Jonathan Kanter passed away on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at Robert Wood Johnson Somerset in Somerville, NJ. Born in Brooklyn, New York on May 13, 1946, Jon was proud to be one of the first group of Baby Boomers. He was predeceased by his parents, Bernard and Janet Kanter, and by his sister, Karen Chodikov.
Jon attended the University of South Florida in Tampa immediately after high school, but freely admitted that his lack of attention soon led him in a different direction. He joined the U.S. Army in 1966 and served his country honorably for four years as a member of the Army Security Agency. After recovering from being wounded, he returned to Tampa to study Linguistics, and completed his Master’s degree in Linguistics in New York, after studying with some of the most important experts in the field. Jon’s career as a teacher of English as a Second Language took him to the United Nations, Brooklyn College, Queens College, Rutgers University, St. John’s University, and finally, as a complete change of pace, Linden High School. He changed lives in all of these institutions, but especially at Linden, where some of his students went on to be successful students at major universities. Jon retired from Linden in 2012. In his retirement, Jon volunteered at Lyons VA Hospital; he shared his music and his compassion as he worked with patients, some of whom were in hospice care. His love of history made him an excellent listener, and he brought home many stories from his WW II veterans.
Jon’s love of music was legendary. He could pick up any instrument and learn to play it. He played both the Scottish and Irish bagpipes, and served as Pipe Major for Richmond County Pipes and Drums in Staten Island, New York. He helped instruct aspiring pipers and called the marches in countless parades. Jon was also a music minister for many years, playing guitar and leading the hymns during Mass. Every year Jon entered the VA music competition, and won many awards for his participation. Jon was always happy to bring his guitar to a party and entertain an audience with Irish folk tunes.
Jon is survived by his son, Jeremy Kanter of Staten Island, New York, his brother Stephen Mehlman (Genie) of Tucson, Arizona, his brother-in-law Joseph Chodikov of Albuquerque, New Mexico, his beloved companion, Gwendolyn Kane of Dunellen, NJ, and her children, Kelly (Chris) Whaley and Brian (Kimberly) Cooper, and grandchildren Cooper, Ryan, Mackenzie and Aidan, as well as numerous nephews, cousins and friends. Those who spent any time with Jon knew that his razor-sharp wit could easily degenerate into painful puns that brought his audience to audible groans. A devoted father, talented musician, and loyal friend, Jon will be sadly missed, as his was a major presence in our lives.
Friends can visit the family on Thursday, May from 3;00-5:00 and 7:00-9:00 at the Sheenan Funeral Home, 233 Dunellen Ave in Dunellen. A funeral mass will be celebrated on Friday, May 3 at 10:00am. Burial will be held on Tuesday, May 7 at 11:00 at Brig. Gen. William C. Doyle Cemetery in Wrightstown.
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