Alfred J. Del Rey Jr. (AJ) of Pelham, NY, died on June 23, 2019, in Manhattan. He was 73 years old.
AJ was born on April 26, 1946, in Brooklyn, NY, to Alfred Sr. and Gloria (nee Lignante). AJ and his sister Patricia were raised in the North Bronx. He attended the Bronx High School of Science, graduated from the New York Military Academy, then attended Villanova University. It was while he attended Villanova that he met his first wife, Angela (nee Dangerfield), and they were married in 1969.
AJ attended St. John's University Law School and graduated in 1970. He relocated to New Rochelle, NY, and then Greenwich, CT. The first of his five sons, Alfred III, was born in 1970, followed by Jonathan (1971) and Brian (1975).
He later married his wife of 35 years, Jenny (nee Ling), in 1983. Sons Maximillian (1985) and Alexander (1993) were raised in Pelham, NY, a small suburb that AJ loved.
Most important to AJ over all other priorities was the closeness of his family. He was beloved by his children, and stressed the importance of the strong bonds between each of them and their children.
AJ also stressed the importance of education, entrepreneurship, and hard work. He was a founding partner of the Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen, and Loewy immigration firm. As a founding partner, AJ joined the firm after law school as one of three lawyers and shepherded what became "FDBL" through an era of exponential growth that saw the firm eventually grow to more than 500 lawyers in 40 offices. AJ is fondly remembered as a skilled practitioner, leader, and mentor and teacher to a generation of lawyers, serving as an adjunct law professor at NYU, St. John's, and Rutgers-Newark.
AJ retired in 2004, but remained active by working as a court-appointed legal guardian and trustee in the Bronx, FINRA arbitrator, and through his real estate investments. He spent his 15 years of retirement with his children and their families, relishing his role as Poppy to his seven grandchildren. He loved spending summer afternoons hosting the family aboard his sport fishing boats while cruising the Long Island Sound. In his final years, he split his time between Pelham and St. Augustine, Florida.
AJ is remembered by his friends and family as fun-loving and sincere, dedicated to those he loved. He took a deep interest in the lives of those around him — regardless of title or background —and went out of his way to support and promote them when he could.
AJ was a courageous fighter and multiple-times survivor of cancer over the course of nearly 50 years. He dealt with no shortage of pain and tragedy in his later life, including being predeceased by Alfred III and his first-born grandchild, Alfred IV. While the pains of these losses never left him, he was buoyed by the love of his wife, remaining children and grandchildren, his sister, nieces and nephews, as well as his many first cousins, with whom he shared an enduring bond.
AJ is survived by his devoted Jenny; his sons Jonathan, Brian, Maximillian, and Alexander; daughters-in-law Jodi, Christine, Carey, and Catherine; grandchildren Margaret, Christopher, Ray, Lauren, Isabella, and Grace; and sister Patricia.
A celebration of AJ's life will take place at Pelham Funeral Home, 64 Lincoln Ave, Pelham, NY on Thursday, June 27, and Friday June 28, from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. A private memorial of his life will continue at the New York Athletic Club, in Pelham, on Saturday, June 29. For more information or to leave a condolence please visit pelhamfuneral.com.