In Memoriam


In Memory of

George Laing Rover

April 26, 2019


George Laing Rover - Longtime Maplewood resident, retired HVAC engineer for Port Authority, 'a man of wit, good deeds, generosity.

George Laing Rover, 84, of Bethlehem, Pa., loving husband, father and grandfather, passed on April 26, 2019 at Moravian Village Health Center, in Bethlehem, Pa.

He leaves his wife of 62 years, Cecelia (Weber) Rover; sons, George, Roy and his wife, Julia; his daughter, Donna (wife of the late Joseph Ruggiero), and he was blessed with four lovely grandchildren, Lucas, Emma, Tyler and Madison; he is also survived by many nieces and nephews, Joel McDonald and his wife, Geraldine, Gene Rover and his wife, Debra, Chuck Rover and his wife, Cheri, Betty Mae Rover, Jan Nouss and her husband, Steve, George (Patty) McCormick, Isabel Whitney and her husband, Richard, and Diane Ellis and her husband, Johnny.

He also leaves behind many great-nieces and great-nephews. He was predeceased by his oldest son, Robin Rover; oldest brother, Charles (Sonny) Rover; sisters, Cecelia (Cece) McDonald and Diane (Chicki) McCormick; nephews, Henri "Bing" Rover, (Betty Mae Rover's Husband) Neal McDonald, and Jack Clausman, his cousin and best man at his wedding.

Born at Harlem Hospital and raised in Queens, N.Y., George was the son of the late George Christian Rover and the late Isabella Harper (Laing) Rover. He attended PS 122 in Queens, N.Y., and graduated from William Cullen Bryant High School in Long Island City, Queens, NY in 1954.
He met his wife, Cecelia at a dance, and smitten by her charm, they married in 1957 at Saint Mark's Episcopal Church in North Bellmore, N.Y. They resided in Astoria, Queens, N.Y., where all four of their children were born at Astoria General Hospital. In 1967, after living in Merrick, Long Island, NY, for a short time, the family moved to Maplewood, N.J., in 1967.
George worked for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for 32 years as a heating & air conditioning engineer. His career at the Port Authority started at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and working his way through trade school, George earned the position of HVAC engineer at Newark International Airport; he ended his career with the Port Authority at the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, N.J., retiring in 1988.

George was known to family and friends as "Pee Wee" despite standing over 6 feet tall. Recognized as a star baseball player as a shortstop for William Cullen Bryant High School in Queens, N.Y., his nickname was earned in honor of Pee Wee Reese, who was an All Star shortstop for the Brooklyn/ Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1940s-50s.

George was also known for his love of fishing, hunting and canoeing, antiques and classic cars as well as his ability to fix anything, which earned him another nickname, "Mr. Machine." He was known in the family as a man of limited words, but no one was spared from his quick wit and frequent pranks. His family will always be grateful for his many generous deeds that were performed without any desire for acknowledgement. The family will miss George, our Pee Wee, his wit and good deeds; he will not be forgotten. May he rest in eternal peace.

A private memorial service will be held with family and close friends. To offer on-line condolences, please visit his "Book of Memories" at

Published in Star-Ledger on May 13, 2019


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