Memorial Service for Longtime Rumson Resident Bill Berry Set

Bill Berry Photo/courtesy of Thompson Memorial Home

Longtime Rumson resident Myron “Bill” Berry passed away peacefully on March 10 after a long battle with cancer.

He was surrounded surrounded by his family and devoted friend, Nancy Kochanski.

Bill was predeceased by his wife of 41 years, Suzanne “Sue” Lucking Berry, who he met while attending Ramsey High School. After graduation, he went on to graduate from Rochester Institute of Technology. Upon finishing college, Bill and his wife moved to Amberg, Germany during Bill’s two years of service in the United States Army.

Continue reading Memorial Service for Longtime Rumson Resident Bill Berry Set

Former Rumsonite Michael Gabriel, 56, Passes Away Suddenly

The following is Michael Gabriel’s obituary, courtesy of John E. Day Funeral Home:

Michael Gabriel Photo/courtesy of John E. Day Funeral Home
Michael Gabriel
Photo/courtesy of John E. Day Funeral Home

Michael F. Gabriel, 56, passed away suddenly on Friday March 25, 2016.

Born in Red Bank to Frank Gabriel and Barbara Demcoe, he grew up in Rumson before moving to Monmouth Beach in 1994.

At the age of 13 he received the rank of Eagle Scout and was a junior champion skeet shooter. Mike was a 1981 graduate of the University of Miami and received his Master’s Degree in Health Services Administration. He was a passionate sports fan.

During football season, Saturdays were saved for cheering on his son who plays for his beloved Miami Hurricanes, and Sundays were devoted to the the New York Giants. From a young age, he spent his summers at Monmouth Park Racetrack, parking cars and most recently as a successful thoroughbred horse owner.

An avid golfer, he was a member of Deal Country Club and was proud to be part of The Shrimpers; and most recently he joined the Dye Preserve Golf Club in Jupiter, FL.

Mike was the Executive Director of Arcadia Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Hamilton Square, NJ.

He is survived by: a son and two daughters, Frank S. Gabriel, Kristin N. Gabriel and Caroline L. Gabriel, of Monmouth Beach and their mother, Amie Gabriel, of Long Branch.

Mike is also survived by: his mother, Barbara A. Gabriel, of Monmouth Beach; brother Frank Gabriel Jr., of Tarpon Springs, FL; two sisters, Lori Gabriel Petschauer, of Long Branch, and Gloria Vaccarella of Daytona Beach, FL; two nieces, Caitlin Dziedzic and Kendall Petschauer; two nephews, Gary and Michael Vaccarella.

He also leaves behind his girlfriend Kathryn Bateman of Monmouth Beach, and his beautiful Bernese Mountain Dog, Alice.

Visitation will take place on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the John E. Day Funeral Home, 85 Riverside Ave., Red Bank.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 31, at the Church of the Precious Blood, 72 Riverdale Ave., Monmouth Beach, NJ 07750.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance at

Please visit Mike’s memorial website at

In Memory: Services set for Former Fair Haven Dr. Jack Powers

It seems that everyone who knew him or even knew of him has an image of Dr. Jack Powers etched in their minds.

That image, from one longtime Fair Havenite’s mind to the next, has very similar traits — all that put a healing smile on their faces when looking back and speaking of him.

He was the Dr. Steven Kiely of Fair Haven. You know, that mod, sharp looking younger doc who practiced with Marcus Welby, MD on TV. He drove a sporty convertible (just as cool or cooler than the Kiely motorcycle), had good looks, a very hip, caring nature, platinum blonde hair and made house calls.

And, yes, he cared. Anyone who knew him felt that. He was the cool doc who knew everyone’s name, ailments and personalities. He made it his business. And it was just that for many years.

So, there was a wave of icon days-gone-by sadness peppered with gratitude that engulfed Fair Haven when residents past and present heard of his passing on Saturday.

Comments flooded the Fair Haven Facebook page, starting with the announcement of Powers’ death and photo collage and memorial tribute by Jeffrey White:

“Fair Haven lost a great man this weekend,” White said. “Dr. John ‘Jack’ Dennis Powers epitomized what a small town family doctor was. An expert diagnostician, he was like a second father and grandfather to so many of us. He and his wife Arny were best friends of my grandparents Molly and Jack. These pictures were taken in happier times. Jack was the last of the old gang, but now they are reunited once again. Let the parties resume! Rest In Peace Dr. Powers.”

The page’s administrator, Doug Newman, a family friend of Powers’, followed with his own tribute: “Now THERE was a pillar of the community. A family friend, a good and humble man.”

Nancy Lee Benedict called the day of Powers’ death a “a sad day for Fair Haven’s ‘Camelot.’ Some of us were very fortunate to know these people growing up. I know as I was one of them. The days when Fair Haven garage sales saw Jack & Jack walking among the neighbors. I also knew the Dr., who was my first crush. I would fake being sick so he would make a HOUSE CALL. Yes, he came to the house. Remember his white or red convertible?”

People remembered it as actually a powder blue mustang convertible with some sort of MD plates. The memories of him driving through town in that convertible are so iconic and strong that some said no matter the season, they don’t seem to ever remember seeing the top up.

Seeing Dr. Powers around town, at the office, making a house call or just plain driving through town was yet another comforting, knowing you’re home piece of growing up in Fair Haven.

“When I think of Fair Haven, I think of your Dad,” longtime former Fair Havenite Robin Drake Fitch said to Powers’ son on the Fair Haven page. “I always have and I always will … and he wasn’t even our doctor! (…although I secretly wished he was!)”

Yes. You are remembered, doc. You were appreciated. Thank you for, knowingly or not, being a part of our Fair Haven childhood. Rest in peace.

The following is Dr. Powers’ obituary, courtesy of Thompson Memorial Home:

Dr. John D. Powers (Jack) passed away on March 19 after a full and wonderful life. He was 92.

Born in Red Bank, he attended Red Bank public schools and later graduated from Colgate University where he studied pre-med. This was interrupted by three years of duty in the U.S. Navy.

After graduating from Midshipman School at Northwestern University in Chicago and sub-chaser school in Miami, he was deployed to the Pacific theater during the latter part of World War II just after the Iwo Jima invasion aboard the USS LSM 141.

After discharge from the Navy and completing college, he went to Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, followed by an internship in Lansing, Michigan. He returned to Fair Haven with his wife, Eleanor (Clayton) “Arny” Powers, whom he had married during junior year of medical school.

Dr. Powers was a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and for fifty years conducted his practice with an ever present sense of joy and compassion. He was dedicated to his patients both during office visits and regular house calls.

Upon retirement in 1993, he became medical director of the Riverview Medical Center Outpatient Clinic, where he served for four years.

Dr. Powers was devoted to his wife and family of five children and their many activities including camping, sailboat cruising and extended family reunions. He was an active competitor in squash, tennis, sailboat racing and golf (the last being the most humbling). He also enjoyed sailboat cruising with friends and family.

He logged many memorable sailing voyages including regular family vacations to Block Island aboard his several sloops named ‘Spray’ and most notable, a trip with several friends on a 65-foot sloop to Florida where they narrowly escaped disaster sailing through a rogue hurricane off the Carolinas.

Jack was a member of the Tower Hill Presbyterian Church for more than 50 years, which had a profound and positive influence on him and a long-time member of Monmouth Boat Club.

Left behind are: his four sons, Jack (and Jan), Tom (and Sally), Jim (and Megan), Stephen and daughter Bonnie Banahan (Jim), his Laotian son, Thowpaou ‘Bruce’ Bliatout; 13 grandchildren (Brittany, Andrew, Kelly, Robert, Buddy, Johnny, Kitty, Joseph, Stephen, Michael, Nikki, Sean and Jane) and many loving nieces and nephews.

Jack was predeceased by: his wife Eleanor Powers; parents Ellwood and Christine Powers; his sisters Marjorie and Jane; his daughter-in-law Terry; and three grandchildren, Joshua, Grace and Kathleen.

A memorial gathering will be held on Thursday, March 24 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Thompson Memorial Home, 310 Broad St, Red Bank. A memorial service will be held on Friday, April 29 at 11 a.m. at the Tower Hill Presbyterian Church, 255 Harding Rd, Red Bank. Charitable donations can be made to Hospice-VNA or the Parker Family Health Clinic.

Remembering Fair Haven’s Patrolman Robert J. Henne


It was a year ago today that Fair Haven lost Patrolman Robert Henne. The loss of the friendly, compassionate cop was a devastating one.

We, at Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect, again offer our profound condolences to his loving family and many colleagues and friends. 

In memory of Robert, we are re-running our tribute to him that was originally published after his funeral and final call on March 31, 2015. 

RIP, Robert. You are remembered … 

By Elaine Van Develde

There was something about his face.

Always a content smile emanating from underneath his police hat, Fair Haven Police Patrolman Robert J. Henne seemed to wear his pristine, proud heart on its brim. And it seemed as if St. Michael, patron saint of police officers, was perched right next to it, guarding it. Always.

Whether or not you knew the officer well, it didn’t matter. Just one glance of his bright doe eyes and beam from under the brim of that officer’s cap that seemed to embrace him, and you knew you were home, cared for and protected.

And so was he.

“He was emblematic of everything that’s good in this town,” Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli said with crestfallen pride as he reflected on the untimely March 23 death of the 23-year-old third-generation policeman and fireman. “He represented what small-town community life should be.”

The mayor knew him. He knew him well. He knew how he always wanted to be a police officer. He knew that Robert embraced his calling and the people in his community who he served.

The mayor also knew that it gave him much joy to sign off on the promotion of Henne to a Special Class II officer in 2012. He had seen Henne rise through the ranks from police explorer. He remembered. Many others remembered, too.

They remembered every nuance of what they knew to be a modest, fun and compassionate public servant, son, brother and friend.

But you didn’t have to know him well to know the same thing that the mayor and the people closest to him knew — that Robert Henne was a strong, gentle, protective presence in the lives of every citizen with whom he came in contact.

I knew of his impact and pride of being on the job. And I knew there was something special about him.

I could see it in his smile. Many could.

It seems uncanny sometimes how people pass through our lives, in anything from a fleeting moment, to a few casual encounters and even longstanding relationships.

Yet, however long they are a presence, some seem to etch an indelible mark in our hearts.

As a journalist, this happens to us frequently. And, while the always unique fingerprint of some lives imprinted onto ours can inflict searing pain or a dull ache, it can also leave an impression of tremendous joy. But both teach us. We are grateful for both.

Some stay. Some go. But there’s always an impact in one way or another. And we are fortunate to have had a glimpse into their lives — if only for a moment. And we reflect. Sometimes aloud. Sometimes  unwittingly through our actions.

Reflection enriches us all. Having known such an incredible cross-section of people makes us see how one moment with one person, even just passing through, can make a difference. The difference it makes can be celebrated. It can change us forever — for the better.

There are people with whom we’ve grown up whose deaths we must sadly report on. We grapple with how to best honor them. There tragic accidents involving people we do not know, but to whom we can relate because we have a child, a brother, a sister or a friend whom it could have been.

There are people who have just once shared with us an unforgettable gut laugh over a silly outtake moment in an interview. There are centenarians whose amazing lives we are privileged to look back on with them and write about.

There are people who face adversity and share their experience with us. There are people  with whom we chat and come to know when visiting municipal offices or just being out and about in towns we cover. There are villains. There are heroes.

And there are young men like Patrolman Robert J. Henne whose smile I think we will always see when we round a corner, go to an event, or see a uniform, a fire truck or a patrol car in our Fair Haven.

Thank you, Robert Henne for protecting and serving us and for giving us another reason to be grateful for having known someone like you — if only for a moment.

— Slideshow by Elaine Van Develde … Photo credits: Elaine Van Develde, Fair Haven Fire Department, screenshots from Facebook, courtesy of Tom Kirman and other friends and family of Robert J. Henne.


RFH Students Serve Up Some Food for the Soul

Members of the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) Cooking Club volunteered at the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation’s Soul Kitchen Community Restaurant in Red Bank recently.

Working with Soul Kitchen’s Front-of-House Manager Dolly Bonilla, the RFH students on April 16 cleaned off and set tables as well as organized menus for that evening’s crowd.

They were also given a tour of the facility’s garden, which provides fresh organic ingredients for meals, by gardener Robin Grossman. The students learned more about what the Soul Kitchen means to the local community.

“Hope is Delicious” is the motto of the Soul Kitchen, which provides healthy, organic, and locally grown food in a restaurant setting. For paying customers, there are no prices on the menu. Instead, they are invited to “pay it forward.”

A donation of $10 covers the cost of one meal, and anything extra helps defray the cost of someone else’s meal. Nonpaying patrons of the Soul Kitchen can perform volunteer work in exchange for family meals. Those who volunteer in exchange for meals are guided through their tasks by Soul Kitchen staff members, giving them a step up in qualifying for jobs in the restaurant industry.

The Soul Kitchen treats all customers with dignity and respect, while uniting communities and forming healthy and lasting relationships through food.

Volunteerism is very important to the success of Soul Kitchen, and there are opportunities available for those who would like to help out by busing tables, cleaning, stocking items, or serving. More information can be found at

RFH students who volunteered their time were: Tori Hyduke, Christy Jadevaia, Katie Kane, Michaela Lake, Julia Marascio, Jenna Sandoli, and Becky Unsinn. They were accompanied by RFH Library media specialist Linda Wien Murray and English teachers Cassie Fallon and Lauren Grumbach, who are the club’s co-advisors.

— Edited press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH)