American Veteran 01

John F. Tabaka, II

April 22, 1939 ~ March 6, 2024 (age 84) 84 Years Old

John Tabaka, II Obituary

With broken hearts we announce the passing of John F. Tabaka II, 84. He unexpectedly passed on March 6, 2024 with his daughters by his side. Born in Passaic, New Jersey, John grew up in Clifton and spent most of his life there with his loving wife of 60 years, Joyce, before recently moving to Cedar Grove.  

John, Buddy, Honey Bunch, Chief, Dad, Mr. T, Uncle Bud, Pop or just Bud…  he was everything to everyone. John was one the most hard-working men. At one point in his life he would start a construction job early in the morning before going to his day job at Allstate Insurance. Then, after stopping home for a quick dinner, he would head out to run his nightclub Krackers. His hard work allowed him to purchase some of his dream cars during his midlife crisis… a Ferrari and a Pantera. He was a proud veteran of the 101st Airborne, known to give a handshake with some cash to all servicemen and women he came in contact with. 

He was a fiercely loyal husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend. All were welcome in his home, on his porch and on his deck down the shore. He loved to eat and drink and travel with family and friends. He had a special gift of making everyone feel like family. 

One of his favorite places to spend time was in Lavallette. You could often find him in his Tilly hat surf fishing early in the morning at Island Beach State Park. One of his biggest joys was cooking clams for the kids at the beach. Every Memorial Day was celebrated listening to Jimmy Buffett, making Chicago Dogs and watching The Indianapolis 500. 

He was a remarkable man who was like a father to many, generously giving advice about just about anything whether you asked for it or not. He was dubbed the “Chief” because he could bark orders with conviction like no one else! He was also a teacher. Many learned how to swim in the ocean safely, body surf, ski, fish, build a house, invest money, and cook from him. 

After retirement, he continued to build but with wine corks. He could legitimately build anything. Thanks to all that dropped corks on his front stoop so he could tinker and craft. He became an excellent housekeeper after he lost his wife but often joked that he does not want to come back as a woman.

John is now in heaven with the love of his life and two of his children. He has left a big hole in our hearts and will be missed by all that knew him. If we could all teach a child a skill, model what it is to have a strong work ethic, show respect to those who serve our country, travel or spend quality time with your loved ones, his legacy will live on in all of us.

He is predeceased by his wife, Joyce Tabaka, a daughter, Jennifer Tabaka; a son, John F. Tabaka III; his sister, Elaine Divak and his parents, John and Stella Tabaka.

His survivors include: two daughters, Dawn Tabaka and Joelle DeGaetano and her husband, Arthur; five grandchildren, Tyler Tabaka, Victoria Rosenthal, Sarah Rosenthal, Ava DeGaetano and Giavanna Tragno.

 Visiting Sunday 3 to 6 pm at Bizub-Quinlan Funeral Home, 1313 Van Houten Ave, Clifton. Funeral service Monday 10:00 am at the Funeral Home. Mass 11:00 am at St. Catherine of Siena R.C. Church, 339 Pompton Avenue, Cedar Grove. In lieu of flowers please consider a memorial donation to Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka KS 66675-8516, Web: or to Deborah Hospital Foundation, 212 Trenton Road, Browns Mills, NJ 08015, Please visit for complete information and to leave condolences on the Tribute Wall section of the obituary.

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March 10, 2024

3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Bizub-Quinlan Funeral Home
1313 Van Houten Avenue
Clifton, NJ 07013

Prayer Before Church
March 11, 2024

10:00 AM
Bizub-Quinlan Funeral Home
1313 Van Houten Avenue
Clifton, NJ 07013

March 11, 2024

11:00 AM
St. Catherine of Siena R.C. Church
339 Pompton Avenue
Cedar Grove, NJ 07009


Wounded Warrior Project
P.O. Box 758516, Topeka KS 66675-8516

Deborah Hospital Foundation
212 Trenton Road, Browns Mills NJ 08015
Tel: 1-609-893-0100


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