RFH Track Star Runs with COVID-19 Healthcare Hero Fundraiser

Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) senior Bobby Hoye saw a chance to help in the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and he ran with it — literally.

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Retro RFH Pre-Prom Moments

The pandemic has hijacked another high school tradition — prom. It would have been a big happening right about this time of the spring, and there would have been all sorts of prep — zoomed-in close encounter photos of friends and couples bonding, corsage and boutenir pinnings … those pre-prom poses. Time capsule moments of the bomb variety — as in disaster or picture perfection. TikTok? Hmmmmm … Not always.

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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.

Retro Oceanfront Softball Team Home Run

Oceanfront Softball Team circa 1980
Photo/Chip Irish via Facebook

As we continue to mourn the loss of the baseball season, among other athletics, due to COVID-19, thoughts, and a memory scroll on Facebook bring us back to the days of another kind of ballgame camaraderie — the softball league of the past.

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Focus: Riverfront Reflections

On this dank, pandemic April day, everyone could use a little solitary solace. A reminder that the river that gives so many in the Rumson-Fair Haven area peace and happiness is still there. And still. Calm. Reflective.

So, we take you back a few years to 2016, when this photo gallery/slideshow was first published. There’s much irony in what it says. Take a look at the featured photo. It speaks an uncanny isolated truth about today and the very same spot. Their reflections are consoling.

They tell us that when everything around us is still, there is something to see in the water’s mirror. That little meaningful something may have been missed while looking too hard toward a sky that seemingly has no limits.

It’s the Wizard of Oz theory of looking too hard for your heart’s desire when it was right in your own back yard. Surprising what you’ll find in a still reflection, or a ripple that was in that limitless, reflective sky the entire time.  

On that day, as today, the tide went out and the water was still.

The static water on the Navesink River from Rumson to Fair Haven was like a mirror, reflecting each waterfront image, each ripple, in detail. A reminder of what was always there. 

Take a look. 

— Elaine Van Develde

Remembering Close Encounters with RFH’s A.J. Bruder

This slideshow, memorializing RFH Class of ’78 alum A.J. Bruder, was originally run on April 15, 2015. April 15 marked the 24th anniversary of A.J.’s untimely death. We are running it again, as we do annually, to pay tribute to A.J. This year is a special year for the special remembrance, as A.J., among other things, was a baseball player and there is no high school baseball this year due to the pandemic. He was a track star. There’s no track. Though, if he were still with us, you may see him doing a lone skate on an empty street. 

The popular class officer, athlete, writer, artist, singer-songwriter, friend to many, son, brother, cousin, and all-around great guy died of lung cancer that had metastasized to his brain at the young age of 36 on the day of the 100th Boston Marathon — April 15, 1996.

He is memorialized by many at the annual Rumson-Fair Haven Run’s A.J. Bruder Memorial 5-mile run and is remembered daily by countless people whose lives he touched with his kind, generous, playfully contagious spirit. The A.J. Bruder Reach for the Stars Scholarship is also awarded annually to stand-out RFH seniors at graduation.

There are no sports this spring. There’s no close contact. Camaraderie remains — close from a distance. We have to wonder what A.J. would think. Thoughts?

Take a look at the A.J. of RFH days. Godspeed, A.J. Bruder. You are remembered.

 Many thanks to George Day for the photos of A.J.!


Retro RFH Girl Playing the Boys’ Baseball Field

RFH Class of '78 alumni Nancy Whelchel was the first girl to play on the boys' baseball team. Photo/George Day
RFH Class of ’78 alumni Nancy Whelchel was the first girl to play on the boys’ baseball team.
Photo/George Day

Yes, it’s all about the high school baseball season being benched right now over the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s game-changing news. Who knows if things will ever be the same on the high school baseball field. And back in the 1970s, the idea of RFH girls breaking into sports that were traditionally boys’ turf was taboo. Then came another game changer — a girl who wanted to be one of the boys on the field. That was Nancy Whelchel of the RFH Class of ’78.

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