News & World Report named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor's Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for veterans in 2016, both for the third consecutive year.
For more information about the school, visit its website.