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Remembering Joel Reiss


Joel Reiss, age 80, passed away due to complications related to Parkinson’s disease on June 26, 2022, in Monroe, New Jersey. Joel was born a first generation American, in Brooklyn, New York on June 11, 1942 to his mother Millie Reiss (nee Fink) an immigrant from Poland and his father, Samuel Reiss, who had immigrated from Austria. He was a graduate of Erasmus Hall HS, class of 1959 (along with Barbara Streisand) and went on to study Mechanical Engineering at The Cooper Union in Manhattan. He later earned a Masters in Electrical Engineering from New York University.

In 1963, while backpacking around Europe, Joel first met Mary Elizabeth (Liz) Hinz, of Boone Iowa, who also was traveling with friends. They stayed in touch, no easy task in the pre-internet era and Joel made sure that his cross country trips between New York and California took him through Iowa so he could visit Liz. They became engaged and were married in June, 1966.

Joel and Liz settled in Brooklyn initially and later in Bloomfield, NJ as Joel began work at Singer Kearfott (later acquired by BAE Systems) where he had a long and fulfilling career as a systems engineer, designing guidance and navigation avionics applications. Before retiring in 2013, Joel earned two US Patents for his inventions, including one for geolocation of hostile jammers, for which he received sole credit.

Concurrent to his engineering work, Joel also served as an adjunct professor of advanced mathematics at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Stevens Institute of Technology and NJIT, teaching at an undergraduate and post-graduate level.

Joel greatly enjoyed his work as an engineer, but also made the most of his free time. At 45 years old, he ran and completed his first New York City Marathon. Two years later, he did it again and beat his initial time. He played on the company softball team for many years, eventually against co-workers many years younger than himself. Joel was an avid sports fan, particularly of the New York Yankees in spite of his Brooklyn origins. He also enjoyed traveling, music, history, science and a deep appreciation for single malt scotch.

Most of all, Joel loved spending time with his family and friends. He was a devoted father to his sons Brian and David as well as father-in law to their wives, Wendy and Amira. In recent years, he found great joy in the time he spent with his grandchildren, Brendan, Lauren and Jeremy. Joel was predeceased by his wife Liz, his parents Samuel and Millie, his niece, Penny and his 1963 Dodge Dart. He is survived by his sister, Rita, nephew Gary as well as many extended relatives and friends that will miss his warm smile, deep intelligence and sense of humor.

A visitation and funeral service will be held on Sunday, July 10th at 1:00pm at O’Boyle’s Funeral Home 309 Broad Street – Bloomfield, NJ. A visitation will begin there at 11:30 am until the time of the service. A private interment with family members will follow at Cedar Park/Beth El Cemetery in Paramus, NJ. In lieu of flowers/donations, the family asks that contributions be made in Joel’s name to the Parkinson’s Foundation or the Michael J. Fox Parkinson’s Foundation.