David S. Way, a former mayor of Pequanoco who was among a dwindling number of New Jerseyans who held local office during Dwight Eisenhower’s presidency, died Jan. 10. He was 100 years old.
Way entered politics in the 1950s and was president of the local Republican Club when Mayor Stuart DeBow and Councilman Albert Arnold recruited him to run for City Council in 1958. more than 200 votes in a six-way contest that drew a 36% voter turnout.
At the age of 36, he won a seat on the council after defeating the only Democratic candidate, John Magee, by more than 200 votes. The Republican ticket that year was led by Rep. Robert Keen (R-Livingston), who was running for U.S. Senate, and Rep. Peter Frelinghuysen (R-Harding), who served three terms. Keen and Frelinghuysen edged Pequannack by more than 1,000 votes.
After DeBow resigned in late 1961, Way was elected by the council to replace him as mayor. He also served in the final weeks of Gov. Robert Miner’s second term.
Way’s political career ended abruptly when he lost re-nomination in the 1962 Republican primary as a result of warring factions within the local Republican Party. Robert Bridges, Paul Robinson and Michael Carbone in 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 Morris County Northeast Republican District, a regional seat representing Butler, Jefferson, Kinnelon, Lincoln Park, Montville, Pequannac and Riverdale. He was elected in 1967 after Richard Seabury, who later became chairman of the Morris County Republican Party, resigned. In 1968, when Willis Walling was elected county chairman by just 22 votes over Edward Bartholomew, Way became MCRC treasurer.
Way later served as chairman of the Pequannock Zoning Board,
Born in Woodston, he moved to Pequannac after graduating from Swarthmore College to take a job at Curtiss-Wright Aircraft Manufacturing.
Predeceased by his wife Dorothy and a son, he is survived by four children, three grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and a sister, Alice Way Waddington.
A celebration of life will be held March 11 at First Reformed Church in Pompton Plains.