Fought off burglar
Albert Laabs, who was an active member of the Weehawken Senior Citizens and was once named king of the Senior Citizen prom a few years ago, died in the Samaritan Hospice in Mount Holly. Laabs was 92 years old.
Two years ago, Laabs made local headlines when he successfully fought off an intruder who broke into his home and looked to rob him while he was home alone.
Laabs didn't give into the robber's demands and fought off the would-be thief in a physical altercation that left Laabs with some cuts and bruises, but no worse for the wear.
When asked why he decided to fight off the burglar, Laabs said to the Weehawken Reporter'm a veteran. I wasn't going down without a fight."
Laabs was a veteran of the United States Army, serving in World War II.
Laabs and his wife Lillian, who passed away in 2003, were regulars at all the Weehawken Senior Citizen functions and were generally the life of the party whenever they were together.
Ruppert is survived by his wife, Laura, two daughters, Carole and Diandre Ruppert, his brother, James, and two sisters, Frances Ruppert, who still resides in Weehawken, and Catherine Warneke.
Two days after Laabs' passing, Vinnie Ruppert, one of the most influential members of the Weehawken Elks, died at the Atrium at Hamilton Park in Jersey City. Ruppert was 77 years old and had been ill for an extended period.
Ruppert was a past exalted ruler and district deputy for the Weehawken Elks and remained active in the organization until his passing.
He was also the attendance officer for the Weehawken Board of Education, serving in that capacity for more than 30 years before his retirement in 1995.
"I knew Vinnie for many years," said Weehawken Superintendent of Schools Kevin McLellan. "He was a hard-working dedicated individual and someone who had an interest in every single Weehawken child as well as the entire Weehawken community. He always had the children at heart in everything he did and he was always a presence in the community. His presence will be greatly missed."
Ruppert was also once named the grand marshal of the Weehawken Memorial Day parade in 1998. Ruppert was a member of the Disabled American Veterans, having been severely injured during battle in the Korean War.
He was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign War Post 1923 and took much pride in his association with both the Elks and the VFW.
Laabs, who was a native of Milwaukee, was a warehouse manager for a piano supply company located in Clifton. He worked there for more than 25 years, retiring in 1982.
Laabs is survived by his daughter, Jill Ambrus, his son, Albert, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.