Felix "Phil" Abate died Tuesday, February 28, 2023, in North Brunswick. He was 88.
Born in Twin Rocks, Pennsylvania, he lived in North Brunswick for over 55 years.
Phil was a peacetime Navy Veteran who served aboard the US Navy Destroyer the USS GOODRICH DD/DDR-831 in the mid 1950's. During his time aboard, he paid visits to many different countries and numerous ports of call. He was a Second Class Petty Officer and the recipient of the National Defense Service Medal, the Navy Good Conduct Medal and the European Occupation Service Medal. He concluded his military service at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard tendering to the Mothball Fleet. He concluded his military obligation and was officially discharged in June 1960.
Phil worked at IBM in New York City for 31 years before retiring. He was a lifetime member of the New Brunswick Elks Lodge #324. In 2007 He was inducted into the New Brunswick Athletic Hall of Fame for his achievements on the football field.
Phil became very active in supporting Veterans by becoming the New Brunswick Elks Lodge #324 Chairman of the Veterans Service Committee and served in that capacity for 13 years. He was awarded the Elk of the Year in 2005-2006 and again in 2006-2007. In 1989, he had established the first ever reunion association for his navy ship, the USS GOODRICH. He received numerous plaques in recognition of his leadership role and for establishing the ship's first ever reunion. He was also a member of and Recording Yeoman for the Tin Can Sailors Association, Inc. and was recognized as Sailor of the Year in 2000. In September 2010, Phil was presented with the Legion of Honor Award for service to the community by the Chapel of the Four Chaplains who perished during WWII.
He was predeceased by his parents, Joseph & Antonia Abate; his wife, Janet C. Abate in 2014; his son and daughter-in-law Gene and Charlene Abate; and his brothers Joseph Abate and his wife Marie, Nick Abate and his wife Mary, Sam Abate, Frank Abate and his wife Marie, Anthony Abate and his wife Chris and Angelo Abate. Phil is survived by his son Tod Abate and his wife Lori of North Brunswick; his grandchildren – Jacqueline and Jeffrey; his loving companion Florence Vanderveer and his sister-in-law Joan Abate.
Visitation will be 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM Friday, March 3, 2023 at Selover Funeral Home, 555 Georges Road, North Brunswick. Funeral services will be 10:30 AM Saturday, March 4, 2023 at Selover Funeral Home. Burial will follow in Van Liew Cemetery in North Brunswick. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project at woundedwarriorproject.org or the ASPCA at aspca.org