Richard Roger “Ricky” Burrell of Lake Hiawatha, a former longtime resident of Montclair, died on Aug. 23, 2022. He was 68.

Mr. Burrell was born in 1954 to Roger and Julia Burrell and was raised in East Orange. He attended East Orange and Montclair public schools, where he was known as “Mr. Popular.” 

He was employed by Eastern Airlines and subsequently by the Township of Montclair, retiring in April 2017. 

Mr. Burrell served as the local president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees chapter. He was a staunch defender of his co-workers.

Oldies were his favorite music, and he could sing. He was “Mr. Smooth” on the dance floor with his wife of 38 years, JoAnn. Their home was a refuge for many, no matter the circumstances.

Mr. Burrell  enjoyed cooking, had five barbecue grills and was a master of eggplant Parmesan, turkey wings and ribs.

He never left a crowded room without making new friends.  He was kind, loved his family and always extended himself to help family and friends. He was an exceptionally protective and loving husband, father and grandfather, and a doting great-grandfather.

Mr. Burrell is survived by his loving wife, JoAnn; daughter, Cyndi Mayer (Herbert); sisters, Raushaunna Hogans (Daryl), Gale MacDonald, Camiel Swan, Diane Diggs (Dannie), Linda Acevedo and Deborah Chibar; brothers, Dennis Garnette and Lonnie Hicks; grandson, Rey Harris II; granddaughter, Ryan-Ashley Harris; great-grandson, Elias Hunter Harris, and a host of relatives and friends.

Services were held Sept. 1 at Caggiano Memorial Home for Funerals, 62 Grove St.