John P. Arango IV, 91, Conrail clerk

Posted: March 22, 2014

John P. Arango IV disliked organized sports, including politics.

In all his 91 years, daughter Cheryl Overbey said, "he went to one football game, and that was enough." The names of the teams are lost to memory.

Whether football or baseball or ping-pong, "he could wait to hear the score and that was good enough for him."

As for politics, she said, "he didn't trust any politician."

On Sunday, March 16, Mr. Arango, 91, of Blackwood, who retired in 1983 as a payroll clerk for Conrail, died at home.

Though he turned his back on organized sports, when he was growing up in Runnemede, his daughter said, "he loved swimming, morning to night, in Blackwood Lake."

He graduated from Audubon High School and served as an Army radioman from September 1942 to December 1945, in the Philippines and in Japan.

Mr. Arango began his career in 1941 as a payroll clerk for the former Reading Railroad in Philadelphia.

"He liked working with the figures," his daughter said.

Though he disdained common pastimes like sports and politics, Mr. Arango had more than enough to occupy him.

From the late 1950s and into his retirement, he operated Arango Janitorial Services at nights and on weekends.

"He had seven or eight churches he cleaned and a couple of buildings," all in South Jersey, his daughter said. The clients for whom he worked the longest were Frances Childs United Methodist Church in West Collingswood and Ascension Lutheran Church in Haddon Heights.

"He had people he worked with at the railroad that helped," she said, as well as "some of my cousins."

Mr. Arango, she said, "was always a worker. He worked since he was 12."

When the family lived in Clayton, Mr. Arango raised and sold minks part time, from 1954 to 1959, but it didn't work out. "They were expensive to feed," she said, "and they were nasty."

After retiring from Conrail and into the mid-1990s, he worked as a night watchman at the Bancroft School in Haddonfield.

He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

His wife, Margaret, died in August 2010, a week short of their 62d anniversary.

A viewing was set from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday, March 21, at the Gardner Funeral Home, 120 S. Black Hose Pike, Runnemede, with an 11 a.m. funeral there.

Interment is to be in the Brig. Gen. William C. Doyle Veterans Cemetery in Wrightstown.

Donations may be sent to Mount Calvary Union Church, 111 East Clements Bridge Rd., Runnemede, N.J. 08078.

Condolences may be offered to the family at

610-313-8134 @WNaedele

comments powered by Disqus