Nancy Jane Engert, 79 years old, of Raritan Township, NJ, passed away on Friday, November 3, 2017 while at home on hospice. Nancy was surrounded by her loving family and caretaker.
Born on March 1, 1938 in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY, daughter of the late Ruth Patricia Colyer Murnane and Thomas Alexander Murnane, Nancy was raised in Brooklyn before moving to the Bronx, NY, then later to Mountainside, NJ, where she resided for almost forty years. After her husband’s death she moved first to Bedminster, NJ and then to Raritan Township NJ several years ago.
A woman with a lifelong quest for knowledge, Nancy earned a B.S. in Chemistry from the College of Mount Saint Vincent, Bronx, NY in 1959. She then continued on to obtain an M.A. in Education from Hunter College in 1968.
Nancy worked as a high school chemistry teacher in New York for several years before moving to New Jersey where she continued as a chemistry teacher with Oak Knoll School, Summit, NJ.
On June 20, 1960, Nancy was married to the love of her life, Theodore Philip Engert. The two met at a college dance, introduced by her dorm mate, (Ted’s sister). Ted was studying engineering at a nearby college. There love was genuine, deep, and inspirational to many.
A “foodie” before it became part of modern slang, she and her late husband greatly enjoyed being part of many cooking clubs and progressive dinner clubs. It is worthwhile to point out that this love of food also helped strengthen her family. Nightly meals at the table, with all the children together while they were growing up, and holiday/birthday meals as adults, raising families of their own, have been a vital part of keeping the family close.
Nancy and Ted also enjoyed traveling the world, exploring new cultures and learning as much as they could. They maintained a summer home at Beach Haven on Long Beach Island, located on the, “Jersey Shore.” They enjoyed thirty-nine years of precious memories until Ted died in 1999 after a fierce battle with ALS.
Following the births and adoption of her children, Nancy focused on being a full-time homemaker to ensure that her children were raised to appreciate and value education and family.
Nancy’s zest and passion for teaching also carried over into the summers. Shore house “summer school” was an expectation for her children. Reading, vocabulary, math, science lessons and homework were all done before beach.
As her children grew up, her enthusiasm for education never wavered and in her sixties, she went back to school. At Union County College, Nancy earned a degree as an Occupational Therapy assistant and returned to the work force. As an OTA for the State of New Jersey at Hagedorn Geriatric Psychiatric Hospital, Glen Gardner, NJ, Nancy developed a new sense of purpose, new friends, also the ability to teach “without the paperwork” and to help others close to her age. She worked there for almost ten years before the facility closed and she retired.
Facing several medical battles of her own throughout the years, Nancy leaned on her strong faith, friends and family. She was a longtime communicant of Our Lady of Lourdes RC Church in Mountainside, NJ, serving in many roles including that of a Eucharistic Minister, the Church’s outreach program and teaching CCD. During her time in the Flemington area, Nancy enjoyed being a part of the St. Magdalen Church Homebound Group, where she made friends and was able to find continued strength in her faith.
To sum up Nancy’s legacy and gifts, it can be said she blazed a trail and never made any apologies for it. Many are better because Nancy was involved in their life.
Surviving are her children, a son and daughter-in-law, Phil and Sabine Engert of Bridgewater, NJ; three daughters and sons-in-law, Gail and Kevin Woodring of Annandale, NJ, Carolyn and Mike Bozsolak of Kutztown, PA, and Elizabeth Engert Manzo and David Manzo of Warren, NJ; a son, Thomas John Engert of Raritan Township, NJ; eight grandchildren, Kristina Engert, Alex Engert, Caitlin Manzo, Michelle Woodring, Nicky Bozsolak, Juliette Manzo, K.C. Woodring and Charlotte Manzo; as well as many extended family and friends.
Nancy will lie in repose on Thursday, November 9, 2017 from 5:00-7:30 p.m. at the funeral home,followed immediately by a Catholic Vigil Service and a Life Celebration Service beginning at 7:30 p.m. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Wright & Ford Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 38 State Highway 31, Flemington, NJ, 08822.
Graveside services and burial with her beloved husband Theodore will take place on Friday, November 10, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 10 West Stevens Avenue, Hawthorne (Valhalla), NY, 10532. Everyone is kindly requested to meet at the cemetery office on Friday by 10:45 a.m.
Please visit Nancy’s permanent memorial site at www.wrightfamily.com to share a public or private message of condolence, as well as post stories and photographs of her life.
In deep appreciation to all those who assisted Nancy, the family has requested that those wishing to make a contribution do so to either the St. Magdalen Homebound Program, 105 Mine Street, Flemington, NJ 08822 or to the ALS Association, Greater New York Chapter, 42 Broadway, Suite 1724, New York, NY 10004.