Retired Chief of Police Ben A. Malaspina, 84, passed away on Tuesday, December 3rd, at University Hospital in Newark after he was struck by a motor vehicle as he walked in the Borough of Kenilworth.
Chief Malaspina began his career in Roselle Park as a patrolman in 1954 and rose through the ranks to the position of Chief of Police in 1980. He retired in 1990, after serving the department and community for 36 years. He served his country in the United States Army during the Korean War. Chief Malaspina was still an active member of the Union County Police Chief’s Association at the time of his passing. He is survived by his wife of 59 years Cecellia “Gigi” (Ballerini) Malaspina; his daughter Donna Corrigan and her husband Michael; his son Joseph Malaspina and his wife Margaret; and his grandchildren Nicholas, Thomas, and Maggie.
“I am extremely saddened by the tragic death of Chief Malaspina,” Roselle Park Police Chief Paul W. Morrison said, “[He] was the Police Chief at the time of my appointment as a patrolman with the Roselle Park Police Department. He was always a larger than life figure, and there was never a doubt that he was the one in charge. He was always fair, and you always knew where you stood with him. He was a no-nonsense guy. Chief Malaspina was the one who gave me my first chance to excel in the law enforcement field by assigning me to the Detective Bureau. I will always be grateful for that opportunity. It surely helped me excel in my law enforcement career. Chief Malaspina will be missed in the law enforcement community as well as the community of Roselle Park. My thoughts and prayers are with Chief Malaspina’s family during this very difficult time.”
In lieu of flowers, it is respectfully requested that donations be made to the Newark Beth Israel Medical Center Foundation (link) to benefit cardiac heart services in Ben’s memory.
A viewing will be held on Friday, December 6th. from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. and from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Mastapeter Funeral Home located at 400 Faitoute Avenue. A funeral mass is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 7th, at the Church of the Assumption, located at 113 Chiego Place.