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He Loved Family, Felt 'Whole And Free' Outdoors: Frank Joseph Teta III Of Garfield Dies At 33

Frank Joseph Teta lll
Frank Joseph Teta lll Photo Credit: INSETS: Teta family

TRIBUTE: He loved making loved ones laugh, although at times he could be shy. As they gather for his wake on Thursday in Ridgefield Park, those closest to “Frankie” Teta of Garfield will recall the smiles that the highly sensitive man brought them.

They also will continue to wonder how he could be there one minute and gone the next.

Frank Joseph Teta lll died suddenly on Feb. 1. He wasn’t health challenged, loved ones said. He was only 33.

Teta was born on Dec. 27, 1986 in Ridgefield Park and attended Ridgefield Memorial High School.

“Frankie loved the outdoors and that's where he felt most at home,” his aunt, Mary Ellen Finnerty, wrote. “He was a shy young man, highly sensitive and empathic.

“Frankie was a prankster and made us laugh a lot and loved his family deeply.”

Teta indeed “loved camping and fishing with his father and brothers and especially loved bonfires,” according to his obituary.

“Frankie loved everything about nature,” it says. “The outdoors, especially the woods and waterfall -- that’s where he felt whole and free.

“He loved interacting with his family and having long conversations about his passion for nature...He loved watching documentaries on nature and politics. He absolutely loved the snow.

“He loved animals, especially dogs.”

After one of them passed, the obit says, Teta held onto his collar and leash.

“He loved playing soccer with his nephews. He loved keeping the family together and always reached out for everyone to be together,” they wrote in tribute. “He loved keeping everyone laughing and happy and a smile on their face.”

Teta is survived by parents Ann and Frank Tetat, brother Keith, sister Crystal Teta and partner George Castaneda-Bonilla, brother Mark Teta and wife Sheyenne sister Rosemarie Teta, Uncle John and Aunt Debbie Finnerty and Aunt Mel Finnerty and husband Uncle Gordon, nephews Jaiden, Liam, Parker, Brantley and Legend and many other family members and friends.

Thursday’s wake is scheduled from 4 to 8 p.m. at Vorhees-Ingwersen Funeral Home, 59 Main Street in Ridgefield Park. A priest from St. Francis Church will conduct a 7:30 p.m. memorial service during the viewing.

Cremation on Friday will be private at East Ridgelawn Crematorium in Clifton.

An investigation into the circumstances surrounding Teta's death was continuing.

Meanwhile, Finnerty created a A GoFundMe campaign to help her sister and brother-in-law with funeral expenses:

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