Our beloved Eileen M. Heinzel (nee McNamara) passed away on April 9, 2022. She was 57, left too soon and will be terribly missed. A woman of so many gifts, at her core was love and total devotion, which she gave out so naturally. She showed us in her grounded wisdom and way of life what was most important, and to nourish and celebrate those things. First and foremost for her was family. She was the loving wife of her soulmate, whom she married 31 magic years ago after they met in law school. She was the best of mothers to her four children. She gave them her total self, but also the space for them to stand and thrive. They are her masterpieces. She grew up the youngest of five, part of a terrific close-knit family where her mother modeled her later public service as four-term Mayor of Tinton Falls, while her father served in the Army with distinction as a fixed wing and helicopter pilot in Korea and Vietnam. She lived a great and joyful life. Along the way she made us better versions of ourselves.
Eileen was also a gifted “roll up your sleeves and get it done right” public servant in her hometown of Pennington, where she faithfully served for almost two decades, first on Borough Council (2004 to 2014) then as Borough Administrator (2014 to 2022). That same selfless dedication was the hallmark of her public life, and her accomplishments are too many to name. She was universally admired for her unfailing respectfulness, work ethic, thoughtful solutions and honesty. She always took the time for everyone who came to her and always took the high road. She left the town a better place, which was always her one and only objective.
She is predeceased by her parents, Lt. Col. Thomas (Mac) and Ann Y. McNamara. She is survived by her husband, Paul, and her children, Erich Robert, Julia Ann, John Henry and Kristen Elisabeth. She also is survived by her sisters Mary Rigney and Sheila Gelsomine and brothers Michael and Jeremiah McNamara.
Visitation will be at the Wilson-Apple Funeral Home, 2560 Pennington Road, Pennington, on Friday, April 22 from 6 to 8 p.m., and a Catholic Mass in her memory will be celebrated at St. James Catholic Church, 115 E. Delaware Avenue, Pennington on Saturday, April 23 at 2 p.m. A repast with light refreshments will follow the Mass at Pennington Presbyterian Church, located at the corner of Main St. and Delaware Avenue (essentially across the street from St. James). All are most welcome to join us.
Condolences are welcome at www.wilsonapple.com.