Well, all the graduates in the Rumson-Fair Haven area have officially walked that walk.
One of those walks was the one of tradition in which Fair Haven eighth grade graduation tradition of grads take a walk back in time down Third Street from Knollwood School, where it all ended, to Viola L. Sickles School, where their Fair Haven schooling all began.
An obituary isn’t long enough to relay all of the cool things a person got to accomplish in their lifetime. My mom got to travel all over the world … Had homes in California, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Dragged her four girls all over the country and Canada (sometimes kicking and screaming, because we didn’t know we were gonna do and see something cool). One time she asked us if we wanted to go see Chicago? We started moaning, so she went by herself. Turns out that she meant THE BAND CHICAGO! Which I loved … I had to listen from out side the stadium … but I learned to pay attention when plans where being made … Rest in Peace Mom!
Longtime Fair Haven and Sea Bright resident Maryana Sheahan Robertson passed away on June 11 after a long illness. She was 80.
Known as a spirited adventurer and traveler with a passion for cultural immersion, Maryana was born in Cambridge MA. She graduated from Hopkinton High School there, where she played on the girls basketball team and was in glee club, in 1956. She then met her late husband James Robertson and they moved to Fair Haven and raised four daughters there. The Robertson couple lived in Fair Haven until 2000. Maryana then lived in Sea Bright until 2019.
To the Stokes trip students of the 1970s era, the Robertson parents may be remembered as the birding couple, leading kids through the woods with binoculars and teaching them about various species, their sounds and distinguishing characteristics.
At home, James was president of the Mommouth Wine Society and for years the two hosted wine tastings at their Fair Haven home. “They loved being close enough to NYC to go into the city every chance they could for dinner and a play or musical,” daughter Suzanne Robertson Tranfaglia said.
Maryana had a nursing degree from Brookdale Community College. In addition to her zest for adventure, travel and cultural immersion, she was known as a passionate animal lover who rescued many cats, dogs and even a duck. She loved spending home and travel time with family.
Predeceased by her husband, Maryana is survived by: her brother Paul Sheahan and wife Lydia, of Brooksville FL; her daughters and their spouses, Suzanne and George Tranfaglia, of Orlando, FL, Kathleen and Mike Grady, of Long Branch, Sheila and Joseph Eskridge, of Sea Bright, and Bonnie and John Travers, of PA.; and her grandchildren, Maria Tranfaglia, Ryan Eskridge, and Patrick and Christopher Travers.
So, on the cusp of Saturday’s eighth Fair Haven Day, we look back to the third, the Fair Haven Day of 2015, and remember a bond of friendship that started in the small 1.7-square-mile borough that will always be home to many.
Everything’s gonna be alright Everything’s gonna be alright Nobody’s gotta worry ’bout nothing Don’t go hitting that panic button It ain’t near as bad as you think Everything’s gonna be alright Alright, alright
Kenny Chesney ~ Everything’s Gonna Be Alright
They called him Joe T. He never hit the panic button. And he was more than alright … with a smile, a nod, a laugh and a reassuring pat on the back.
He was a loving husband. He was a devoted dad. He was a dedicated volunteer. He was a calming presence. He was a jokester. He was a beacon of hope, inspiration, fun and laughter. He was a loyal friend. He was just plain, no-nonsesense full of life. And, last year, he lost his life. But, longtime Fair Havenite and Fire Department/First Aid Squad guy Joe Truex lives on in the memories he made with purpose. He was toasted by loved ones in a “never forget” tribute party on Friday night, the one-year anniversary of his death, organized by his wife, Ethel Hodgkiss Truex.
Well, it’s still Stokes week for Fair Haven sixth graders and the longtime tradition is rife with tales of the trip.
This featured snapshot back into the woods in the early 1970s at Stokes focuses on a few RFH counselor guys (and a sixth grader) seem to have happened upon some sort of sight or adventure. Lost boys? Perhaps.
“When tomorrow starts without me, don’t think we’re far apart. For every time you think of me, I’m right here in your heart.”
And she is remembered and in the hearts of many as girl who grew up in Rumson, graduated from RFH and raised her family in Fair Haven. She is remembered as a longtime Fair Haven mom, neighbor and friend. She is Helen Apy.
Helen passed away at the age of 81 on May 18. She will be remembered with at service at 2 p.m. on Saturday at The United Methodist Church of Red Bank 247 Broad Street, Red Bank. Home.
Many remember Helen as Karen and Ed’s mom and a Fair Haven recreational girls’ softball and basketball coach and referee. They remember seeing her friendly smile and wave in the Acme. They remember her as a welcoming neighbor whose home was always open to friends and family. Messages of sympathy flooded social media upon Helen’s death. But, yesteryear neighbor Robin Drake Fitch summed up the sentiments with her tribute:
“I grew up with Mrs. Helen Apy as our wonderful, kind, caring, warm-hearted, generous, strong in so many ways, backdoor neighbor at the corner of Dartmouth and Hunting,” she said. “I learned so much from her. Just a few weeks ago I was telling a friend about her, and something she taught me over 50 years ago about respect! Long lasting lessons from a loving neighbor and friend.”
Yes, those are the subtle, yet lasting memories of community that stay with us forever. Many of us have theses memories of the mom of someone with whom we grew up. Several moms, perhaps. I know I do.
I, too, remember Mrs. Apy. I remember her sincere, warm smile. I remember her direct, caring demeanor. I somehow remember her laugh. I remember her chatting with my mom in the Acme, too. She was one of those ever-present Fair Haven moms. I didn’t know her as well as her neighbors or family, but I do remember her. I knew that she was there, one of those forever Fair Haven moms and neighbors, embracing what was the Fair Haven family without prejudice or pretense. I remember her, like many other Fair Haven moms, caring for people, not things. I remember that she embodied the moms with whom we grew up and respected. And she respected, too. Respect. I do not know what her lesson of respect for her neighbor kid Robin entailed, but I suspect it was one that resonated with clarity.
I know that her own acceptance and respect did. It showed up in her words and smile. More importantly, she showed up. In fact, many years ago, Helen went out of her way to get a message of thanks to me for a memorial piece I wrote about her dear friend. He was another piece of home. I never forgot him or her words of appreciation. It came from a heart at home, after all.
I browsed through Helen Apy’s public Facebook page to honor and remember her. I saw pictures of her happy with her family and her friends. I saw pictures of her Fair Haven home. I saw happy memories. I saw smiles. Then I saw a post from 2018 in which she was looking to come home again, on the hunt for an affordable place. She had been living in North Carolina. A friend told her to stay there. “It’s too expensive here,” she said. “You don’t like it?” Helen’s answer: “I miss home too much.”
Well, you made it back home, Helen. I and many others understand all too well the value of that Fair Haven home and heart. It bears no price tag. And it has nothing to do with property value or nitpicking curb appeal now does it? Rest in peace. You are home. You are remembered.
From Helen Apy’s obituary … some more about her …
Helen Lee Apy, age 81, long time resident of Monmouth County died May 18 at Meridian Health Rehabilitation Center in Shrewsbury.
She was born on May 29, 1937 in Bronx, NY. She grew up in Rumson and graduated from RFH in 1955. She then received her associates degree in Physical Education from Brookdale Community College.
In her free time she was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Red Bank and spent most of her adult life coaching and refereeing recreational girls softball and basketball in Fair Haven.
She fought for women’s and civil rights her entire life, even attending the March On Washington in 1963.
She is best known for her love of the New York Yankees and her “boyfriend” Derek Jeter as well her endless love and support for her children and grandchildren.
She is survived by: her two children, Edward Apy and wife Kathy Apy, and Karen Apy; grandchildren, Charlie Apy, Nicole Cebulko, Ryan Cebulko, Courtney Glubo and her husband Ryan Glubo; and her great-grandchild Sophie Lee Glubo.
She is predeceased by: her parents Eileen Klamka and John Lee, her brother Joseph Lee Jr., as well as her son Baby Boy Apy and granddaughter Isabella Apy.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers and in honor of her years of volunteer service, please send any donations in honor of Helen to the Salvation Army.
With National Police Week coming to a close, it’s only fitting that we take a look back at the Fair Haven Police Department. This look goes back to 2001. It features some officers who have since retired, some who have moved on and some who have passed.
And, we at Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect are thinking, the day should not just be one during which kids dutifully pay attention to the woman who … pretty much, well, twisted her heart up and spit it out to ride a Big Wheel at 100 miles per hour with no helmet. But, we digress.
We’re thinking that the day is not really just for all that Hallmark and social media jazz — though, it is somewhat important jazz. The day should be more about moms celebrating one another, especially to learn a little bit about one another’s roots in a tight-knit community such as the Rumson-Fair Haven area. Because, it does take this sort of village … if you let it. Embrace it. Like they did.
There are so many women in this area who served as the mortar in the in the brick foundation that is this community now. It goes back many generations. We are thankful for those women of all different motherly types — yes, different. Each unique and special in her own way. Each contributing in her own way. Each leaving her indelible fingerprint on many here, through the generations.
You see, the strong community foundation that brought us all here is not about anyone’s income figure and a few overused disingenuous promotional phrases — prime real estate value, curb appeal, flipping potential and the rest of the lingo concocted to make that sale.
The sale was made long ago and the value was tucked away in the hearts of some of these moms who were here when it all started, caring for one another through their community.
It’s about lifeblood — the lifeblood of, in this case, matriarchs who have bequested a legacy of true love.
They put the coffee on long ago. Who’s bringing the crumb cake? Yes, crumb cake. When it comes to community, you can splurge a little to keep it sweet and real.
The above photos are just a sampling of R-FH area moms gone and still with us through generations. We honor all of you. Check out our slideshow below for more …