Michael Philip Wladich Jr. (1939-2024), a.k.a. “Mickey the Great”, passed away peacefully on January 21st, 2024, at the New Jersey Fireman’s Home of Boonton, New Jersey.
He was a proud native of Hoboken, New Jersey, and was among a long line of distinguished Wladich’s from Hoboken. Michael, known better to all as “Mickey”, attended St. Peter and Paul Catholic and Demarest Public High Schools, both in Hoboken, NJ. He loved Hoboken and was witness to its many transformations over the years, often pointing out the places where “On the Waterfront” was filmed.
After graduating High School, Mickey joined the Marine Corps and served honorably in Guam and Japan. In 1962, and after honorable discharge, Mickey returned home to Hoboken, and proposed to his wife, Virginia Ann Testa, on Christmas Eve. They were married for forty-five years until her passing in 2007.
Also in 1962, Mickey joined the Hoboken Fire Department, serving bravely with men who would become his brothers for life. While serving in the Hoboken Fire Department, Mickey rose to the level of Captain. Also, during that time, Mickey enrolled and graduated from St. Peters College, Alpha Phi Omega, with a Bachelor’s of Science. In addition to his duties with the Fire Department, he served as President and Treasurer for the Firefighters Association of New Jersey A.F.L.-C.I.O. – C.L.C. Nonetheless, after twenty-five years of running into burning buildings, Mickey decided that it was wiser to run away from them, and retired shortly thereafter.
To all who knew Mickey, particularly his friends and family, he was larger than life, always happy-go-lucky, and always a great father to his children, Michael, Louise, and Jeannine. Throughout his life, Michael always maintained his faith and beliefs, which gave him the courage and strength to endure and persevere despite the loss of his fireman brothers, siblings, and the love of his life, Virginia, without losing heart. Mickey was an inspiration to all those who knew him, always with a story, a joke, or a helping hand to whoever needed one. A prince of a man if there ever was one.
Mickey is survived by his three children, Michael, Louise, and Jeannine, his brothers William, Gary, and Raymond, his sister Cecilia, and his grandchildren Samantha and Nicholas. He is also survived by his daughter in law, Nicole, and his son in law, John.
Mickey did request that six New York Mets serve as his pall bearers so that he could be let down one last time.
Visitation will be held on Thursday January 25th, 2024 beginning at 2:00pm and concluding at 8:00pm at Failla-McKnight Memorial Home 533 Willow Ave Hoboken, NJ.
The funeral mass will be offered at St. Francis RC Church on Friday January 26th, 2024 at 10:00am.
Interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington, NJ.