He was known for his sense of humor -- a fun-loving guy and popular Oradell meat wholesaler who called himself "The Meat Man."
Christopher Lubben, 54, a former boys soccer coach at River Dell High School, was struck and killed by a commuter train in Oradell a half-dozen blocks or so from the school Wednesday evening -- the night before this year's graduation.
TRIBUTE: A funeral Mass was scheduled this Monday for Christopher Lubben -- the fun-loving and well-known Oradell wholesaler known as "The Meat Guy."
NJ Transit officials hadn't officially determined why the third-generation meat and restaurant supplies wholesaler was on those tracks -- just south of New Milford Avenue near the Marginal Road intersection -- when he was struck just before 7:30 p.m.
However, responders and several friends agreed that it was intentional, making Lubben the third male professional to commit suicide in Oradell the past two years.
A River Dell alumnus (Class of 1982), Lubben had a larger-than-life personality. It seemed everyone in Oradell -- and beyond -- knew the garrulous guy who owned and operated Golden Meats.
"He was a man about town, for sure," one friend told Daily Voice, before word of Lubben's death began to spread.
A father of three, he was "the honorary mayor looking out for our town," wrote Emily Michelman Stoecker. "His family has been here forever. I can’t imagine the pain his family is feeling."
Lubben made headlines six years ago when local police said store surveillance cameras captured images of him punching a 17-year-old boy at the local Rite-Aid.
"He said it was the moment in his life that he wished he had a do-over on," a good friend said.
The Kutztown University grad made the incident a distant memory, doing for others and making sure that he left his customers and others -- especially himself -- smiling or laughing.
He was a teaser --, a buster, as they say -- poking and prodding people with abandon.
"You beat me up about my Mets, but you were one of the good guys," James Shulz wrote in a tribute. "I'm heart-broken, my friend."
Or, as another said: "He liked to stir the pot."
"One of a kind," Kathleen Sakosits Battaglino wrote of Lubben, someone whom she said people will "always remember [for his] passion and laughter."
The NJ Transit #1635 Pascack Valley Line commuter train had left Hoboken at 6:48 p.m. Wednesday, due to arrive in Spring Valley at 8:03 p.m., with 400 customers and crew aboard.
It struck Lubben a few steps between Kinderkamack Road and the Hackensack River a little over a half-hour later.
"I can't wrap my head around this," friend Robike Noll-Faries said Thursday morning. "I want to think that he was chasing a homeless man to interview him or trying to save an animal to feed it."
"I just can't imagine him, of all people doing this on purpose," friend Ruthann Kordell added.
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