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Sockol, Pfleger made contributions to their communities

Two area residents, each of whom compiled a significant record of service to his community, have passed away.

Timothy R. Pfleger, 32, of Holmdel, who was the current chief of the Keyport Fire Department, died on Sept. 30, according to an obituary posted online by the Holmdel Funeral Home.

Michael Sockol, 63, of Holmdel, who served for more than a decade on the Holmdel Public Schools Board of Education, died on Oct. 1 following a battle with pancreatic cancer, according to an obituary posted online by the Holmdel Funeral Home.

According to his obituary, Sockol graduated from Needham High School in Needham, Mass., in 1977. He attended Colgate University where he majored in history and political science, graduating cum laude in 1981.

Sockol worked at radio stations throughout the south and eventually moved back to New England, where broadcast work in Rhode Island and New Hampshire led to his primary profession, public relations.

He worked for five years at the DeCordova Art Museum in Massachusetts, and in 1996 he joined Global Crossing as head of internal communications.

In New Jersey, Sockol served on Monmouth County Library Commission for two years and on the Holmdel Public Schools Board of Education for 12 years, most recently as vice president during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sockol’s passion for the theater drew him to play acting and play writing. His first play, “Horseshoes” was produced for the Thespis Theater Festival and debuted at the Hudson Guild in New York. His more than 30 plays have had successful local and regional productions, according to his obituary.

Sockol also taught graduate level corporate communications courses at New York University for four years.

Sockol is survived by his sons, Matthew and Thomas, his parents, Aaron and Lois Sockol, his brothers, Eric, Jon and Jim Sockol, his sisters-in-law, Judy, Vivian and Margie Sockol, his brother-in-law and sisters-in-law, Ron and Theresa Horan and Missy Horan, his mother-in-law, Nancy Horan, his wife, Lisa, and many nieces and nephews.

A funeral service was held on Oct. 3 at the Holmdel Funeral Home. Burial was in Mount Sinai Cemetery, Marlboro.

Gifts in his memory may be made to the Michael Sockol Jewish Writers Fund at Temple Beth Shalom, 670 Highland Ave. Needham, Mass. 02494.

According to his obituary, Pfleger was born in Red Bank and raised in Holmdel. He graduated from Holmdel High School and the Monmouth County Fire Academy in 2008. In 2011, Pfleger graduated from Brookdale Community College.

Pfleger was a former dispatcher for Holmdel Township and was employed with the New Jersey Department of Transportation at the time of his passing.

Pfleger became a cadet with the Keyport Fire Department in 2007 and in 2008 he joined the Fire Patrol and graduated from the Monmouth County Fire Academy, Howell.

He served as a lieutenant and a captain before becoming the 3rd Assistant Chief in 2019 and eventually chief of the Keyport Fire Department in 2022. Pfleger also joined Holmdel Fire and Rescue No. 2, according to his obituary.

Pfleger is survived by his parents, Charles and Melanie Pfleger, and his sister, Angela.

Funeral services were held on Oct. 6 at St. John’s Methodist Church, Hazlet.

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