Hon. Judge Keith A. Bachmann


Hon. Judge Keith A. Bachmann, lifelong resident of New Milford, NJ, passed away on March 14, 2024, surrounded by his loving family after a courageous battle with bulbar-onset amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disease for which there is no cure. He was 66 years old. Born on November 23, 1957 to August and Marilyn Bachmann, he was the oldest of three children.

Keith was a devoted husband to Victoria. They were married 41 years in January. He was a loving father to three children, Christine Mellusi and her husband Joey of New Providence, NJ; Jacqueline Monroy and her husband Tyler of New Milford, NJ; and Matthew Bachmann and his wife Kristian, of Holliston, Massachusetts. He was a proud grandfather to Stella and Madelynn Mellusi and Hunter Monroy. He was a cherished big brother to Kris Bachmann and his wife Celeste, of Freehold, NJ and his sister Karilyn Bachmann and her wife Sandra Straus, of Centreville, VA.  He was a caring brother-in-law to Donna and her husband Rick Diziki of Hillsborough, NJ. He was a wonderful uncle to his nephews, Kyle (Kim) Bachmann, Derek (Melissa) Bachmann, Kris Jr (Carissa) Bachmann, Devin and Zane Bachmann, Craig (Rachel) Diziki, and niece Alyssa (Christopher) Kvamme.

After graduating from New Milford High School in 1975 he attended Kean College of New Jersey, where he was a member of the College Soccer Team, the Lacrosse Team, and the Sigma Theta Chi Fraternity.  He was a soccer goalie and played well past his college career, into his 50s, on various club teams in Bergen County.  He received a B.A. Degree in Industrial Education in June of 1979 and worked as a teacher by day in Union City (where he met his wife) while attending New York Law School, where he received a Juris Doctorate in 1984.

Keith was admitted to the New Jersey Bar in 1985 and he was a trial lawyer until June, 2011.  He built a successful general practice in Clifton, NJ, Hetchka, Bachmann & Figundio, where he litigated commercial cases, as well as personal injury cases.  He helped and defended many people. He respected and admired his partners, Don Hetchka and Bill Figundio very much and enjoyed working alongside them, in addition to Dina Kipilla, Lisa Reyes, Joseph Jones and Doug Burg. We know that Don is waiting for him in Heaven with a cigar.

In June of 2011, Governor Chris Christie appointed him to be a Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey.   It was his dream to be a Judge and it meant everything to him. He spent many nights and weekends in his chambers.  He was devoted to being a Judge, to doing what was right and fair, and had the strongest work ethic of anyone. It was more than just a job to him. He loved to teach and mentor the various clerks that worked with him. He took many under his wing.

Keith loved his family. He was the best Dad and Grandpa. He loved Vikki from the first moment they met at Gilmore School. He never missed a soccer or baseball game. He encouraged and supported his children. He is and will always be the voice of reason inside their head. They are devastated by his passing, but are relieved he is finally free of this cruel disease.

Keith was a car enthusiast. When he wasn’t in his chambers or with his family, you could find him under the hood of a car in his garage, listening to classic rock. He loved Mercedes-Benz and took great pride in the various cars that he restored. He loved to help people with their car troubles and invited many into his home to lend a hand. He loved the New York Mets and enjoyed going to Sunday home games, and even a World Series game, with his wife and children. He loved to be on the golf course with his son and friends. Golfing with his son was something that brought him tremendous joy after his devastating diagnosis.

Keith could fix almost anything. He helped build a playground for his children’s elementary school, assisted in the development of a roller hockey rink in town and aided many neighbors after various floods on their street. He was the first phone call of many who were in trouble or needed help or advice. You could always count on him.

An active community member and volunteer, he had the honor of being appointed by the Mayor and Council to serve as New Milford Municipal Attorney from 2000-2001 and to serve as New Milford Municipal Judge, from 2012-2014. He was elected by the people of the Borough of New Milford to serve on the Town Council in 2006 and again in 2010. He was appointed by the other members of the Town Council to serve as Council President in January 2011 and served until he was appointed to the Superior Court of New Jersey in June of 2011.

Keith taught Civil Litigation at Fairleigh Dickinson University, from 2007-2010 and he advised the New Milford Mock Trial Team for many years, and before that, the River Dell Mock Trial Team. He also coached various soccer, baseball, and softball teams through the New Milford Recreation Program.

Keith had a great sense of humor and made a positive and powerful impact on this world and those who knew him. He will be greatly and forever missed. We will make you proud, Dad, like you always made us.

A memorial service will be held at the Frech-McKnight Funeral Home, 161 Washington Ave, Dumont, NJ, on Saturday, March 23, 2024 from 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM. Keith’s family invites friends and family members to share memories and stories of Keith at the memorial. In lieu of flowers, donations in Keith’s honor may be made to the ALS Association -Greater New York area, in the hope that someday they will find a cure for this horrific disease.



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