FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP – Frederick E. Jahn, who served as the township administrator in Freehold Township for 27 years, has died at the age of 90.
An obituary posted online by the Clayton and McGirr Funeral Home, Freehold Township, stated that Jahn died on April 30.
Jahn was hired as Freehold Township’s first administrator in 1968 just as the town was poised to experience explosive growth. His obituary describes him as a “hands-on manager who made it his job to learn whatever he needed to learn to excel at his job. … Fred ensured that phone wires in new developments were installed underground and that developers planted two shade trees on each property.
” … Fred was proud of his work creating early parks (like Liberty Oak Park; now known as Michael J. Tighe Park); he was also instrumental in bringing Freehold Area Hospital (now CentraState Medical Center) to Freehold Township,” according to his obituary.
Jahn was a lifetime member of the International City and County Management Association and the New Jersey Municipal Managers Association, and was a past-president of the latter.
He received numerous awards, including NJMMA’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding public service in New Jersey. A street in Freehold Township – Fred Jahn Drive, off Schanck Road – was later named in his honor.
Jahn was born in Willow Grove, Pa. He spent much of his childhood with his sister and brothers helping in the family business, Jahn’s Garden Center. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps at 21 and served in Korea.
Following his military service, Jahn attended night classes at LaSalle College and at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, studying accounting and business and earning his B.S. He had previously earned a degree in ornamental horticulture from SUNY Farmingdale. He had several accounting jobs before switching to public service.
Upon retiring from Freehold Township, Jahn became Jersey Professional Management’s first senior vice president. For 15 years he shared his expertise with a number of towns in New Jersey while they recruited their own town managers or worked to solve specific problems, according to his obituary.
Predeceased by his parents Gustav and Marie Jahn, and brothers Harry and Walter, Jahn is survived by Patricia, his wife of 65 years; his sister Rose Herrmann; his daughter Lisa, sons Rick (Margy) and Ed (Devon); grandchildren Tori (Evan Vinjamuri), Brianna (Jacob Caudle), David, Daniel, Kiersten and Chelsea, and many nieces and nephews.
A Memorial Mass will be held May 14 at the Co-Cathedral of St. Robert Bellarmine, Freehold Township, at 10:30 a.m. Internment will be at a later date at Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Arneytown.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the Father Benedict Financial Assistance Ministry fund at St. Robert Bellarmine.