John L. Reader Jr., 82, ex-Brooklawn police chief

Posted: March 10, 2014

John L. Reader Jr., 82, who retired as police chief in Brooklawn in 1991, died of a blood infection on Thursday, March 6, at Cooper University Medical Center in Camden.

Born in Brooklawn, Mr. Reader graduated from Gloucester City High School in 1950 and was a Marine Corps airplane mechanic in Korea for a time during his 1952-1955 active duty.

Mr. Reader had inherited his mechanic's skills.

"My grandparents owned an automobile garage in Brooklawn," son John L. III said in a phone interview.

At the garage, Mr. Reader "worked for his father before and after," his career in the Marines.

He began his 28-year career with the Brooklawn Police Department in the 1960s, his son said, and because the department had no chief before he became its chief, "he was captain for a number of years when he was running the department."

Mr. Reader was attracted to police work partly because of his Marine training, his son said, but also because "growing up in a small town, he wanted to serve that community."

This year, he became a 53-year member of the Brooklawn Fire Company.

Mr. Reader was a member of the Chapel of the Four Chaplains, an a member of the Marine Corps League. As a Mason, he was a member of the USS New Jersey Lodge and of the Valley of Southern New Jersey Scottish Rite.

Besides his son, Mr. Reader is survived by his daughter, Juanita Reader; three brothers and a sister; four grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and companion Joyce Gandy. He was predeceased by his wife, Dorothy, and a brother.

A viewing was set from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, March 10, with a Masonic service at 8 p.m., both at Brooklawn United Methodist Church, 213 Maude Ave., Brooklawn.

A second viewing was set there from 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, March 11, before an 11 a.m. funeral service, with interment in Eglington Cemetery, Clarksboro.

Donations may be sent to the Marine Corps League, 5 Manor Ave., Oaklyn, N.J. 08107.

Condolences may be offered to the family at

610-313-8134 @WNaedele

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