Vincent Paul Lipani, born July 19, 1940, passed away peacefully with his family at his side on his 81st birthday, July 19, 2021. Vince was born in Brooklyn, New York, but his family later moved to North Plainfield, NJ where Vince and his two brothers John and Paul attended North Plainfield H.S. Vince served as the Senior Class President, then graduated from Gettysburg College in 1962 with a degree in Biology.
After a two-year US Army enlistment, he became a successful sales associate with the Weyerhaeuser Company in Florida, transferring to the Brooklyn, N.Y. branch in 1969. But Vince wanted to be self-employed, and being a risk-taker, he purchased property in Hillsborough in March 1970 and established Central Jersey Nurseries. It is there Vince began making his impact on the town he loved. He will be well remembered for his 50-year influence on his young employees, teaching them the value of integrity, accountability, and hard work. Many have returned to thank him for instilling these values.
Vince was a life-long sports participant and fan. He enjoyed watching his N.J. Devils, N.Y. Giants, and Mets regardless of their performance. He was an avid golfer and skier and was always at home on the slopes of Colorado. His love of sports was surpassed only by his love of duct tape and its infinite uses.
Below are a few select posts borrowed from the Hillsborough Funeral Home’s Tribute Wall, as they provide a small glimpse into Vince’s character and his impact on the Hillsborough community:
Jeff Heaney (July 28) - I am so sad to read of Mr. Lipani's passing. Some of my fondest memories as a kid were hanging at Mr. Lipani's house. He was an absolute class act and always made me feel welcome. He gave me a job when I needed one badly and taught me the value of hard work. I will forever regret not keeping in touch through the years as he truly was a role model. My thoughts are with the entire Lipani Family during this difficult time. Jeff Heaney
Bob Jones (July 27) - Vince was a groomsman at our wedding in 1966. We've kept up our friendship through the years at weddings, sporting events, Florida trips and special family occasions. He and Barbara enriched our lives with their friendship through the years. RIP dear and loyal friend. Bob and Cheryl Jones
Rev. Fred Mueller (July 27) - Vince was a wonderful man. Every time I saw him I was greeted with a smile that reflected genuine friendliness. Here at the Hillsborough Reformed Church we will never forget his unfailing generosity and help. He and his family have always been there for us. Our lives are richer for his having been with us. We commend him to our loving God.
Carmine Cerminara (July 26) - I met Vince in December 1974. I knew I was going to like him when I saw empty Rolling Rock cans throughout the chicken coop at the nursery. From that time forward, he welcomed me into his family, and I am truly lucky to call him my friend. I will miss him.
Vince was a member of the Hillsborough Reformed Church, The Rotary Club of America and served as Chairman of the Hillsborough Board of Adjustment. He was also a proud republican, and his commitment to service to Hillsborough was passed down to his son Shawn, a member of the Hillsborough Township Committee, and the current Mayor. The Hillsborough Republican Club has made a donation to the Hillsborough Rotary Club in Vince Lipani’s honor.
Vince Lipani is survived by his wife Barbara, sons Shawn, Todd, and Troy along with their wives Tara, Tamayra, Maria, and five grandchildren.
Hillsborough lost a proud resident recently when Hillsborough Fire Company #2 (Station 37) Assistant Chief William "Bill" Shaffer succumbed to a medical emergency in the line of duty. Shaffer's death comes after Hillsborough Fire Companies 1 and 2 and career staff responded to Copart Salvage Auctions, on Camplain Road for a car fire. Upon arrival firefighters immediately worked to extinguish the fire. Shortly after it was extinguished Shaffer suffered a medical emergency.
From top officials to neighboring fire companies, many shared their condolences on Shaffer's death:
"Hillsborough experienced a great sadness today with the untimely passing of one of our dedicated volunteer fireman Bill Shaffer," said Hillsborough Mayor Shawn Lipani. "Whether you knew him from Station 37 or from seeing him at work at ShopRite, Billy always had a smile and a good word. Our deepest sympathies go out to his wife Marian, and his entire family. He will be sorely missed. Rest in peace Billy."
"Our deepest sympathies and warmest condolences. Rest Easy Brother. We will take it from here," said Hillsborough Fire Company #2.
A 35-year veteran of the department, Shaffer also worked full-time as a department manager at a local ShopRite, according to Chief Fire Marshal Christopher Weniger. “He just loved (being a firefighter),” Weniger said. “The fire department was his life. It was very important to him and he had a family that was very understanding.”
"Assistant Chief Shaffer was consistently one of Hillsborough's top responders. Chief Shaffer had dedicated 35 years of self-sacrificing and altruistic service to his community. Yesterday, Assistant Chief Schaffer answered his last call, passing away in the line of duty, while selflessly protecting his community. Thank you for everything, Chief and may you rest in peace," said North Branch Volunteer Fire Company.
"Hillsborough was a better place because of Billy. Rest easy Assistant Chief," said Hillsborough Committeeman Doug Tomson.
In addition to his many years serving Hillsborough with the Fire Company, which was his life, Assistant Chief Shaffer was also a proud and active supporter of Hillsborough Republicans throughout this time. The Hillsborough Republican Club made a donation, in Assistant Chief Shaffer’s name, to Hillsborough Fire Company #2.
Shaffer is survived by his wife Marian, and three children. Visitation was held on Thursday, July 22nd at Mary Mother of God, in Hillsborough, where hundreds of fire fighter colleagues, friends, neighbors, and Township officials came to pay their final salutes and respects. The funeral and prayer service were held Friday morning, July 23, followed by a private burial at Neshanic Reformed Cemetery.