Category Archives: Obituaries

Remembering Fair Haven’s Bill Leonard: Mayor, Fireman, First Aider, Friend

A towering Fair Haven presence has taken leave from the hometown spotlight as his legacy continues to be something to which many look up.

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In Memorium: Artist, Monmouth U Art & Art History Professor, Fair Havenite, Ed Jankowski, 80

Fair Havenite and noted artist, art history and art professor Edward E. Jankowski passed away peacefully at home on April 30. He was 80.

Continue reading In Memorium: Artist, Monmouth U Art & Art History Professor, Fair Havenite, Ed Jankowski, 80

In Memorium: Rumsonite Henry J. Coffey, 82

Rumson resident Henry J. Coffey passed away on April 28. He was 82.

“Henry was always cheerful, happy and with a great smile always the first to help.”

Loved ones of Henry J. Coffey in his obituary
Henry J. Coffey
Photo/family via John E. Day Funeral Home

Born in New York City to the late Henry and Jean (Moore) Coffey, Henry worked throughout his life for Chester Cable and City Service Oil Company. He retired from Paige Electric as its executive vice president in 2017.

Henry is survived by: his beloved wife of 62 years, Therese Moran Coffey, of Rumson; his loving children, Howard and his wife Elaine Coffey, of Red Bank, James and his wife Rosa Coffey, of Florida, Kelli Ann and her husband Dr. Lawrence Caplin, of Pennsylvania; his dear sister, Barbara and her husband Roland Babcock, of Nevada; and his nine cherished grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements are private. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Henry’s memory may be sent to Rumson Ambulance Corp. and the local food bank in Red Bank.

In Memorium: Former 43-Year Fair Havenite, Teacher, Agnes Maffey Turtur, 99

Former longtime Fair Havenite and area teacher Agnes Maffey Turtur passed away peacefully at Monmouth Medical Center on April 16. She was 99.

“She was a devoted daughter, sister, aunt, wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who had boundless energy, caring for all those who she loved. Family meant everything to her. Whether you knew her as Agnes, Mom, Grandma, Ama, Aunt Agnes or Gigi, you could always count on her unconditional love … She was always a beach lover and for the past 9 years she adored spending summers on the cabana deck at Surfrider Beach Club in Sea Bright, talking to everyone who walked by. She celebrated her birthday there every Labor Day Weekend and everyone on the beach sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to her. Agnes never lost her cognitive ability, and was able to memorize her niece’s 10-digit phone number by one verbal cue and execute the call just four days prior to her death.”

Loved ones of Agnes Maffey Turtur in her obituary

Born to the late Charles and Marie Maffey in Elizabeth, Agnes graduated from Sacred Heart Elementary School and Battin High School there and went on to receive a B.S. in Education from Rider College in 1941. She accelerated her studies and graduated in three years, commuting every day from Elizabeth to the college in Trenton.

In 1943 she married Felix J. Turtur III, also of Elizabeth, traveling with him and teaching school wherever the U.S. Army stationed him during World War II.  

In 1951, the couple settled at the Jersey Shore. They moved to Fair Haven in 1957 where they lived and raised their family for 43 years before moving to Shrewsbury in 2000.

Agnes was a teacher at the Markham Place School in Little Silver from 1957 until her retirement in 1982.

She loved traveling with her family, which included trips to Italy, Hawaii, Disney World, and many cruises and winters on Siesta Key Beach in Florida.

Agnes was predeceased by: Felix, her husband of 64 years; her sister, Grace A. Maffey; and brother, Charles G. Maffey. 

She is survived by: her loving daughter, Marlane Turtur Bade, of Fair Haven; her grandchildren, Kristina Bade Binder (John), of Fair Haven and Stephen A. Bade (Kathleen) of Brielle; her great-grandchildren, Thomas, Charlotte, Logan, Delaney, Weston and step great-grandchildren, JB and Ellie; and her brother, Constant O. Maffey (Afra) of Mechanicsburg, PA.

A memorial Mass celebrating Agnes’ life will be held at a future date.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital or Wounded Warrior Project.

In Memorium: Popular RFH Field Hockey Coach, Gym & Health Teacher, Pat Robinson, 99

Decades’ worth of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) alumnus are mourning the loss and celebrating the life of a trailblazing former coach and teacher.

Continue reading In Memorium: Popular RFH Field Hockey Coach, Gym & Health Teacher, Pat Robinson, 99

In Memorium: Former Fair Havenite, RFH Grad Bill Havens, 56

“St. Francis of Assisi once wrote, ‘He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.

Bill’s legacy, besides the ideal that being covered in sawdust is the best way to be, is that no matter what, do everything you do with heart. Bill, your heart made this world a better place, and will continue to do so through all of the people you touched over the years. Rest in the sweetest of peace.”

Bill Havens
Photo/family via Thompson Memorial Home

That is how the loved ones of former Fair Havenite and Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) graduate William B. “Bill” Havens want him to be remembered. The 56-year-old woodworker, husband, father and friend passed away suddenly on April 9 at Riverview Medical Center.

Born in Plainfield, the son of June Lindland Havens and the late Richard Havens, Bill was raised in Fair Haven. He later lived for many years in Little Silver, prior to moving to Shrewsbury in 2013.

“The life of this gentle giant is not ended by this obituary, but rather it is the hope that all reading this get a glimpse into some of the reasons that made Bill so special and why he will surely live on in the hearts and in the actions of so many,” his loved ones said in his obituary.

Known as a caring, compassionate “people person” with a great sense of humor, Bill was known to forge and hold dear many connections in his lifetime, offering support “anyone, anywhere, anytime.”

Local outings with Bill were known to last longer than usual, because he knew or got to know most people wherever he went.

And his love of community and people showed in the flood of condolence messages on social media when news of the loss hit.

“A true rare man both as a craftsman and a person,” RFH grad Jim Brickle said. “A very sad loss.”

“What a shame!” said Scott Gilbert. “Bill was such a nice guy and great athlete! Rest easy!”

“Bill was such a nice guy, this is so heartbreaking,” said former Fair Havenite and RFH grad Jill Sorrentino.

“Such a great guy lost way too soon,” said Chris McKissock. “Bill and I went to grade school together in Fair Haven NJ growing up. I had no idea of his woodworking abilities until so many years later when I ran into him. He always struck me as very smart and always approachable. He could hang out with anyone. He was a good friend.”

After graduating from RFH, Bill went on to study at Elizabethtown College where he played baseball and soccer. An outstanding athlete from when he was a child, Bill was an accomplished pitcher.

His love of sports endured. A proud New York Mets and New York Jets fan, he played softball for many years with the Little Silver Crocs and participated in the Seaside Polar Bear Plunge each year to help benefit Special Olympics. “Bill also was a fan of any type of new, exotic sports car and surely there was a new Porsche waiting for him as he crossed the gates into heaven,” his obituary said.

While he treasured friends and loved connecting in his community, Bill’s first love was his family.

At the age of 20, Bill got a job at Little Silver Family Pharmacy. It was there that he met his future wife, Leslie Nelson. They married on March 18, 1989 at Tower Hill Presbyterian Church in Red Bank.

The couple raised their daughters, the “apples of their Dad’s eyes,” and Bill coached them in the Little Silver Rec Softball League and “was there for every event and function one could think of. He taught them to use every tool possible and change a tire on the fly.”

While Bill’s love of family came first, woodworking was a deep love of his as well. A master woodworker, Bill was admired as a true artist and was known to tell people, “If you can dream it, I can build it.” And build he did. For many years he was the owner and operator of Havens Fine Woodwork where he created many custom and varied pieces of furniture, trim, and basically anything his customers could dream of. He also worked for many years at Custom Woodwork, Red Bank, NJ and Dykes Lumber Yard, Aberdeen, NJ.

In addition to his father, Bill was preceded in death by a brother, Gary Havens.

Surviving are: his wife, Leslie J. Nelson Havens; his daughters, Rebecca and Samantha Havens; his mother, June Havens; two sisters and brothers-in-law, Dawne and Mark Dragonetti, and Jill and Mark Lyasko; his sisters-in-law and brother-in-law, Debbie and William Lamberson, and Carole Costell; his aunts, Gail Wilson and Ruth Havens; his nieces and nephews, Greg, Julianna, Bryan, Justin, and Tara; his great nephews, Shawn and James; his faithful puppies, Cooper and Riley; several extended family; and many dear friends.

Given the current gathering restrictions in place in New Jersey, a public service is being planned at a later date under the care and direction of Wright & Ford Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 38 State Highway 31, Flemington, NJ 08822. Click here for updated service information. Information will not be available until pandemic restrictions are lifted.

A private family visitation at Thompson Memorial Home followed by burial at Fair View Cemetery, Middletown, took place under the care and direction of Wright & Ford Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Flemington.

Please visit Bill’s permanent memorial site at www.wrightfamily.com to light a memorial candle, leave messages of condolence, share words of comfort and recollection, and post photographs of his life.

Those who wish to make a memorial contribution to honor Bill’s life are asked to do so to the Seaside Polar Bear Plunge via ‘In Memory Of’ donations. For those who wish to make a contribution via mail, please make checks payable to ‘In Memory Of’ and mail to P.O. Box 5472, Charlottesville, VA 22905. Kindly note ‘Bill Havens’ in the memo.

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In Memorium: Longtime Rumsonite, RFH Grad, Actor, Hal Holst, 66

The tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) alumnus community with the death from complications of the virus of RFH Class of ’72 graduate and community theater actor Hal Holst on April 2.

Continue reading In Memorium: Longtime Rumsonite, RFH Grad, Actor, Hal Holst, 66