John Francis Weis was born on October 7th, 1931 to George Frank Weis and Magdalen Barbara Weis (nee Mohr) on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary and died on the Feast of Transfiguration. John was affectionally know among his employees as “Chopper” and he also liked to be called “Johnny Boy”. His daughter, Lorrie, shortened that to “JB”. His hearing improved with the sound of JB and was more audible than “Dad”. Johnny Boy always seemed to be able to fix anything and his modesty was slightly lacking. When he fixed something that was almost beyond repair, he would crow out ‘Johnny Boy” did it again!
His siblings in order of eldest to youngest were Magdalen Barbara (later to become Sr. Valeria), George Jacob, Frances Theresa (died in early childhood from leukemia), Joseph Arthur, Gerard Paul, all predeceased. His youngest brother is James Lawrence.
Johnny Boy attended St. Nicholas School with his siblings and along with – later to become his wife, Patricia Lord and future brother-in-laws, William and Robert Lord. The Lords lived on Booraem Avenue, the next street from Reservoir Avenue.
The Weis brothers enjoyed many happy and adventurous times in the cellar of their home in Reservoir Avenue in the Heights Section of Jersey City with a huge elaborate train set that seemed to span the whole space with not much room for anything else.
As the brothers grew into adults and married their spouses, John, Joseph and James (known as Uncle Jimmy to almost everyone!) in 1967 started New Jersey X-Ray Corp in combined locations of the basement of Reservoir Avenue – Uncle Jimmy’s home, Joseph’s farm in Robinsville and the cellar of Johnny Boy’s own house on Eagle Street, in North Arlington. Later that year, the enterprise had an official abode of Franklin Avenue in Jersey City known as “the Shop”! His very first employee was Tommy Moore who coined the name “Chopper”. Then the boys began to rock and roll and increase their endeavors to become a great success and well known among much of the medical profession, doctors’ offices and hospitals in NJ and NYC.
In the early 1970s the business expanded and moved to Ridge Road in Lyndhurst. Then late in the 1970s NJ X-Ray moved to Belleville Tpke in North Arlington with sub-contracts to Rex Industries and Grenzray.
After John and Patricia married in 1957, they moved from Jersey City to Chestnut Street in Kearny. This was where John began his career with Chapman X-Ray on Davis Avenue. Almost a year to the day of their wedding anniversary, Stephen was born at Christ Hospital in Jersey City on September 11th. Stephen was the apple of John’s eye and Stephen was equally adoring of his dad. Stephen suffered cerebral palsy due to complications at childbirth and an inexperienced obstetrician. But Stevie tried very hard to overcome all of his obstacles and challenges. Patricia was an amazing mother to Stevie and provided everything that he could ever need or want to be the best that he could be.
A few years later in 1961, John and Pat bought a house on Eagle Street in North Arlington. Early the following year is when the trouble began! [Giggles] Their second child was born, a daughter, Loretta, known to everyone except for Queen of Peace Grammar School and High School, as Lorrie. Lorrie was always interested in “helping” Johnny Boy and fixing things too and as a little girl and more often than not, became an annoyance to her dad. She would approach him with what she though was a very important topic of conversation and John would respond with “Yeah, I had one once and the wheels fell off!” [Giggles] That was his answer most of the time to her every little important concerns.
The family, John, Pat, Stevie and Lorrie, enjoyed many happy vacations together at Cozy Lake, where they all made many friends, some from Germany, Norway and many other places. Chester Domrzalski from Poland and an associate of New Jersey X-Ray Corp in dental x-ray, brought the family to Cozy Lake where they found an abandoned house to purchase as the “Lake House”.
Then they would go to Cape Cod for a week in August with William Lord and his family and Mr. and Mrs. Lord. John and Billy would have swimming races in the pool at Cape Cod. Billy would dive in and swim and John would run to the other end and jump in and claimed he won the race!
In 1976 they went over to West Milford to visit friends and found a house that they liked and moved from Cozy Lake to Upper Greenwood Lake, where they made even more friends.
Throughout the years John and Pat traveled to Mexico and many islands in the Caribbean. John made friends with the company’s landlord in Lyndhurst, Bob Reid. Bob being a former plumber, he moved to the Cayman Islands and started the first car wash in 1975. John and Pat traveled there a couple of times in the late 1970s to visit Bob and Liz Reid, avid tennis players as were John and Pat. John even more so. It was not unusual for him to play six hours of tennis a day. His racket was named “Big Bubba”! In 1981, Bob and Liz persuaded John and Pat to purchase their first home in Grand Cayman. The family all loved the beach, especially Stevie. They had a vast amount of friends in the Cayman Islands from all over the world.
John’s son in law, John Furniss, was working in Grand Cayman as a Crown Counsel and then later in the private sector as a partner in a law firm. Johnny Boy taught John to play tennis.
John has one granddaughter, Pamela Elizabeth Furniss. Pamela called him “Gramps” and Gramps called her “Pain-ella”. This ties in with the notion in John’s mind that little girls were a just nuisance…. [Giggles]
John had many attributes that were admirable. He had the gift of gab. Pat would say that “he had the skinniest jaws in town”! He had to do all of the talking; his hearing was somewhat impaired from an early age. He had the unwavering habit of asking a question and then immediately answer it, not allowing a response. Then he would turn and walk away. This would work to Lorrie’s advantage, until his next thought process would come up with something off the wall and impossible to follow! [Wink]
Johnny Boy is the inventor of copper wire….. he knew how to stretch a penny! But on the flip side of the coin, he would be very generous at times.
John loved to tease people and instigate scenarios just to be devilish and entertain himself. His mother had her hands full with him as a child and she would take refuge in the church. It is said that Johnny Boy could outrun his father, according to him! But the rest of us had to always be on our toes for the next folly of Johnny Boy!
We are all here in this life to learn how to love as we want God to love us. John had a great heart that was sometimes tempted by devilment, but fun loving. His soul was always aware of the best path for everyone. There were many people John did not like, but mostly everyone loved him! It was important to him that he was liked. We will always remember Johnny Boy for his eccentricity, quirky habits unconventional manners and being the life of the party!
Funeral Mass 11:00am Saturday August 14, 2021 at Queen of Peace RC Church North Arlington, NJ. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Lombardi Funeral Home, Caldwell, NJ
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