Eleanore Shaffer of Hampton Township, New Jersey, died at her home surrounded by her loving family on Saturday April 1, 2023, following a brief illness. Born in Newton, New Jersey, she lived in Hampton Township most of her life.
Daughter of the late John and Anne (nee Gryska) Shaffer, she was a graduate of Newton High School. She attended Saint Joseph Hospital Nursing School in Paterson, New Jersey, prior to earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in adolescent psychology from William Paterson University.
She had a long career as an educator and school nurse, retiring from the Blairstown Board of Education after many years. After retiring, she became an adjunct professor at William Paterson University and Centenary University, supervising future teachers. A lifelong and devout parishioner of Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church Newton, she was also blessed to serve as a eucharistic minister. She was a loving and devoted sister, aunt and great aunt. She was a kind, generous and caring woman that would do anything for anyone at any time. Whether she knew you for a lifetime or had just met you, it meant no difference. Everyone enjoyed her company and thought she was funny.
Shaffer served on two boards at the same time – the Kittatinny Regional Board of Education (7th through 12th grades, regional) in Sussex County and the Hampton Township Board of Education (pre-K through 6th grade).
In an interview with Ray Pinney, the New Jersey School Boards Association’s director of county activities and member engagement, Shaffer noted that in the mid-1970s, she was frustrated with some school programs that were not effective, leaving students without basic skills. “I had a purpose,” she said. “I wanted my questions answered, but I was not getting sufficient responses. I did attend board meetings for two years and became very frustrated, and when I saw what was happening to our young people, I thought something was not meshing here – and that is how I ended up on the board.”
Dr. Craig Hutcheson, superintendent of Kittatinny Regional High School, noted in a statement that she was a proponent for children. “Ms. Shaffer has been a significant contributor to the formation of both school districts as she was an original member of the Hampton Township Board of Education and celebrated her 50th straight year on the board this past February.” He added, “In addition, Eleanore has served for 41 years (of the 48 years in existence) on the Board of Education for Kittatinny Regional School District. Eleanore was a dedicated and caring person who dedicated her life to the mission of public education. She was a teacher, a school nurse and CST coordinator, finally retiring from Blairstown School District in Warren County, New Jersey. She was an adjunct professor for William Paterson University and Centenary University in their respective Departments of Education. Eleanore was strong-willed, bold and was never afraid to take on a fight for what was right for children. She always knew the right thing to say and the right way to say it, even in the toughest of situations. Our school districts have lost a very important person to our schools, a devoted individual who has contributed so much to our school community and could not have been a better board member or person!”
She was predeceased by her sisters, Helen Bridges in 2022 and Rosemary Ivankovic in 2020; as well as a grand-nephew, Nicholas Marino in 2015. She is survived by her nieces, Sharon Marino and Michele Lopez and husband Edward; her nephew, John Ivankovic; her great-nieces, Jennifer Bachetti and Rachel Lopez; her great-nephew, Michael Marino; as well as her brother-in-law, Anton Ivankovic.
Arrangements were by Iliff-Ruggiero Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Nicholas Marino Scholarship Fund at Sussex County Community College. Online condolences can be shared via her obituary on the funeral home website.