John J. Waters, Jr.

December 22, 2023

John Waters, Jr. Obituary

With strength, courage and faith, John J. Waters, 55, peacefully entered eternal life on December 22, 2023, surrounded by his loving family. John was a living example of how to live life to its fullest, no matter the hand you are dealt, and with a smile. When one loves from the heart it reaches the heart. As we all know, John lead with love from his heart and in doing so left an indelible mark on the hearts of all of us.

Born and raised in Elizabeth, New Jersey, John attended Immaculate Conception School in Elizabeth and is a graduate of Elizabeth High School, Class of 1986. John graduated in 1990 from Rutgers University, Newark, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance.  Early on in his career, John was a financial analyst with a major financial institution. At the time of his passing, John was a grant writer securing much needed funds for various not for profit organizations.

For many years, John dedicated his time to serving as a volunteer and advisor to County and Municipal committees who addressed accessibility issues for the disabled, including the Union County Advisory Committee for the Disabled. Since 1991, John served in various volunteer roles for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America.

A lifelong New York area sports fan, John could often be found rooting for the New York Giants and the New York Jets. But when it came to baseball, he was a New York Yankees fan to the core. He was a die-hard New York Rangers fan but would secretly cheer for the Devils when at a game with his cousins. Like sports, John was equally passionate about music. From Jazz to Country, Latin or Rock music, John loved it all - especially when shared with family and friends at a live concert seeing The Boss or U2!

Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the age of 17, John dedicated his life to helping find the cause and a cure for this disease through fundraising and awareness efforts. While John had a diagnosis of "MS" he was not defined by the diagnosis. He lived each day to the best of his ability and sought to make every interaction with others meaningful. John lived courageously and fought to his last breath. He was loved deeply by all who were blessed to know him. His sincere interest in all those around him, his deep love for his family and friends, his humor and faith are qualities that have enriched the lives of all who knew him.

John was predeceased by his father, John J. Waters, Sr. and his stepfather, Edward T. Kozak, Jr. He is survived by his adoring mother, Dorothy Waters Kozak of Westfield, New Jersey; his sister, Kelly A. Waters of Mountainside, New Jersey; and his stepbrother, Thomas Kozak and sister-in-law Claudia Wilner of Brooklyn, New York. His greatest joy was being Godfather to his nephew, Stefano Cotugno and being an uncle to his nephew, Oliver and niece Eleanor.

He is also survived by his loving and devoted life partner Marcella Patricia Palma of North Plainfield, New Jersey. John enjoyed many adventures traveling with Marcella and her family who loved him like their own. John leaves behind numerous cousins and friends.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in John's name to the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America or a charity of your choice.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John J. Waters, Jr., please visit our floral store.

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December 27, 2023

3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Higgins and Bonner Echo Lake Funeral Home
582 Springfield Ave.
Westfield, NJ 07090

Mass of Christian Burial
December 28, 2023

10:00 AM
Our Lady of Lourdes RC Church
300 Central Ave
Mountainside, NJ 07092

December 28, 2023

Mt. Olivet Cemetery
220 Mount Olivet Ave
Newark, NJ 07114


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