John R. Koerwer, of Middletown and Beach Haven Gardens, NJ passed away peacefully at his summer residence on Long Beach Island on Saturday, August 22, 2020. He was 91. A Communicant of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in New Monmouth for more than 60 years, he is now reunited with his beloved wife Dolores C. Koerwer, to whom he was married for 67 years and who passed away on May 25 of this year. He was the father of eight children, the grandfather of 20, and the great-grandfather of six. He was a devoted husband and father, a man of quiet, yet rock-steady faith, and exceedingly sound judgment. He served his country, his state, and above all, his wife and family. And he did it all with a sense of humor, and not of self-importance.
Upon graduating from Villanova University in 1951, he was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy. Based in San Diego, California and Sasebo, Japan, he served during the Korean War and was honorably discharged in 1954 at the rank of Lieutenant, JG. He met Dolores, the love of his life, in Ocean City, NJ. They were married in 1953 and spent the next 67 years embodying the sacrament of marriage together in a union based on faith and filled with love, happiness and laughter. Following his Naval Service, he and Dolores settled in New Jersey to raise their family. He began his career at the Chicopee Company, and then worked for many years at Johnson & Johnson before being recruited to join the Office of Employee Relations within the Office of the Governor of the State of New Jersey in 1976. He retired in 1993 as the Deputy Director of that office.
He was a devoted family man, and no sacrifice was too great for him to quietly undertake, including enduring daily long-distance commutes, for the sake of his family. And notwithstanding the long daily drives, he always made it home for dinner with the family and found time to be present for basketball games, recitals, or school plays (though he often kiddingly claimed that he sent look-alike blow-up dolls in his place to the plays). He could counted on for sound judgment and discreet advice, and he taught his children the critical lesson of living a life of integrity not by preaching, but by simply being himself day in and day out. He took his duties and his responsibilities seriously, but not himself. Indeed, he employed a dry wit and sense of humor throughout the course of his life and thus helped guide the family through many a challenging time with a quick joke, a funny line, or a self-deprecating observation. His sense of humor was sharp, but always kind, and never used at the expense of others.
He enjoyed many hobbies, including oil painting, planting and tending his garden at the shore, and creating from scratch intricate, wooden models of fishing villages and wharf-side scenes that adorned the family beach house. He was an avid fan of the Yankees, the New York Football Giants, Villanova Basketball, porch visits with neighbors, and anything made with chocolate. But by far and away his greatest joy was spending time with his wife and family. Though his sense of humor, ready smile, quiet strength, wisdom, and judgment will be greatly missed, they will nevertheless be drawn upon as a source of inspiration and guidance for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren for years to come. He will be cherished forever.
John was predeceased by his beloved wife Dolores C. Koerwer, his parents Charles and Lillian Koerwer, his brothers Richard J Koerwer and his wife Lucille, Charles R Koerwer Jr. and his wife Mary, Thomas N. Koerwer, and his son in law Patrick McGee. He is survived by his loving children, Marie McDermott and her husband, James, of Austin, Texas, Denise Koerwer of Tinton Falls, Janice Robinson and her husband, Warren, of Littleton, Colorado, Lorrie McGee of Middletown, John R. Koerwer Jr. and his wife, Mary, of Wayne, Pennsylvania, Joseph L. Koerwer and his wife, Beth, of Shrewsbury, Suzanne Messler and her husband, Brian, of Cream Ridge, and Laurence M. Koerwer and his wife, Maureen, of Huntington Valley, Pennsylvania. He is also survived by his loving grandchildren Aileen Roberts, John Robinson, Robert Robinson, John R. Koerwer III, Matthew Robinson, Joseph Koerwer, Patrick McGee, Molly Shuler, Michelle Certo, Andrew McGee, Sarah Garber, Christian Koerwer, Kathryn McDermott, Kelly Koerwer, Laurence Messler, Christopher McGee, Trevor Koerwer, Steven Koerwer, Holly Koerwer, Michael Koerwer, his cherished great grandchildren, Riley Robinson, Jack Robsinson, Landon Robinson, Parker Robinson, Aidan Roberts, Finlay (Finn) Roberts, his sister in law Nancy Koerwer, and many treasured nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, extended family, and friends.
Arrangements were entrusted to the Shore Point Funeral Home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, August 27, 2020 at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church located at 19 Cherry Tree Farm Road, Middletown, NJ, 07748, at 10:00 AM. Interment will follow at Calvary Cemetery, located in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. For information, directions, or to send condolences to the family, please visit, www.shorepointfh.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in loving memory of John to the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity, 9001 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland 20903.