MONTCLAIR, NJ - James A. Firebrace,Jr., beloved Montclair legend, passed away on Monday evening, according to several family members.
Firebrace has been a well-respected lifelong member of the Montclair community. A retired teacher from the East Orange School District, Firebrace also taught tennis to countless people in his spare time.
Because of his dedication to teaching tennis in Montclair, township officials had renamed the Nishuane tennis courts in his honor in 2014.
In an earlier recollection during the 2014 dedication ceremony, Montclair Mayor Robert Jackson stated that when he was a kid, he thought that Firebrace owned Nishuane Park because each time he visited the park as a kid, Firebrace was there.
In addition to teaching in East Orange, Firebrace was caretaker and tennis coach at Nishuane Park for more than 40 years.
Firebrace was well-known for tennis, so much so, that he received visits at Nishuane Park from both Arthur Ashe and Althea Gibson, who came there to play with him.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced. Information will be released as it becomes available.