Cornelius “Neal” Pronek, 88, of Farmingdale passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 18, at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune. Neal was born, raised, and lived in Brooklyn, NY until settling in Farmingdale with his wife and six children in 1972. He entered Saint John’s University in New York at age 16 and interrupted his education for military service in the United States Marine Corps before graduating with honors. In 1959, Neal fortuitously met Lorraine. They were married in 1960 and remained devoted to each other for 63 years. Neal worked for TFH Publications, Neptune City, for over forty years, serving as their Managing Editor for the majority of his career. Upon his retirement in 2000, his co-workers composed an “Ode to Neal,” subtitling it their “pitiful bleating protest.” He was a devout Catholic and an active parishioner of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Farmingdale, as well as a member of the Knights of Columbus.
Neal was an author and voracious reader with a particular interest in World War II, as well as a connoisseur of old movies and even older music. His hobbies included woodworking/creating craft items, playing chess, poker and billiards, fishing and keeping tropical fish, and he took his horseshoe game to a championship level. Neal reveled in the telling of a lengthy joke to a captive audience and routinely and spontaneously entertained his family and friends with song and dance. Neal ensured his six children enjoyed games of chance and sports, playing and coaching along with them, instilling in them a competitive streak and a penchant for trash-talking apparent in each of them today. He was known as the man who brought stickball to Farmingdale, presiding over numerous neighborhood games for decades.
Neal was predeceased by his sister, Joan “Nona” Pronek. He is mourned by his wife, Lorraine; children, Neal Pronek and his wife, Sarah, Eileen Neff and her husband, Thomas, Eugene Pronek, Thomas Pronek and his wife, Elaine, Christine Pronek, and Elizabeth Miller; grandchildren, Kellyn Neff and her husband, Malachi McMullen, Veronica Neff, Benjamin Pronek and his fiancée, Victoria Sibons, Andrew Pronek, Brennan Miller and Gavin Pronek. Neal also enjoyed the strong family affection of step-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and their families.
While it is a fact Dad’s editing would have produced a far better obituary, we wrote this with love.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend his memorial gathering from 1:00 to 4:00 on Sunday, November 26th at Clayton & McGirr Funeral Home, 100 Elton-Adelphia Road, Freehold. A Memorial Funeral Mass will take place at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, 31 Asbury Avenue, Farmingdale at noon on Monday, November 27, 2023. Inurnment will be private. Memorial contributions may be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. For information, directions or condolence messages to the family, visit