PETRICK, WILLIAM

A funeral mass was offered Jan. 28 at St. Joseph R.C. Church for William “Bill” Petrick, 58, a longtime Jersey City resident and life-long educator. He died suddenly on Jan. 25, preparing to spend another day teaching Latin and English in the classroom at St. Benedict’s Preparatory School for Boys in Newark. Very much devoted to family, Bill was constantly available to his children. He raised them by sharing everything he loved, whether it be Broadway musicals like “Rent,” or “Sweeney Todd,” or movies like “The Godfather,” “Good Will Hunting,” or “Pulp Fiction” (all things his children’s saw at very young ages, because that was the Bill Petrick way). He loved to read aloud, or sit quietly and write while The Beatles or Led Zepplin played on vinyl. At 5 o’clock his children always knew they could find their dad having a martini, doing some work or reading, ready for a game of backgammon, chess, or royalty. After graduating from St. Joseph’s Grammar School and St. Peter’s Prep, he went on to obtain a BA in English from Seton Hall University where he pledged Phi Kappa Theta, and went on to get his Masters in Administration and Education from New Jersey City University, and a Masters in English Literature: Women’s Literature and Feminist Criticism from Rutgers. He dedicated his life to making the classroom a meaningful experience for all students under his care. His career both started and ended at St. Benedict’s, teaching his love of language and literature and more recently Latin. Simply put, he loved working there. His students were gifted in having a teacher that not only loved his subject matter but understood that the classroom was a place of joy and appreciation for all the wonder that life offers. Your words on paper had to be precise and you could not leave his class without having a greater appreciation of Shakespeare, Dickens, Dickinson, and the other greats of literature. In the decades between, he was an educator in the New Jersey Public School System, starting as a teacher in Livingston, a vice principal in Allamuchy, a principal in Wharton, and school superintendent in Wharton and Tewksbury and Little Falls. His view of education was as follows as written in his linked-In profile: “Whether in the classroom or in the superintendent’s office, students are my curriculum – each needs to be understood with depth and meaning as an individual learner in a particular place and at a specific stage of development.” Very much following in the tradition of his parents he provided wonderful hospitality, great meals prepared for family and friends at the Petrick homes on Palisade Avenue in Jersey City and in Point-Pleasant Beach, and at Christmas time he and his father would offer guests their killer eggnog. An avid sportsman, he rooted hard for his Yankees and Giants, so hard his neighbors could easily know if his team was winning or losing. For decades he ran the Spring Lake Five, always followed by a tremendous barbecue with the Yankee game on the radio in the background. His labor of love was the never-ending remodeling of his country home in Earlton, N.Y., nicknamed by him as Gamgee, after the character Samwise Gamgee in Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings.” Bill loved tending to the acres of land, enjoying fires and cooking Sunday sauce in his kitchen. He was predeceased by his parents Thomas and Barbara Petrick, and is survived by his wife, Robin, his daughter Emily Lynae DuVal and her husband John, his daughter Sarah Rose Petrick and his son Andrew Francis Petrick, his sister Mary Catherine Petrick-Orrok, his brother John Petrick, his nephews Robert Orrok, and Thomas Orrok, and by countless friends and colleagues. Services arranged by the McLaughlin Funeral Home, Jersey City.