Fred T. Space of Wantage, N.J., passed away from a short illness on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021. He was 92.
Fred was born to Ralph and Elizabeth (Cosh) Space on Sept. 28, 1928, in Beemerville, N.J., where he lived his entire life.
He was a 1946 graduate of Sussex High School and a second-generation owner and zookeeper of Space Farms Zoo & Museum.
Fred was a 77-year member of the Beemerville Fire Department, and was Fire Chief from 1951 to 1953. He was a founding member of the Kittatinny Recreation Association, the forerunner of the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce.
His service to the community was numerous. He served on the Sussex Wantage Board of Education and served 35 years on the Wantage Township Zoning Board. He was a lifetime member of the Beemerville Cemetery Association; lifetime member of the Sussex County Board of Agriculture, where he served as president in the 1970s; and was a director of the New Jersey Farm Bureau.
Fred served from 1963 to 1971 on the New Jersey Fish and Game Council, where he served as chair from 1969 to 1971. He was a lifetime member of the NRA, New Jersey Trapper’s Association, National Trapper’s Association, and a founding member of the Beemerville Hunting Club.
Fred wrote his first non-fiction book in 1965, “Facts about Snakes of the Northeast United States,” and his second in 2007, “Ralph Space, the Legend & Tales of Beemerville,” showcasing his love of history and entwined history of Space Farms.
In Fred’s spare time, he enjoyed hunting, fishing and trapping. He enjoyed spending time at his cabin in Colorado. He loved traveling with his wife, Mira, and spending time with his family.
He worked at Space Farms until his death. Fred spent his days doing what he loved, working alongside his son Parker Space and his wife, Jill, daughter Lori Space Day and her husband, Doug, and grandson Hunter Space and his wife, Caitlin, at Space Farms Zoo & Museum.
Fred is the loving husband for 46 years to Mira (nee Ludvicek). He is also the loving father to his son Eric C. Space and his wife, Linda, of Beemerville, and daughter Dr. Renee Space and her spouse, Lizabeth Bloem, of Woodbury, N.J. Fred’s cherished grandchildren are Eric W. Space and his wife, Stephanie, of Sparta, N.J., Meghan Jaust and her husband, Tom, of Frankford, N.J., Mandy Jaust and her husband, Matt, of Frankford, Jackie Day and her husband, Mark Tarnecki, of Hoboken, N.J., Lindsey Space and her fiancé, Dominic Butti of Orlando, Fla., Kelsey Space of Beemerville, Melissa Chin and her husband, Damion, of Chester, Va., Jean-Paul LaRue and his wife, Amanda, of Cache, Okla., and Jean-Pierre LaRue of Woodbury, N.J.
He is also survived by his 21 great-grandchildren; sisters, Loretta Dunn of Beemerville and Edna Neibanck of Bertram, Texas; and stepson, Jay Reitschmied, and his wife, Jill, of Lawrenceville, N.J., and is survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Fred was predeceased by a granddaughter, Laura Reitschmied, and two great-grandchildren.
A “walk through” visitation will be held on Sunday, Jan. 31, at the Space Farms Main Building, 218 Route 519, Wantage, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Graveside/Firemens services will follow at 2 p.m. at the Beemerville Cemetery, Beemerville.
If attending the graveside services please bring a chair. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, only 75 people wearing masks are allowed in the building at any one time.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a memorial donation to The Wantage Fire Department or The Wantage First Aid Squad, at 888 Route 23, Wantage, NJ 07461.
Funeral arrangements are made by the Ferguson Funeral Home, Sussex, N.J.
Please see related story from 2017, “Space Farm celebrates 90 years,” at advertisernewsnorth.