John Mintz

Obituary of John Ervin Mintz

Please share a memory of John to include in a keepsake book for family and friends.

John Ervin Mintz passed away peacefully at his home in Rockaway, New Jersey. He was 94 years old. Born in Montclair to Joseph and Eleanor Mintz (nee McMahon), he and his sisters, Marjorie and Eleanor, were raised in Montclair and Glen Ridge. John graduated from Seton Hall Prep and earned a bachelor’s degree from Saint Peter’s College and a master’s degree in philosophy from Fordham University. He was a corporate vice president for the Grand Union Company, where he worked for more than 30 years.


John had two passions in his life. In 1951, he married the love of his life, Mary Margaret Ruckstuhl. They made their home first in Montclair and later in Roseland, where they raised a happy and boisterous family of five children. Mary and John retired to the Fox Hills section of Rockaway in 2000 and celebrated 70 years of marriage in 2021.


John’s other passion was magic. After a family friend’s coin trick sparked his interest, John learned the art of conjuring from library books and Gilbert Mysto Magic Sets, performing his first magic show in his early teens at the Glen Ridge Country Club. In the early 1950s, John, his cousin Oscar Pladek, and his good friend Herb Zarrow became life-long members of the Society of American Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians. John learned from and befriended some of the greatest close-up magicians of the 20th century, including Charlie Miller, Slydini, and Dai Vernon. He became a skilled card and close-up magician, inventing new tricks and performing well into his 90s.


John was predeceased by his wife Mary Margaret and is survived by their son John and his children John Patrick (David) Kindred, Kevin (Lindsay), Daniel (Catherine), and Robert (Jeffrey) Higgins; their daughter Mary-Ellen, her husband Jamie Gilson, and their children Ryan (Sara Conley) Schymanski, Kristin Mercado, and Madeleine Gilson; their son Michael, his wife Debbie, and their children Caitlin, Alison, and Michael, Jr.; their daughter Kathleen, her husband Michael Downey, and their children Sean (Stephanie) and Kyle; their son Thomas, his wife Diana, and their children Thomas and Alex; and 12 great-grandchildren. John is also survived by his sister Eleanor Malone, his sister-in-law Judith (Francis) Sullivan, his dear friend Sam Backlar, and extended family and friends.


He will be laid to rest at Immaculate Conception Cemetery in Montclair. A private Mass will be held at a later date at Immaculate Conception Church. Please leave a condolence, light a candle, and share your favorite memory of John here to celebrate his 94 years of love and magic.

Share Your Memory of