Howell council members honor late mayor with proclamation

HOWELL – The members of the Howell Township Council honored the memory of a former mayor with a proclamation that was read during the Feb. 9 meeting of the governing body.

On Jan. 20, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic claimed the life of Suzanne Veitengruber, 71, of Howell. Veitengruber served on Howell’s governing body in the early 1990s and was the township’s mayor in 1991.

Mayor Theresa Berger read the proclamation in which officials said Veitengruber “was an avid leader and volunteer who cared deeply for her community; she was elected to the Township Committee in 1989 and was appointed mayor for the year in 1991.”

Phyllis Kavett was Howell’s first female mayor more than a decade earlier when she held the position in 1979.

Continuing, Berger said Veitengruber “also served on the Howell school board for eight years and was a member of the PTA, volunteered on numerous township boards and committees, and cooked hundreds of Thanksgiving turkeys for the PBA to deliver to homebound seniors.”

In her professional career, Veitengruber worked as a municipal administrator in Keansburg; as the chief financial officer in North Brunswick, Tabernacle Township and Shrewsbury Township; and as the acting administrator in South Bound Brook.

“Additionally, Sue was a professor of municipal finance courses at Rutgers University Center for Government Services, vice president of the Monmouth County PTA, secretary of the Monmouth County Board of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Services, and vice chair of the Monmouth County Commission of the Status of Women,” Berger said.

“Those who were lucky enough to know Sue knew she was a strong and intelligent woman, with boundless energy, who adored her family above all else.

“I want to say for myself, and I believe the entire governing body, and for previous governing bodies, thank you to the Veitengruber family for sharing Sue with us, and for her extensive work in women’s services, which is tremendous,” Berger said.

PBA Local 228 delegate Ryan Hurley said, “I would like to recognize Sue Veitengruber and her tragic, untimely death. Sue was a leader in many different ways.

“For the police officers and members of Howell Local 228 … she was a friend of ours, a friend of law enforcement, a friend a municipal workers and laborers in general.

“She was at many of our fundraising events and community events. She always had her hand in everything, especially our meal giveaways and the deliveries we conduct at Easter and Thanksgiving each year.

“And also fundraising efforts for us, Local 228, our police union. She referred to us as her boys often. It really meant a lot, as if she felt like we were family and she had this protective mentality about us,” Hurley said.

He said Veitengruber brought energy to any room she entered, saying, “You knew she was there, whether you liked it or not, but she was a great woman. It is definitely a tragic loss and I feel for her whole family.”