WARREN, NJ - Arrangements for visitation and the funeral mass for Watchung Hills teacher and coach Juan Carlos Cruz have been finalized.Both visitation and the funeral mass will be at St. Vincent de Paul RC Church in Stirling.
Visitation will be Friday November 4, from 4 - 8 pm at St. Vincent de Paul RC Church, 250 Bebout Ave., Stirling. A Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday 10:30 AM at the church. Arrangements are under the direction of the Valley Memorial Funeral Home 1012 Valley Rd., Gillette, NJ. For online condolences visit http://valleymemorialfuneralhome.net
Students, friends, parents and alumni took to social media over the weekend to share stories and condolences after learning of the death of Watchung Hills teacher and coach Juan Carlos Cruz on Saturday and to honor Senor Cruz's legacy, the entire school community was invited to wear blue and red, the colors of his beloved Barcelona soccer team on Tuesday.
A tribute was set up in the vestibule at the main entrance at the school where students and adults can share notes with Senor Cruz's family and a gofundme fundraising page started over the weekend has raised over $50,000 by more than 800 donors as of Thursday morning.
The Touchdown Club will be selling Blackout the Hills shirts for Friday's game with proceeds donated to the fundraising page.
The gofundme page reads:
This is coach Cruz. He was the JV coach for Watchung Hills Regional High School. To most students, he wasn't just a teacher. Coming to school everyday with nice shoes and flower socks he was our friend. He showed love to every student and wanted all of them to succeed. For the past 6 months all he talked about was his baby that was coming soon. He put family and his students before anything else. His life was cut short when he passed away this Saturday October 29. We ask for your financial support to help his pregnant wife and baby that will be coming in a couple of months. Thank you so much for your support.
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