Robert Wade is named 2024 grand marshal

Robert Wade

UNION, NJ — Born in Bayonne and raised in Roselle, Robert Wade is the oldest of eight children of Robert F. and Joan V. Wade. His Irish roots include Cos. Cork, Dublin and Donegal, and his extended family still owns and farms the land where his grandmother was born in West Cork. Wade also has established his own roots on the Dingle Peninsula in Co. Kerry.

He graduated in 1970 from Saint Joseph the Carpenter Grammar School and in 1974 from Roselle Catholic High School, later earning a bachelor’s degree in 1979 from Kean University, and he has a management certificate from University of California – Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and a corporate community relations certificate from Boston College.

The proud father of Laurie, Kara and Eric, Wade and his wife, Mary, have three grandchildren and celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in 2023.

Wade began a journalism career with the Elizabeth radio station WJDM during high school and college and also served as general manager of Kean University’s radio station, helping to obtain the college’s broadcast license. He worked for The Associated Press as New Jersey broadcast editor and Atlantic City correspondent, and later had state news editor roles in New Jersey and Tennessee. He covered the 1988 Olympics in Seoul for The AP. Wade later worked for Beneficial Corporation in Peapack, before joining audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG LLP, from which he retired in 2020 as executive director, corporate communications.

Wade, his father, a brother and three sisters have played with the award-winning Saint Columcille United Gaelic Pipe Band and he has served in a variety of board leadership roles with the band, which has marched in every Union County Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.
A member of the Nugent’s Association and the Elizabeth Knights of Columbus Council 253, Wade also belongs to the Essex County Shillelagh Club in West Orange. He has been honored for his work in the Irish community by the Nugent’s Association, the Union County Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee and the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick in Union County. He also serves on a board for a youngster’s communications network and volunteers for a tourism group in Co. Kerry, Ireland.

Photo Courtesy of Gabby Sully