Ramapo sports suffered a huge loss this weekend that wasn’t caused by a play on the field. “Super Fan” John McKiernan’s sudden death on Friday leaves a void in the Ramapo community. A pressence at all sporting events, McKiernan was a legendary figure to students, parents and coaches.
Students at Ramapo observed a moment of silence today in McKiernan’s honor.
Principal Lou Moore said "many of us know John as an incredible supporter of Ramapo sports. Additionally, John was a great supporter of the entire school community including attending awards dinners and speaking at US History classes about his experiences in World War II.”
The 90 year old McKiernan was a recipient of the Purple Heart for wounds sustained in the Battle of the Bulge. He served in the US Army 94th Infantry Division. Locally, he was honored by the Bergen County Coaches Association for his commitment to Ramapo sports and was inducted into first class of the Ramapo High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
McKiernan's signature cheer “Let’s go ‘Po” adorns a plaque in his honor presented by the Ramapo Boosters Association during a boy’s basketball game in 2010. The Raiders “#1 Fan,” as he is known, began attending games and cheering for Raiders sports more than 25 years ago. McKiernan’s son and daughter are Ramapo alumni and his daughter was a softball player.
Kathy Scarpelli, former Ramapo Board of Education member, spent time with John when her daughter Maggie played softball.
“John was a fixture at the softball games proudly wearing his Ramapo hat and jacket as he kept his stat book behind the dugout. He greeted everyone with a hug and a handshake and cheered all the players. The players loved to pose for pictures with John after a big win because in their eyes he was part of the team," she said.
This year, the varsity soccer team surprised McKiernan with a visit to his home to celebrate his birthday.
“Mr.McKiernan was an excellent supporter of the team; we all love and value him," said senior player Ian Brady.
Visiting is Monday 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at Vander Plaat Funeral Home, 257 Godwin Ave Wyckoff. Funeral services are Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the funeral home followed by interment at George Washington Memorial Park, Paramus.