CARTERET—On Saturday, Nov. 28, approximately 100 people gathered at Carteret Park’s central pond for a ceremony to dedicate the popular landmark in memory of the late John Sitar. More than 50 members of Sitar’s immediate and extended family were present as Mayor Daniel Reiman dubbed the pond “The John Sitar Memorial Pond.”
Sitar, a local entrepreneur and philanthropist, died on the 4th of July 2008 at age 99. He was endearingly known as “Mr. Shop Rite,” having established the first such supermarket in Carteret, and for having purchased and nurtured the Carteret Shopping Center since 1980.
Sitar was president of the Shop-Rite of Carteret for over 50 years, and was former vice president of the Shop-Rite of East Brunswick, an owner and director of Consolidated Supermarkets. He was the founding partner of J. L. J. Associates, the owners and operators of the Carteret Shopping Center, and was a member of the Wakefern Food Corporation Board of Directors for many years.
He was a member of the National Grocers Association and the Food Marketing Institute, and served on the Board of Directors of the Carteret Building and Loan Association, Perth Amboy National Bank, and the United Roosevelt Savings & Loan Association.
Sitar was well known for his charity and benevolence, supporting an unending list of organizations and charities in Carteret and the surrounding communities, and was a founding member of the Carteret Honorary Policemen’s Benevolent Association.
“Anyone who has lived in Carteret long enough likely appreciates Mr. Sitar’s life of achievement,” Reiman has stated. “He was among the most prominent residents to set an example of commitment to our community, having extended his work and interests well beyond those of his business, and directly benefiting Carteret and its residents. Having so many friends and family members gathered at this service was a testament to his esteem.”
Carteret Pond recently underwent a comprehensive rehabilitation, its $1.22 million dredging and restoration completed in 2008. Approximately 35% volume was added to the pond’s capacity, and an additional 3000 sq. ft. of service area. Aesthetic improvements included the addition of an 18” decorative wall around its perimeter, an observation & recreational deck overlooking the pond, new pressed asphalt paver walking paths, and the construction of two new fountains and aerators.
Carteret area residents examine the plaque dedicating Carteret Pond in memory of local business owner and philanthropist John Sitar. (Photo courtesy of the Borough of Carteret)
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