Richard G. Obal, 73, of Howell passed away on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 at CentraState Medical Center, Freehold Township. He was born and raised in Sayreville before settling here. Rich received his Bachelor’s degree from C. W. Post College and continued his education at Rutgers University earning his Masters in Horticulture. He was the agricultural and natural resources agent for Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Monmouth County for 34 years prior to his retirement in 2011. Rich was responsible for establishing many important regional education programs in nursery, greenhouse, landscape and turf management, and had implemented the Monmouth County Master Gardener program in 1999.
He received numerous awards throughout the years including the Blue Ribbon Award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, the Distinguished Service Award and Achievement Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents, the James T. Howard Team Award from the Monmouth County Water Resources Association, and the Outstanding Professional Conservation Award from the NJ Association of Conservation Districts. His job provided the title of associate professor at Rutgers, and teaching was his passion.
Rich was a modest person, with a plethora of knowledge and an engaging persona. He was admired by many, would help anyone who came to him and seemed to specialize not only in conservation but in people also.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Helen Obal; and his wife, Diana “Tish” Obal in 2009. He is survived by his friend, Sue Malmi; his siblings, Walter Obal and his wife, Kathryn of Monroe, Christine Geene and her husband, Matthew of Gainesville, VA, and Joseph Obal and his wife, Joan of Sayreville; nieces and nephews, Walter Obal, Jr. and his wife, Louise of Plainsboro, Debbie Bertone and her husband, Kevin of Groveville, Tom Obal of Monroe, and Anthony Obal and his wife, Dawn of Palm Coast, FL, Kenneth Obal and his companion, Brooke Tomczik of Old Bridge, and Garrett Geene, Jr. and his wife, Patti, and Brandon Geene and his wife, Theresa, all of Gainesville, VA; and great nieces and nephews, Jason Bertone, Juliann Bertone and her husband, Sam Hitchcock, Garrett Geene, Jr. and his wife, Amanda, Christine Geene, and Laura Tindal and her husband, Kenneth.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend his memorial gathering at Clayton & McGirr Funeral Home, 100 Elton-Adelphia Road (Route 524), Freehold Township on Saturday, July 10, 2021 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM. For those who desire, donations in memory of Rich may be made to Rutgers Master Gardeners of Monmouth County, 4000 Kozloski Road, Freehold, NJ 07728. For information, directions or condolence messages to the family, visit www.claytonfuneralhome.com