Wilbur (‘Will’) A. Rath

Sparta /
22 Jun 2020 | 01:16

Wilbur (“Will”) A. Rath of Sandyston, N.J., passed away peacefully at home Tuesday morning, May 26, 2020, with his son by his side. He was 95.

He was born to Andrew A. and Elsie L. Rath in Linden, N.J., in October 1924. He attended the Rahway public school system. He somehow started kindergarten a year early, then skipped third grade. After high school he attended the Newark College of Engineering (now known as NJIT) from 1941 to 1944, receiving in three years a four-year bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering.

Following college, he joined the U.S. Navy near the end of World War II as a radio man, serving from October 1944 until July 1946. A few months after being discharged from the Navy he went to work for ITT in 1946 until he retired 41 years later in 1987, working for a short time in Paramus, N.J., then at ITT’s facility in Nutley, N.J. At ITT, he continued to serve his country, working on numerous defense department and Pentagon projects for the military. This included aviation electronics and defense communication projects. He held many positions at ITT, including supervisor and manager in logistics and quality assurance in the engineering department, as well as director of QA.

It was at ITT that he met the love of his life, Marie J. Corello. After a short romance they were married in June 1952, a marriage that would last 67 years until the passing of Marie in December 2019 at the age of 89. They moved to Sparta, N.J., in 1961, where their two children attended school. In 1989 Wil, with the help of his son, Jeff, and family friends, built their family home in Sandyston. Together, Wil and Marie did many charitable works around Sussex County, including the Bread and Furniture Ministries. He was by her side helping her move mattresses and sofas, and often doing the bread runs with her until about six years ago.

He had been active with the First Presbyterian Church of Sparta for close to 55 years, starting in 1961 until about three years ago. Wilbur also belonged to the Senior Citizens of Montague Township, N.J. He and his wife looked forward to the senior trips and always had a good time and enjoyed themselves.

Wilbur was a loving and devoted husband and father and a friend of many. He was a really good guy and will be deeply missed.

He is survived by his son, Jeffrey A. Rath of Sandyston, N.J.; daughter, Cathy A. Lloyd and her husband, Edward T. Lloyd, of Mercerville, N.J.; brother-in-law, Joey Corello, his wife, Paula, and their son, Raymond of Sanford, N.C.; and numerous other nieces and nephews as well as their spouses and children.

Wilbur is predeceased by his wife, Marie; sister, Winifred, and her husband, Albert Schultz, of Lavallette, N.J.; four of Marie’s sisters and their husbands; two of her brothers and their wives; and a few nieces and nephews.