Wolfgang Reu
Wolfgang Reu
Wolfgang Reu

Obituary of Wolfgang Manfred Reu

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Wolfgang Manfred Reu (aka “Fred” “Iron Man” or “Freddy Boy”) lived a limitless, rebellious and extraordinary life filled with love, laughter and adventure before his passing on April 14, 2024 at the age of 77. 

Wolfgang was born on January 30, 1947 in Esselbach, Germany and sailed to Ellis Island in December 1953 on the SS United States with his mother, Walfriede, and his two sisters Irene and Gertrude.   He graduated from Columbia High School in Maplewood, NJ in 1965 and attended college at Rutgers University.   After college, Wolfgang served in the U.S. Army as a Private until 1967.   Wolfgang made a career in sales prior to his retirement.

Wolfgang loved life and he lived it to the fullest.  He loved food, sports, deep conversations, movies, long hugs, people watching, inappropriate jokes, traditions, politics, rock music, social events and a house full of friends and family.   He lived by his own rules and spoke his mind at will.  He faced many challenges and disappointments in his life with wit and grace, a trait he learned as a longtime fan of the NY Jets and NY Mets.  He was strong-willed and stubborn but could be easily persuaded with an Italian hot dog, sauerbraten, or a danish.   Wolfgang was fun and funny.  He would play any game, or do any activity or attend any event with excitement and enthusiasm and that energy was contagious to the people who surrounded him.  He made everyone laugh out loud, even when they were angry with him and even in the darkest of moments and on the worst of days.

Wolfgang loved his family deeply.  He had a fierce love for his mother, his “Mutti” and she defended him until the day she died, regardless of circumstance.  His best friend and therapist was his sister, Irene, and he allocated several hours each day to their telephonic therapy sessions.   The luckiest day of his life was the day he married his wife of 17 years, who he continued to refer to as his wife, Ivonne Reu, until his death, despite their divorce more than 30 years ago and her subsequent remarriage.  Wolfgang was an amazing grandfather.  As a young, vibrant, self-described “natural athlete,” he did not believe that he could possibly be a grandfather, but it did not take him long to adjust and become the coolest Pipa ever to his five grandchildren, who provided him endless entertainment in his final years.  He loved feeding them sweets at any and all hours of the day, watching R rated movies in their presence, and laughing with them when they broke all of the rules just like their Pipa.

However, the greatest loves of Wolfgang’s life were his two daughters, Erika and Tanya, who were his pride and joy.   He was a proud “girl dad” and his favorite thing to do was to be with his two girls, and if he was not with them, he would settle for repeatedly calling them on their cell phone all day or randomly calling their names aloud until one of them arrived.  Being a dad was his greatest source of joy and accomplishment, and although he approached fatherhood in an unorthodox and non-traditional way, his bond with his daughters was unmatched and unbreakable. 

Wolfgang lived with his daughter Tanya and son-in-law Miguel for the past 12 years as he continued to defy all odds which was customary throughout his life.  His resilience and will to live was exceptional and was simply driven by wanting to have more time with his family. 

Wolfgang is predeceased by his parents, Walfriede Slack and John B. Slack and his sister, Gertrude Petrone.  He is survived by his heartbroken children Tanya Reu-Narvaez and her husband Miguel, and Erika Reu and her partner James; his partner in crime sister, Irene Deo and her husband Michael, his five rambunctious torch-carrying grandchildren Connor, Lukas, Madelyn, Camila and Mauricio, and his dog and favorite child, Schatzie.  He is also survived by his nieces and nephews and an extensive network of his chosen family and friends, because every person he met believed they were his favorite.

Family and friends are invited to join in celebration of Wolfgang’s legendary life by visiting Norman Dean Funeral Home located at 16 Righter Avenue, Denville, NJ 07834 on Sunday, April 21, 2024 from 12-4 pm.  A funeral mass will be held on Monday, April 22, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary located at 91 Maple Avenue, Morristown, NJ 07960.