Paul J. Smitko, 70, passed away on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020. Paul was born in Kupuvar, Hungary on Dec. 8, 1949, to Paul and Ilona (Vadasz) Smitko. Arriving in the United States in 1956, the family settled in East Orange and later to Livingston. Paul had been a resident of Highland Lakes since 1977.
Paul was a mail carrier for the Livingston United States Postal Service for 35 years, retiring in 2005. Paul was a member of the Livingston Elks, and was an avid fisherman and golfer. He enjoyed fishing for trout in the Rockaway River, for fluke and striped bass in the Atlantic Ocean off Sandy Hook, and for salmon and halibut in Alaska. Paul was a lifelong sports fan, following the Jets, Yankees and Rangers—and whatever his kids and grandkids were playing.
Paul was predeceased by his father.
Paul is survived by his high-school sweetheart and the love of his life, his wife, Debbie (Graf) Smitko, his two devoted children, Michael P. Smitko and his wife Tina of Rockaway, Jennifer Getz and her husband John of Vernon, and his five cherished grandchildren, Emily, Danielle, Alison, Samuel and Joseph, and his mother Ilona (Vadasz) Smitko of Maryland and his siblings, Peter Smitko of Louisiana, Claire Smitko of Maryland, and Sue Smith and her husband Rob of Maryland.
Relatives and friends were received on Wednesday Jan. 29, from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Ferguson-Vernon Funeral Home 241 Rt.94, Vernon, NJ (GPS use 1 Vanderhoof Court), and were invited to attend funeral services at the funeral home on Thursday, Jan. 30, at 11 a.m. For directions and condolences see www.fergusonfuneralhomesnj.com. In lieu of flowers donations to My Brother’s Place, www.mybrothersplace.com, or Sound Start Babies, www.soundstartbabies.com/donate.