David S. Way, a former Pequannock mayor who was among a diminishing number of New Jerseyans to have held local office during the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower, died on January 10. He was 100.
Way entered politics in the 1950s and was the local Republican Club president when Mayor Stewart DeBow and Councilman Albert Arnold recruited him to run on their ticket for township council in 1958. In a contested GOP primary, Way defeated his top challenger, Fred Lobman, by over 200 votes in a six-way contest that attracted a 36% voter turnout.
At age 36, he won a council seat after defeating the lone Democratic candidate, John Magee, by over 200 votes. The Republican ticket that year was headed by Rep. Robert Kean (R-Livingston), who was running for the U.S. Senate, and three-term Rep. Peter Frelinghuysen (R-Harding). Kean and Frelinghuysen carried Pequannock by over 1,000 votes.
After DeBow resigned in late 1961, Way was elected selected by the council to replace him as mayor. He too office during the final weeks of Gov. Robert Meyner’s second term.
Way’s political career ended abruptly when he lost renomination in the 1962 Republican primary as a casualty of feuding factions within the local GOP. Robert Bridge, Paul Robinson and Michael Carbone on the primary, with Way finishing last in a field of six, about 300 votes behind Carbone.
Remaining involved in local politics, Way served as chairman of the Northeast Republican District of Morris County, a regional post representing Butler, Jefferson, Kinnelon, Lincoln Park, Montville, Pequannock and Riverdale. He was elected in 1967 after Richard Seabury, who later became Morris County GOP chairman, stepped down. In 1968, when Willis Walling was elected county chairman by just 22 votes over Edward Bartholomew, Way became MCRC treasurer.
Later, Way served as chairman of the Pequannock Zoning Board,
Born in Woodston, he moved to Pequannock in the after graduating from Swarthmore College to take a job at Curtiss-Wright, an aviation manufacturing company.
Predeceased by his wife, Dorothy, and a son, he is survived by his four children, three grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and his sister, Alice Way Waddington.
A memorial celebration of life will be held on March 11 at the First Reformed Church in Pompton Plains.