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Margaret K. Schak, 94, Rutherford's First Woman Mayor

Margaret K. Schak
Margaret K. Schak Photo Credit: Legacy

RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Margaret K. Schak, a lifelong resident of Rutherford who served as the town's first female mayor, died Friday, March 18. She was 94.

She was valedictorian at St. Mary's Class of 1939 and graduated from Newark Secretarial School. She worked in personnel at Sears, Roebuck in Newark, where she met her husband. She attended Fairleigh Dickinson University and was a lifelong parishioner of St. Mary’s RC Church in Rutherford. She volunteered as a member of the Aquinas Club, Catholic Woman’s Club, St. Mary’s High School PTA and St. Mary’s Parish Council.

Schak was elected the first woman to serve on the Rutherford Borough Council in 1975 and became the first woman mayor. She served as the Executive Director of the Meadowlands Municipal Committee and was involved in the Inter-municipal Tax Sharing Plan of the 14 towns in the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission. She was a member of the Mayor Emeritus Advisory Council of NJ Conference of Mayors.

She is survived by her children, Thomas E. Schak and his wife Kathleen of Wood-Ridge; Raymond F. Schak and his wife Gail of Alpharetta, Ga.; James A. Schak and his wife Marianne of Parsippany; Margaret S. Lemaire and her husband Joseph Michael of Franklin Lakes; Patricia Ross and her husband Gerald of Argyle, N.Y.; and Katherine S. Egan and her husband Joseph; grandchildren, Jennifer Dunn; Michael Schak and his wife Jessi; and Colleen Stryker and her husband Rick; Jill Blumenstock and her husband Fred; Lori Schak; Kari Smith and her husband Steve; Jacqueline Lemaire; Nicole Lemaire; Brigitte Lemaire; Daniel Lemaire; Grace Ross; David Ross; and great grandchildren, Keirsten and Kurtis Dunn; Kylie and Quinn Stryker; and Maddox Schak.

She was predeceased by her husband Frank L. Schak; her brothers Kenneth Karle and Gerald Karle; and her sister, Evelyn Karle.

Visitation is Monday, March 21, and Tuesday, March 22, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at Macagna-Diffily-Onorato Funeral Home in Rutherford. Funeral mass is Wednesday, March 23, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary's Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Rutherford First Aid Ambulance Corps or St. Mary High School, Rutherford.

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