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Longtime Fair Havenite, Firemen's Fair Volunteer Ida Twist Dies at 90

Ida Twist and daughter Vanda at the Fair Haven Centennial Parade (Photo: Elaine Van Develde)
Ida Twist and daughter Vanda at the Fair Haven Centennial Parade (Photo: Elaine Van Develde)

Like any Fair Havenite, if you've spent time at the Fair Haven Firemen's Fair, you probably met or knew Ida Twist, one of the proud "balloon ladies" at the Grab Bag Booth.

Her seat this year will be empty. Ida passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 1, at Riverview Medical Center. She was 90.

For just about the past two decades, Ida sat at the booth with Jeanette Choma and Lorraine and kept its tradition going strong. The mission: to keep kids who didn't win prizes from the games-of-chance happy with a balloon or a fair token to go home with. And, with their smiles and love of the kids and the fair, they've continued to do just that.

When she wasn't seen at the booth, Ida was often seen with the Fair Haven Seniors group and around town with her daughter Vanda and son-in-law Conrad enjoying events or just taking in the family time.

Ida was instrumental in family business, as she helped to start up her grandson Charlie's well-known landscaping business, Lawn Giant.

She was also a highly recognized volunteer outside of Fair Haven. She was named Ladies' Auxiliary Woman of the Year by the Blind Citizens organization in the Leonardo section of Middletown and was an active volunteer with the Rutherford Fire Department Ladies'Auxiliary.

Ida will be missed. As is tradition at the fair, a balloon will be "sent up" by Mrs. Choma in her honor, along with all the others who passed before her, each leaving his or her own fair ladies and men legacy.

Ida May (MacDonald) Twist was born Aug. 18, 1923 in Kearny. Prior to moving to Fair Haven 18 years ago, Ida and her husband lived in Kearny and Rutherford.

She was predeceased by: her husband of 56 years, Thomas Malcolm Twist, in 1997; her daughter, Kathryn Twist Bauer, of Westminster, MD, in 2007; her brother, Donald MacDonald; and a sister, Beatrice Snyder.

Ida is survived by: her children, Muriel Twist Fallon, of Palm Coast, FL, Thomas M. Twist Jr., of Rutherford, and Vanda Twist Decher and husband Conrad, of Fair Haven; her sisters, Barbara Nylander Jarvis, of Trenton, and Beverly Johnson and husband Donald, of Roanoke, VA; six grandchildren, Jacquelyn Kimack Parker and husband Keith, of Beachwood, Robin Bauer Pedrick, of Edgewood, MD, Kimberly Bauer Queen, of Jarrettsville, MD, Charles Creel, of Fair Haven, Michael Kimack (Aida), of Ellicott City, MD, and Thomas M. Twist III and wife Erika, of Rutherford; 12 great-grandchildren; and six great-great-grandchildren.

Friends and family may call from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 5 at John E. Day Funeral Home, 85 Riverside Ave., Red Bank.

A funeral service will take place at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 6 in the Woodbine Cemetery Mausoleum Chapel in Oceanport.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her name to the Rutherford Fire Dept. Ladies Auxiliary, P. O. Box 143, Rutherford, NJ 07070; or the Fair Haven First Aid Squad, corner of Battin and River roads, Fair Haven, NJ 07704.

* Obituary information provided by John E. Day Funeral Home

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