Tag Archives: obituary

Longtime RFH Teacher, Coach Thomas Bain Passes Away

Thomas Bain
Photo/Woolley-Biglioli Funeral Home

Longtime Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) teacher and coach, Thomas J. Bain, passed away at his Ocean Township home on Friday, June 2. He was 89.

Born in Columbus, OH, Mr. Bain served in as a U.S. Army 2nd Lieutenant in the Korean War, according to his obituary information from Wooley-Boglioli Funeral Home.  He graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor of science degree in mathematics. He received his master’s degree from Montclair State College.

Mr. Bain taught math and coached track and football for many years at RFH, retiring in 1985. Many former students considered him a favorite with an easy going manner and a bright smile.

He was also a member of the Lutheran Church of the Reformation, West Long Branch, where he sang in their choir for many years.

Mr. Bain was pre-deceased by his wife, Marilyn, in 2003.

Surviving are: his son and daughter-in-law, Thomas J. and Colleen Bain, of Hillsborough; his daughter and son-in-law, Nancy B. and Thomas Ehlert, of Wall; and five grandchildren, Colin, Heather, Bryan, Shannon and Sean.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Woolley-Boglioli Funeral Home, 10 Morrell Street, Long Branch. A funeral service will be held on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 992 Broadway, West Long Branch.

Burial will be at Glenwood Cemetery, West Long Branch.


Former Longtime Rumsonite John P. Kennedy Passes Away at 81

Former longtime Rumson resident John P. Kennedy passed away peacefully on April 27 after a long, courageous battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. He was 81.

John P. Kennedy
Photo/courtesy of Thompson Memorial Home

Born in Brooklyn, John moved to Rumson at the age of 5. In his later years, until his death, he lived in Oceanport. John graduated from Holy Cross Grammar School and Red Bank Catholic (RBC) High School.

A basketball player at RBC, he had many fond memories of his experiences on the hard court, which ultimately led to his volunteer coaching roles at Holy Cross and various other youth basketball leagues, his obituary said.

John was a 25-year volunteer and past president of the Oceanic Hook & Ladder Fire Company. He was also in the Army Reserve.

Before retiring from Henderson Brothers on the New York Stock Exchange in 2000, John worked for JCP&L for many years.

In his retirement years, he enjoyed “playing golf, walking the boardwalk, and watching his grandchildren’s sporting events,” his obituary added.

John was predeceased by: his parents, John and Mary Kennedy, of Rumson; his twin brother, Eugene, of Rumson and Middletown; and his brother, Edward, Red Bank.

John is survived by: his wife of 58 years, Patricia Gerrity Kennedy; sons, JP Kennedy, of Sea Bright, Kevin E. Kennedy, of Red Bank,  Gregg J. Kennedy (and his wife, Amanda), of Rumson, son Kyle L. Kennedy (and wife Lori Valvano, of Hoboken; daughter, Kerry Kennedy Kroll (and husband Kevin), of Michigan/South Carolina; and grandchildren, Karleigh Kroll House (and husband Nicholas), Brendan Kroll, Jimmy Kennedy, Wesley Kennedy, Maren Kennedy, and Mason Kennedy.

He is also survived by: Frances Kennedy, the wife of his late brother Eugene; and Patricia Kennedy, the wife of his late brother Edward; and nieces/nephews, friends, and former NYSE colleagues.

A mass celebrating John’s life will be scheduled for the future. The family gratefully acknowledges The Bayside Manor Nursing Home Staff and the Hospice Staff for the care, comfort, and assistance provided during his illness. The Thompson Memorial Home is entrusted with the arrangements.

— Obituary provided by Thompson Memorial Home

Continue reading Former Longtime Rumsonite John P. Kennedy Passes Away at 81

Memorial Services Set for RFH Class of 2006 Grad, Austin Pomphrey, 29

Rumson resident and Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) graduate Edwin Austin Pomphrey passed away on April 21 in Long Branch. He was 29.

Edwin Pomphrey
Photo/courtesy of John E. Day Funeral Home

Born at Riverview Medical Center, Red Bank, Austin grew up in Rumson, graduated from RFH in 2006 and University of South Carolina in 2010 with a business degree in Risk Management & Insurance. He partnered with his father in business at E.L. Pomphrey, LLC, a local painting and construction company, his obituary said.

Known as “a kind, compassionate and generous person throughout his life to anyone who knew him,” Austin “had a good heart and cared deeply for his family and friends,” his family said in his obituary.

Austin was an avid and enthusiastic NY Jets and SC Gamecock fan. He prided himself in his accomplishments, “the biggest of all being a sincere and adoring loving son, brother, uncle, grandson, nephew, cousin and friend. He will be so unbearably missed by us all.”

Austin is predeceased by: his maternal grandfather Carl L. Higgins; his paternal grandparents, Edwin and Mina Pomphrey; and his uncle, Stephen Higgins.

He is survived by: his loving parents Edwin L. Pomphrey Jr. and Sarah (Higgins), of Rumson; his sister, Lindsay Pomphrey and her fiancée Phil Shaheen Jr., of Fair Haven; his nephew Tradd; his maternal grandmother, Flora Higgins, of Colts Neck; a great aunt Lyndl Marshall, of NYC; his aunts and uncles, Ted Higgins, of Neptune, Allen and Marie Gallagher, of Rumson, Rich and Sheri Runne, of Rumson; and his first cousins, Kelli Pomphrey, of Eatontown, Darren Gallagher, of Rumson, Matt Gallagher, of Fair Haven and Dylan Runne, of Rumson; and many cousins and extended family members.

Visitation will be held at the John E. Day Funeral Home, 85 Riverside Avenue, Red Bank, on Tuesday, April 25, from 4 to 8 p.m..

The funeral service will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Rumson, 4 East River Road, Rumson, on Wednesday, April 26, at 11 a.m. with interment to follow at Fairview Cemetery in Middletown.

— Obituary, courtesy of John E. Day Funeral Home


Remembrance by Surf, Candlelight: RFH’s Maddy Massabni, 19

Madalyn Elizabeth Massabni
Photo/RFH yearbook

The sun had just set. Darkness fell on Sea Bright beach Sunday night as hundreds of friends, family, loved ones of 19-year-old Maddy Massabni made their way to a spot on the beach where they quietly brought light … candlelight and memories of the light that was known to embody the recent Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) graduate’s spirit.

Maddy passed away on March 30 “following an unexpected and rare bout with septic shock,” her obituary prepared by family said, adding that Maddy was “given her angel wings.”

The soft sound of the surf seemed to cradle those who loved the Rumson girl with the gift of an infectious dimpled grin as they huddled somberly in her memory. They spoke of her with sniffles and smiles. They bowed their heads. They reminisced.

They remembered a gentle, sweet soul … a girl they knew as someone whose “beautiful smile melted the hearts of those who knew and loved her” … whose “sense of humor could always make people laugh,” her obituary said.

They remembered a twinkly-eyed teenager who “lived life to the fullest,” loved basking in the sun at that beach with her buddies, cheerleading, and managing the track team.

“The sunshine of her parent’s eyes,” as her loved ones called her in her obituary, “Madalyn’s life would seem too short to many, but those who were touched by her understood that the quality of existence far exceeds the quantity of time in which one lives.

“With Madalyn’s passing we remind others that her life is one to be celebrated,” it added. “Although we will miss her dearly every day she will forever remain in our hearts. Throughout her life we were able to create wonderful memories and it has been an honor and a privilege to be the parents and brother of this beautiful, loving, amazing and caring young woman.”

Notes of sympathy flooded Facebook in the days following Maddy’s death.

Val’s, where she worked, posted this: “We are heartbroken at Vals. One of the kids that worked for us passed away today at 19. Suddenly tragically unbelievable. She was just starting her life. We will miss her beautiful smile and generous spirit. ‘My tears don’t flow like rivers just a mist that comes and goes and I feel a coldness start to grow deep within my soul’ … Hug your kids a little tighter tonight.”

The Fair Haven Fire Department sent out a note of condolence.

Classmates of Maddy’s mother, Dawn Tilton Massabni, an RFH graduate, hold her in their hearts, hundreds of notes expressed.

Her Uncle Harvey (Tilton), also a Rumson resident, started a gofundme page.

Maddy will be sorely missed, no doubt. Not forgotten.

In addition to her many friends, Maddy is survived by: her loving mom and dad, Dawn and George Massabni III; brother, George Massabni IV; paternal grandparent, Nan Massabni; and maternal grandparents Geraldine and Harvey Tilton; and many loving aunts, uncles and cousins.

Her service will take place on Tuesday, April 4, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at Thompson Memorial Home, 310 Broad St. Red Bank, NJ. There will be a funeral service on Wednesday, April 5 at 10 a.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 94 Tindall Rd. Middletown, NJ followed by burial at Mount Olivet Cemetery, 100 Chapel Hill Rd., Red Bank.

For the complete obituary, click here.

To Maddy’s loved ones: Mom, Dawn, who we know, dad, George, and all …

We, at Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect, offer our heartfelt condolences. We cannot express adequately how deeply sorry we are for your loss. Thank you for bringing her into this world to brighten so many lives in such a short time. We see and hear what a gift Maddy was to so many.

Rest in peace, Maddy. You are remembered.

May the candles keep burning … May her light shine on …

— Elaine Van Develde

Saying Goodbye to Fair Haven’s Lucille Suggs, 100

Lucille Brooks Suggs

It wasn’t all that long ago when Lucille Suggs was still living in the Fair Haven neighborhood that she loved.

Tucked away contentedly in her modest home, neighbors, friends, family were known to stop by for a visit. Then there were the police officers who had grown up knowing her as a loving, welcoming presence in the borough who would pop in to make sure that she was safe and cared for during a storm, bout of bad weather, or “just because.”

Mrs. Suggs not too long ago, after more than half a century there, left the Fair Haven home and community she loved in her 90s to be closer to her son and cared for in a nursing home where he lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

She hit 100 in August of 2016 with a big smile on her face, surrounded by loved ones and missed dearly by Fair Havenites who had grown so accustomed to her warm grin, embracing, graceful manner and soulful sense of humor.

Lucille Brooks Suggs passed away on March 23. And she is coming home to Fair Haven tomorrow, Saturday, to be bid farewell at her church, Fisk Chapel AME Church, 38 Fisk St., with a viewing beginning at 9a.m. and funeral services to follow at 11. Interment will be at the Shoreland Memorial Gardens, Hazlet.

Her son, Dennis, posted the following tribute to his mother the day after her death …

“Last night at 11:30, the inimitable Lucille Brooks Suggs decided enough was enough and peacefully took her one woman show ‘to loftier climes.’

“After 100 years and 6 months of being a constant protector, inspiration, non-stop joke machine (I could never figure out where she learned all those, let alone remembered them) as well as an endless source of real POSITIVITY (You should have seen the aides guard her like she was the Queen of England as she declined this week at twin towers), I believe it’s safe to say she felt her time here was well spent, but alas, it was time to go.

“She will be well-remembered and sorely missed. I know if you asked her what to think she wouldn’t want mourning or solemnity, she’d want you to laugh(alot), love people, do kind things and live to the fullest.

“We will be bringing her home next weekend so that she can rest in final peace next to her partner of nearly 50 years, so they can get back to playing pinochle, something I’m guessing is already taking place. Enjoy the day, your friends and loved ones. Cheers!!!”

Click here for Mrs. Suggs’ obituary.

RIP, Mrs. Suggs. You, a forever Fair Haven friend and neighbor to many, will always be remembered as an embodiment of what this small town is all about. 


Memorial Slated for Debrah Hollen, 51, Monmouth Beach

“Life is too short my friend …. you are now soaring with the angels, Debbie. Kind , soft spoken and the patience of a saint, we will miss you my friend.” It’s what one friend said in a Facebook post upon hearing of the news of longtime Monmouth Beach resident Debrah (Debbie) Hollen’s death.

Continue reading Memorial Slated for Debrah Hollen, 51, Monmouth Beach

Memorial Set for former Rumsonite Marty Stevens Kaufmann

Martha “Marty” Stevens Kaufmann
Photo/courtesy of Thompson Memorial Home

Former longtime Rumson resident Marty Stevens Kaufmann passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 18, at her Sunrise of Lincroft residence. She was 80.

Born and raised in the coal-mining town of Glen Lyon, PA, Marty moved to New York City after graduating from Newport High School. She worked there for a couple of years before marrying and relocating to the River Plaza section of Middletown and then to Rumson, where she continued to raise her family.

In retirement, Marty spent her winters in Stuart, FL and summers in Long Branch.

A member of the Rumson Newcomers’ Club, Marty was also an office manager at Biddle Sawyer Corp., Keyport, for more than 20 years,

In her spare time, she enjoyed gardening, long walks, traveling and boating with her beloved late husband, Don. “She was a loving wife, mother and grandmother and is already missed dearly,” her family said in her obituary from Thompson Memorial Home.

Marty was predeceased by her husband Daniel “Don” Kaufmann “Don” few months ago with whom she shared “35 happy years.”  She was also predeceased by her parents, Theodore and Martha Honabach, and her sister Marie Castelli, of Nanicoke, Pa.

Marty is survived by: her sons, Edward Stevens and his wife Robin, of Paoli, Pa., and their boys Bryce and Cassidy, James Stevens and his wife Noreen, of Atlantic Highlands, and their children Trevor and Samantha, Mark Stevens and his wife Donna, of Middletown, and their children Kelly, Amy and A.J.; and daughter Linda Stevens Olshan, of Long Branch, and her children Nicole and Robert.

The family will receive friends on Sunday, March 26, from 2 to 5 pm, at the Thompson Memorial Home, 310 Broad St., Red Bank.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Monday, March 27, at 10 a.m. at the Church of the Precious Blood, 72 Riverdale Ave., Monmouth Beach.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Martha to the Alzhiemers Association at www.alz.org.

— Edited obituary, courtesy of Thompson Memorial Home

Rumson Memorial Set for Former River Rats Purser, Warner White

Former longtime Fair Haven resident and purser of the River Rats, Elijah Warner White, died on March 14 at Riverview Medical Center. He was 91 and living in Red Bank prior to his death.

A memorial service for White is slated for March 25 at 2 p.m. at The First Presbyterian Church of Rumson, 4 East River Rd., Rumson.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1925 to the former Florence Gage and Percy Warner White, he earned degrees from Oberlin College and the University of Michigan. He relocated to New Jersey to work as an electronics engineer at Bell Labs, Holmdel.

Warner was a skilled photographer and a member of the Guild of Creative Art in Shrewsbury.

He served with the US Army 94th Infantry in combat 1944-45.

He was an elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Rumson, long-time resident of Fair Haven, and past purser of the River Rats Sailing Club.

Warner was predeceased by his son Christopher in 1997.

He is survived by: his wife of 65 years, the former Janet Brown; his son Philip; daughter Margaret (Peggy) Milliken; grandchildren Kathryn LeTrent and Robin Milliken; and great-granddaughter Margaret LeTrent.


The Thompson Memorial Home, 310 Broad St, Red Bank, is entrusted with the arrangements.

— Edited obituary, courtesy of Thompson Memorial Home.

Memorial Set for Rumson’s Addy Bennett

Many people in the Rumson area have fond memories of the talent, warm smile and demeanor of one of the borough’s most longtime residents — Adelaide Bennett.

Adelaide, known as Addy to friends and family, passed away at Riverview Medical Center, Red Bank, surrounded by her loving family, on Feb. 7. She was 95.

Continue reading Memorial Set for Rumson’s Addy Bennett