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Former Teaneck Mayor Francis E. Hall Dies, 94

Francis E. Hall of Teaneck.
Francis E. Hall of Teaneck. Photo Credit: Volk Leber Funeral Home

Former Teaneck mayor and councilman Francis "Frank" E. Hall died April 16. He was 94 years old.

Although he will not make it to the birthday party he had planned for this coming Saturday, he wisely threw himself a 95th birthday party two years ago when he turned 93 to hedge his bets.

Hall was born in Englewood to the late Francis E. Hall and Adele (nee Colwell), and grew up in Ridgefield Park. After graduating from Ridgefield Park High School, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served in the Pacific Theater of World War II. He saw combat in Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Guam, and Iwo Jima, and received a Purple Heart.

After the war, Hall married Rita O’Hea of Teaneck, where they lived and raised a family. During that time, he obtained a college degree and became an engineer and technical writer. He won several awards for his writing and taught technical writing at CCNY for many years.

Hall was especially proud of his contributions to the Township of Teaneck. In the late 1950s, he joined his wife’s Church organization, Catholic Family Action, in assisting Cuban refugees.

In the 1960s, his friendships with Dan Henderson, Archie and Theodora Lacey, and many others heightened Hall's concern about racial equality, and those friendships were the genesis of his later efforts toward integration.

Hall was involved in NECO and Friendship Day, and recently, he shared with his grandchildren that much of the division we face today could be alleviated if we had a few more Friendship Days. Hall became one of the architects of the plan to voluntarily integrate the Teaneck school system, and was the campaign manager for the “Good Guys,” a slate of candidates who ultimately prevailed and made history by making Teaneck the first community in the United States to voluntarily integrate its schools.

Hall went on to run for Township Council. He served two terms as mayor during his tenure and retired from politics in 1994 after having served for almost 30 years on the Council.

He was passionate about Teaneck, and fought against overdevelopment and high-rise building. As mayor, he worked tirelessly to rescue the troubled library-renovation project and the stalled Glenpointe development. He was proud to name Frank Burr Boulevard after his mentor.

In retirement, Hall became active in veterans and Marine Corps organizations. He served as commandant of his local detachment, and assisted with Toys for Tots and many other charitable endeavors. He also hosted a cable television show dedicated to interviewing local Veterans. He was deeply moved to have the Frank Hall Veterans Park in Teaneck named after him.

Hall is predeceased by his wife, Alice (nee Escobar), and his brother, Donald.

He is survived by his children, Russell Hall (Shirley), William Hall (Jane), Colleen Gluck (Steve) Eileen Hall-Tobey (Chris), Kathleen Wicklund (Don), and Maureen Farley (Clement); by his grandchildren, Erin, James, Charles, Kevin, Kieran, and Caitlin; and by his great grandchild, Sophia.

Hall is also survived by Jeanne Ashley, Katie Zimmerman, and his brother, Stan Zahorenko (Debbie), by niece, Robin Salzano, and nephew, Kenneth Hall.

Visitation is Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. at the Volk Leber Funeral Home in Teaneck.

A funeral service is Saturday at 11 a.m., at the funeral home. Interment is Monday, April 23 at the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Cemetery at 10:30 a.m. in Wrightstown.

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