Irishman of The Year
FRANK MICHAEL McGOVERN
Frank was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey to Frank Joseph and Gail McGovern. He grew up in Clark, New Jersey with his brother, Ronald and sister, Linda. Frank was educated at Saint John the Apostle School in Clark and is a graduate of Arthur L. Johnson Regional High School. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey.
The ancestral home of the McGovern Clan is County Cavan. His Great-Great Grandfather, James was born in 1824 in County Cavan, entered the Irish Constabulary in 1847 and received his training in Dublin. As is the case today for police officers, one cannot serve in your native county or that of your spouse. After his assignment to County Kerry, Jameswas transferred to Limerick for a short time. He and his wife Ann settled in Butlerstown, County Cork where he raised his family. James and Ann had four children; James, Charles, Frank and Elizabeth. James retired from the Constabulary and then retired to Kinsale where he died in 1911.
In the mid 1880’s while in his 20’s James’ son, Frank McGovern immigrated to the United States and settled in New York City. Shortly thereafler, he met Catherine Rooney whose family was famine refugees and immigrated to New York in the early 1850’s. Frank and Catherine were married on April 1, 1888 and they had two children; Catherine Ann and Frank. Catherine entered the Order of Saint Francis, in Peekskill, New York and worked in the Ministry to the Poor.
Frank met and married Julia Tormey, whose family immigrated from West Meath in 1886. They were married in 1922 and settled in Jersey City. Frank served in World War I, and after his service, served as a policeman and eventually went to work for and retired from the Pennsylvania Railroad. Julia was a homemaker, a ticket taker for the Manhattan and Hudson Railroad, and retired as a seamstress from Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital in Elizabeth, NJ. They had three children; Ronald Francis who was killed during the Korean War, Geraldine, and Frank Joseph.
In 1957, Frank Joseph married Gail Hollum and they had three children; Frank Michael, Ronald Patrick and Linda Gail. In 1981, Frank Michael married the former Eileen Whalen. Eileen and Frank have four beautiful children; Daughters Megan Ann of Burlington, Massachusetts who is married to Mike Reny and they have two beautiful children Brendon and Lauren Cassidy. Frank and Eileen reside in the Township of Cranford. He has spent his entire career in the electric utility industry and is currently the Director of Sales and Marketing North America for Nexans High Voltage Cable USA.
Mr. McGovern has been active in the Union County Saint Patrick’s Day Parade for over 20 years. He has served in many capacities including General Chairman 2005, Chairman of the Investiture and Parade Day Mass, First Vice Chairman, Financial Secretary, Chairman of the St. Patrick’s Honor Guard, Parade Announcer, and most recently Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
In 2016 the Parade Committee bestowed a great honor on him and named him Grand Marshal. That same year he was also honored by the John F. Cryan Association. His Charitable contributions include: Past President and Trustee of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Union County.
His charitable contributions include the following; Former President and Trustee of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick of Union County, the Board of Trustees Center for Hope Hospice, Saint John's Social Concerns and Capital Campaign Committees, and Volunteer at Overlook Hospital in Summit.