Eva Applegate, 80, passed away on Dec. 23, 2018, at Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune surrounded by her family. Eva loved music. She played trumpet in Manasquan High School, but she also played piano which benefited her when she became the choir director at Laurelton Baptist Church, a position she held for many years. When Pastor Fisher retired, she joined Grace Bible Church in Wall, where she was still a very active member. She loved participating in church functions such as the food bank and Project Christmas.
Her service to Wall students started as a Wall High School Band Booster parent in 1977 when her daughter was in band. She is fondly remembered for making huge “vats” of Kool-Aid or hot chocolate, lugging containers that seemed larger than her to each and every game. She went on to chair multiple committees, culminating in her election to the Wall Township Board of Education. Ms. Applegate eventually completed the longest tenure as an elected official in Wall Township history. She presided as board of education president four times, and was board president at the passing of the 1998 building referendum, which provided the district with state-of-the-art science labs and other expanded facilities. She ultimately served on every Wall Township Board of Education committee.
Once she retired from the board, she continued to serve the community by staying active on township committees and volunteering in the school system. Being a musician in high school herself, she became very involved in the music departments. She organized band uniform fitting sessions. She fought to ensure the arts department throughout the system was maintained to the highest degree possible. She helped start the fourth grade violin program. She also helped inventory instruments and was a familiar sight on the buses as a band chaperone.
Ms. Applegate also worked on Project Graduation for many years, ensuring senior students had a safe, fun culmination of their high school years. She attended every in-school event possible, ranging from concerts, art shows, field days, and Dr. Seuss Day, just to name a few. She was beloved by teachers and students alike for her dedication to education. She also had great pride in the Wall Football team, missing very few games over the years.
Ms. Applegate was the proud recipient of many awards as a result of her tireless volunteerism.
Her recognitions included the Wall Township Community Relations Alliance Committee Volunteer Award in 2004; the New Jersey School Boards Association Milestone Award for 20 years of service in 2006; the Wall Foundation for Educational Excellence Hall of Fame in 2008; an honorary life membership to the Tri-M Music Honor Society; the JFK Valor Award for her service to her community; and an official proclamation honoring her for 27 years and eight months of consecutive service as an elected member of the Wall Township Board of Education.
The renaming of the Wall High School auditorium as the “Eva Applegate Theater” in 2014 was an especially high honor that she was both extremely grateful for and proud to receive.
Ms. Applegate will always be loved and remembered by her family; mother to Howard and his wife Janet of Manasquan; Sharon of Brick; Scott and his wife, Lisa, of Hamilton. She had seven grandchildren, Elizabeth, Victoria, Eric, Aimee, Cadi, Matthew and Ryan. She is also survived by her sister Barbara (Deufel) and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents, Edward and Angela Naden of Manasquan; her husband, George W. Applegate of Wall; siblings Lorraine and Theodore.
One of Eva’s last school projects was to replace the lighting in the Eva Applegate Theater in Wall High School. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to complete her mission, via the Crimson Knights Foundation, PO Box 1502, Wall Township, NJ 07719.