Frederick F. Nadler (“Doc”), 89, passed away on Monday, December 28, 2020 at St. Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ. Cause of death was attributed to complications from surgery. He was born on September 21, 1931 in Elizabeth, NJ. He grew up in Rahway, and was a proud member of the Boy Scouts of America Troop 40. He earned the Eagle Scout Badge and became a Jr. Assistant Scout Master.
He enlisted in the Army in March of ’51 when the Korean War started. Initially with the 43rd infantry battalion, he had the opportunity to train in the electrical/controls field. He was assigned as a SSgt to the 9th Ordinance BN/Special Weapons Support. He serviced, maintained and oversaw the readiness of all the electrical components on the nuclear warhead associated with the Army’s surface to surface “Honest John” missile program. He and his outfit were present as “Frenchman’s Flat”, Nevada for “Upshot-Knothole Grable”, a test of an atomic artillery shot, May 25, 1953.
After being honorably discharged in 1954, he attended Rutgers University in New Brunswick and graduated with a BA in Business Administration and made a member of the Rutgers Economic Honor Society. With the recession on, he focused in a long term interest in public education. Hired by the South Brunswick School System, he taught 7th and 8th grade math. While doing so, he used those 3 years to earn a Master’s Degree in Elementary Administration. In 1962 he became Principal of Monmouth Junction Elementary School, but it wasn’t until 1965 where his pioneering spirit came into play when he answered a call put out by the U.S. Dept. of Education for educators where they were tasked with developing a new organizational concept called the “middle school.” He was given a grant, giving him the authority to develop and institute the “middle school concept.” Crossroads School opened its doors in 1967 with Mr. Nadler as Principal. His vision called “The Unit System” was born. The system was there to help elementary students have an easier transition into High School. The old system had 25 students with one teacher that taught all subjects. Doc’s “Unit” system expanded the elementary school concept by having 4 teachers per 100 students, ea teaching specific subjects like in high school. It was the first in the county to do this. This really helped the student by exposing them to more adults, enhancing a more secure atmosphere for learning and giving them the opportunity to socialize with more students their age. Today they call it “Social Emotional Learning.” His concept is still being used today, its name has changed to “Teaming” or since 2000 called “Professional Learning Communities.” His last year as Principal 1993, Crossroads was awarded the prestigious honor of being named a “Blue Ribbon School” by the U.S. Dept. of Education. This award for excellence was a crowning jewel for him. He said “It’s time to move on, but I’m going out on top.” While at Crossroads he was actively earning his Doctorate in Education Administration Supervision. He was inducted into the Rutgers Chapters of Phi Delta Kappa International, and later Delta Kappa Pi Honor Society.
“Doc” as he was called, also owned and operated a “Cheers” type of tavern, “The Park Café” in New Brunswick from 1958-2000 near the Rutgers Campus. He loved that tavern because it afforded him endless opportunity to interact with people.
He was a member of the New Brunswick Elks Post 324, and a proud lifetime member of American Legion Post 211, Sayreville.
Dr. Nadler is survived by his former wife, Jean (Canam) Nadler of Bath, NY; their 3 children, Guy of Bartlett, TN, Holly Vincent (James) of San Antonio, TX, Kelly Langendorfer (Charles) of Bath, NY; seven grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.
Due to the ongoing Covid restrictions, his memorial service has to be postponed to a later date. A “Celebration of Life” memorial service is tentatively planned for around his 90th birthday in New Brunswick. When plans are finalized an announcement will be publicized.
His cremated remains will be interred at the Brigadier General William C. Doyle Memorial Cemetery with full military honors.
If anyone would like to make donations in Fred’s name, please send them to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Memphis, TN.