We were sad to hear of the death of prominent New Jersey attorney and civic leader Jack Hila.
Jack was an exceptionally vital and active public citizen and we were proud to know him.
He was a positive force for good in Central Jersey.
He loved New Jersey and he devoted much of his life to the betterment of his community and his state. He was also a person of fine character and a loving husband, father, brother and friend.
John A. "Jack" Hila Sr., of the Avenel section of Woodbridge Township, died suddenly Monday, Dec. 27, 2010, at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Rahway.
Born in Perth Amboy, he was raised in Carteret by his parents, the late John and Julia Kachur Hila. He graduated with honors from Carteret High School, Fordham University and Fordham University School of Law and practiced law in Woodbridge Township for the past 45 years.
Mr. Hila was former Deputy Attorney General, Outside Counsel to the Department of Transportation and was a Woodbridge Township Councilman and Council Vice President.
He was House Counsel to the Middlesex County Utilities Authority, a trustee of the Avenel Democratic Club; serves on the Board of Trustees for the George Street Playhouse, the Board of Directors of the Woodbridge Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce; is a member of the Colonia Country Club and the Flame of Charity for the Metuchen Diocese. Mr. Hila was a communicant of St. Andrews Catholic Church, Avenel and belonged to St. Andrews Council 5088, Knights of Columbus. He was an avid freshwater fisherman, enjoyed the Jersey Shore, loved both watching and playing tennis, exercising daily at The Club at Woodbridge, was a sports fan, particularly of the N.Y. Yankees and Giants and loved music, particularly jazz.
Surviving are his beloved wife, Carol Safchinsky Hila; daughter, Melissa Tew and her husband, Jonathan of Columbus, Ohio; son, John A. Hila Jr. and his wife, Kathleen of Keyport; grandchildren, Greta and Maci Tew and Jeanine and Robert Hila; sisters, Jacqueline Fontanella of Highlands and Camy Surowiec and her husband, Joseph of Cherry Hill; sister-in-law, Barbara Safchinsky of Avenel; aunt, Anne Boyer of Carteret; nieces, Jill Shifty and her husband, Don, and Justine Trinidad; nephews, Jack Safchinsky, Jeremy Trinidad, Paul Surowiec and Glenn Surowiec; great-nephew, Michael Chegus; and many cousins, including Mary Ann Gilrain, Mark Checki, Candy Marren and Andrew Marren.
Funeral services will be at 8:45 a.m. Monday, Jan. 3 from the Costello-Koyen Funeral Home (www.costello-koyen.com), 399 Avenel St., Avenel. A Mass of Resurrection will follow at 9:30 a.m. at St. Andrew's Catholic Church, Avenel. Interment will be in St. Gertrude Cemetery, Colonia. Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 2 at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the John A. Hila Sr. Memorial Fund, c/o Melissa H. Tew, 1119 Mulford Road, Columbus, Ohio 43212.