Richard Allen Pender, son of the late Joseph and Alice (Morrissey) Pender of Menlo Park, NJ, went home to be with the Lord on March 19, 2023. Mr. Pender will be laid to rest next to his late wife, Joan Keenan-Pender at Franklin Memorial Park, North Brunswick. Richard and Joan Keenan-Pender were the founding members of Maranatha Baptist Fellowship of Somerset. Richard Pender was the Senior Vice Commander of the American Legion Post 459 of North Brunswick.
Richard A. Pender was born in Elizabeth, N.J. on March 26, 1936. Richard matriculated throught the public school system and was active in the town’s Little League program. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1954, where he played three years of Varsity Baseball. He was selected first team All Union County for two years and first team in 1954 for the Newark News All State Baseball Team. He was also named State Pitching Champion by the NJISSA after he led the State of NJ to undefeated seasons, win-lost percentage, and lowest ERA in scholastic baseball. After graduation, Richard enlisted in the US Army. He became an Ordinance Technical Intelligence Specialist and served with the 18th Airborne Corps. He married Joan (Ciurczak) Pender and they had five sons. Mr. Pender was offered a contract by the Washington Senators baseball team, which he was unable to accept. After his army enlistment was concluded, Richard attended Newark College of Engineering and secured employment at the ESSO Research and Engineering Co. While employed by ESSO, he studied Chemical Engineering at the Standard Oil Institute. Mr. Pender left ESSO to start Dynamotive Engine Service in Rahway, NJ. That company was an automotive machine and engine rebuilding shop. They also did automotive engine prototype work, as well as built racing engines and parts for race cars. After the shop was lost in a flood in 1971, Mr. Pender went to work for Purolator Products in Rahway, NJ as an assistant to the Plant Manager. During his tenure, Mr. Pender became the Corporate Plant Engineer and was the developer of the first automated industrial resource facility in the U.S.
After Purolator was sold, Mr. Pender became a project engineer for a major steamship consortium and supervised the construction of a container ship terminal in the Port Authority Seaport. Cyclit Technical Service, an environmental and engineering consulting service, was started and operated by Mr. Pender until his retirement.
In 2006, Richard Pender was inducted into the Elizabeth Athletic Hall of Fame and then in 2007, he was inducted into the Union County Baseball Hall of Fame.
In retirement, Mr. Pender has written several books including The Sojourners: Life on the American Homefront During World War II and The Road Home to the Hall Of Fame. He was also wrote a column for the Newspaper Media Group entitled To Honor and Serve.
Mr. Pender is survived by his sister, Joyce Pender Gibson, brother-in-law, Wayne Thomas, five sons and their wives, Stephen (Halina) of Tuscon, AZ, Michael (Sara) of Rahway, NJ, Christopher (Colleen) of Port St. Lucie, FL, Robert (Kathleen) of Garwood, NJ, and Richard (Shelly) of Slatington, PA. He has 15 grandchildren, two step-grandsons, Vlad and Matthew Rachkovskyy, three great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
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