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George Joseph Christopher, of Avon-by-the-Sea, N.J., died on Holy Saturday, April 16, 2022, at home surrounded by his loving and devoted family. He lived his life with grace, faith and strength, never allowing his nine- year journey with cancer and then its aftermath to dim his love of life and commitment to family and friends.
George was born to George and Bena Christopher in Newark, NJ on July 4, 1954. He moved to Avon when he was 9 years old, promptly falling in love with the town and people with whom he would share his life’s journey.
George received his BA from St Peter’s in Jersey City, NJ and enthusiastically cheered on the Peacocks on their recent run in the Elite 8! He attained an MA in Education from Monmouth University. George started his teaching career at Avon Elementary School and then went on to the Ocean Township School System, where he taught for 35 years. Every day teaching was a joy for George, particularly when he was given the opportunity to focus exclusively on American history. He so enjoyed the lifelong friendships that he formed with his colleagues. He approached each day with the belief that every child would, with the right support, achieve his or her potential and infused that belief into his approach to education. Over the years, countless students would describe the positive impact George had had on their lives.
George’s passion for American history was matched by his love of sports. He coached freshman football for a decade in Ocean Township, participating in the Big Red machine that took the state championship in 1993.
He also brought his coaching commitment home, coaching baseball, soccer, swimming, and basketball for the Avon Recreation. George’s love of sports was not confined to coaching. He was an ardent fan of the NY Yankees and Green Bay Packers. The fall and winter seasons at the Christopher household revolved around the Packers schedule and George made sure that his family members were devoted “Cheeseheads.”
George had a deep commitment to his Catholic faith and a special devotion to the Blessed Mother. Throughout his life, this devotion would ground and sustain him and his family. George was a member of St, Catharine/St, Margaret Parish in Spring Lake, where he was a tireless volunteer and advocate for St. Catharine School.
George’s greatest joy was his family. He delighted in every day that he spent with them, showering them with love and support that were the wind beneath their wings. He married Mary Ann, the love of his life in 1980 and they went on the welcome four cherished children, John (Jack), Mary Catherine, Caroline and James. George eagerly welcomed their spouses, Megan and Ben, and was overjoyed with the role of Nonno as grandchildren, William, Charles, Theodore, Cecilia and Mary joined the family.
George’s cherished his extended family and the friends with whom he shared a treasure trove of memories: the Avon Band of Brothers, Sylvania Avenue beach circle, the New Years Eve crowd, his SCS community, the Fairfield dinner group, the Ocean Township educators and his Avon pals. He was so fond of the time he spent with all the folks at the Spring Lake Golf Club. He was committed to the Avon Fire Department, of which he was an exempt member.
George was predeceased by his beloved parents, George and Bena, and his adored sister, Lisa. He mourned the loss of newborn daughter, Elizabeth Christopher and sister in law, Ann Marie Lee.
He leaves behind his loving and devoted wife, Mary Ann, and cherished children, Jack and Megan Christopher of Avon, NJ, and Caroline and Ben Stenson of Avon, NJ, and Mary Catherine Christopher and James Christopher of Manhattan.
He will be missed by his loving and ever present brothers and sisters -in-law, William Lee of Wyckoff, James and Elizabeth Lee of Glen Rock, Elizabeth and Christopher Bache of Avon and Gene Neary of Avon. He will be remembered fondly by his aunts and uncles, faithful nieces and nephews, cousins and friends. Madison, his gentle Bernese Mountain Dog, misses her ever present companion.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to Avon First Aid Squad, P.O. Box 3, Avon-by-the-Sea, N.J. 07717, or to St. Catharine School (Sr. Margo Kavanaugh Scholarship Fund), 301 Second Avenue. Spring Lake, NJ 07762.
Visiting will be Wednesday from 4-8 p.m. at St. Margaret’s Church at Third and Ludlow Avenues, Spring Lake, NJ. A Funeral Mass will be offered Thursday, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Catharine's Church, Essex Ave. Spring Lake, N.J. Burial will follow in St. Anne Cemetery, Wall, N.J. For more information or to send condolences, please visit www.obrienfuneralhome.com.
We encourage you to share your most beloved memories of George here, so that the family and other loved ones can always see it. You can upload cherished photographs, or share your favorite stories, and can even comment on those shared by others.