Religions and Spirituality

Obituary: Jeffrey Hoens of Westfield

1d58ff0f3900b33d3517_40297f998febf3184fed_db6cedf844464df63a43_jeff.jpg
Jeff Hoens
1d58ff0f3900b33d3517_40297f998febf3184fed_db6cedf844464df63a43_jeff.jpg

Today my family and I must face the reality that our son Jeffrey Peter Hoens’s physical presence will no longer be with us. He had a “quirky” personality. He was our most creative child. He would go up to people and ask them “do you want to be friends?” When he was 2 years old he walked on the ice in the middle of a NJ Devil’s practice at Cody arena and challenged the professional players to score on him. “Score” was his first word. This last year he was back at Cody Arena as an Assistant Coach for the NJ Dare Devils, a program for young people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. When he was 4 years old he convinced his preschool teachers that he had traveled to Mexico. His back drop came from a tee shirt he was wearing. When he was 5 he and a buddy built a beautiful terrarium using the flowers and creatures from our garden. In the cub scouts he and another friend played taps to close out the meeting. He hated doing homework and told a teacher in Middle School, “I don’t know why I have to do this assignment anyway… I am going to be a fisherman!”

Jeff had a passion for everything. But his two greatest passions were hockey and fishing. He and his buddy Phil went on more fishing adventures in the last 10 years than most do in a lifetime. He respected the sea and all of life. What he caught was either eaten, given away to some needy family, or at times he and Phil would make a few bucks from their catch. The Shark River was his home. He knew everyone there and they knew him. Jeff would talk to everyone. He did not care about status, race, creed or color. He cared that you were a good person. I met a man at the Shark River last Saturday. He knew Jeff well. He told me Jeff was an excellent diver. They would dive and spear fish together. He was one of Jeff’s great teachers.

There were many other people who came into Jeff’s life; but it was the boys and men who had their greatest influence on him. When Jeff was in middle school he was the big guy that the boys would pick on. He took it but the teasing took its toll. October 30, 2012 a hurricane hit NJ; everything stopped. I whispered into Jeff’s ear, “Why don’t you put in an application to Saint Peter’s Prep?” A parent on his hockey team had talked about what a wonderful school it was. The public school is ok, but St. Peter’s Prep would take a boy and teach him to be a man. Jeff’s essay was about catching 300 lbs. of fish and feeding the working poor. Jeff met a boy there who could talk about how he was born with HIV/Aids. From those experiences he chose Prep. Their motto was “Give us your boy and we will give you a Man for Others.” Over the last few years I have fully come to appreciate the powerful transforming voice of a man on a boy. The importance of a father, an uncle, a male mentor. Last night I has given the profound gift of understanding how the spirit of God through the boys and men of Saint Peters had transformed him. I also reflected on all the male family members and men and boys who had come into his life and positively shaped him. The list is enormous. The stories are hilarious. If you are a boy or a man and you had an interaction with my son we want to thank you. You made a difference.

Sign Up for E-News

Father Charlie Hudson, a most soul filled and humorous priest had this to say about life: “You do not get to choose the day you were born or the day you die. You can only shape the dash. Live life to the fullest and create your dash as God had intended you to be.” Jeff lived his last day with a joy that reflected “The Light.” May we all live our life like Jeff reflecting the light and pursuing his dreams.

Jeffery Peter Hoens is survived by his loving parents, Karym and Tom of Westfield, his sister Katelyn (Brian Williams) of Baltimore, MD, brothers T. Ryan of (Seattle, WA) and Erick (Nicole) of Philadelphia. His aunts and uncles include Associate Justice (Retired) Helen Hoens (Robert Schwaneberg), John Hoens (Alice) of Basking Ridge, Frank Hawrylak (Victoria) of Greenwich, CT, Brynne Aronson of Warminster, PA, Drue Cox (Robert) of Seattle, WA, and Megan Dimmock (David) of Baltimore, MD along with 11 first cousins.

There will be a viewing Wednesday July 20 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Helen’s Church, 1600 Rahway Ave., Westfield, NJ, and a celebration of his life will be held Thursday July 21 at 10 a.m. at St. Helen’s.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made in “Memory of Jeffrey Hoens” to one of the following 501c(3) charities: Saint Peter’s Preparatory School, 144 Grand Street, Jersey City, NJ 07302 or The NJ Dare Devils, 51 Divan Way, Wayne, NJ 07470.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Mountainside

Upcoming Events

Tue, July 17, 10:00 AM

Healing the Children, new providence

Summit Old Guard

Giving Back

Carousel_image_b91f21bd7ac6c164e408_wednesday_matinees_at_trailside

Wed, July 18, 1:30 PM

Trailside Nature & Science Center, MountainsidE

Trailside’s Annual Summer Wednesday Matinee ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Wed, July 18, 7:30 PM

Chatham United Methodist Church, Chatham

Masterwork’s Summer Sing Four to Feature Brahms

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_180fb624cb767a3bedaf_best_crop_7313656ce0929485c104_bh_ribbon_cutting_8_2x

Wed, July 18, 7:30 PM

Memorial Park, Berkeley Heights

2018 Berkeley Heights Summer Concert Series

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_634bcda860ed17650f72_93a8625c-ce9d-413f-a61e-4b2df4fe0604

Tue, July 24, 3:00 PM

Grillestone Restaurant , Scotch Plains

Hear the Story of Amelia Earhart, America's Most ...

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_b91f21bd7ac6c164e408_wednesday_matinees_at_trailside

Wed, July 25, 1:30 PM

Trailside Nature & Science Center, MountainsidE

Trailside’s Annual Summer Wednesday Matinee ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Severe Thunderstorm, Flash Flood Warnings in Effect for Mountainside Tuesday Afternoon

July 3, 2018

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ — The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Union County until 2:30 p.m. and a flash flood warning until 5 p.m.

“Torrential rainfall is occurring with this storm, and may lead to flash flooding,” the service warned. “Do not drive your vehicle through flooded roadways.”

Sign up for our free enews and get ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 12, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

GWACC Fall In Love With A Great Cause Event is Tonight, Tuesday, July 17

July 17, 2018

 

 Fellow business owners who are members of the GWACC or who are interested in the organization are invited to join a special networking event on Tuesday, July 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Darby Road Pub in Scotch Plains.  The event's title tells attendees they will “Fall in Love with a Great Cause”!  The event ...

Before & After: The Contrasting Color Kitchen Remodel

July 5, 2018

Before and After

Over the years we have designed and remodeled hundreds (if not, thousands) of kitchens.  Every client and kitchen are different, which makes for a very interesting job working as a kitchen designer! But every once in a while, a kitchen comes along that really makes you stop, think, and appreciate the beauty of transformation.  One of the most rewarding experiences is ...