Deacon James T Heller, 99, of Waretown died Friday May 14, 2021.
Born in Mount Holly, NJ, he lived in Linden and Rahway, NJ before moving to Waretown in 1980. While in Linden, Deacon Heller was active in the Church of St. John the Apostle. While in Rahway, he was active in the Church of St. Mary serving as a Lector, Eucharistic Minister, Hospital Team Ministry, Pre-Cana and on the Liturgy Committee. Upon moving to Waretown, he was accepted into the Diocese of Trenton Diaconate Formation Program and ordained May 12, 1984 by Bishop John C. Reiss and assigned to the Church of St. Mary, Barnegat. In June 1985, he transferred to the Church of St. Pius X, Forked River and served full-time ministry for twenty-two years. Besides the many Baptisms, Marriages and Funeral Services which are the norm for clergy, Deacon Jim had a calling to minister to the sick, the shut-in and the dying. At St. Pius X he served on the Advisory Board and was Chaplain to the Holy Name Society. Deacon Jim was spiritual caregiver to parishioners hospitalized at Southern Ocean County and Community Medical Center. He served as Chaplin at Lacey Nursing Center for Fifteen years and briefly at Spring Oak Assisted Living until leaving active ministry in 2006 for health reasons. A Mass and reception were held in 2007 in recognition of Deacon Heller’s official retirement. In recognition of his loyal and dedicated service to God’s people an Apostolic Papal Blessing was bestowed upon him by Pope Benedict the XVI. Before ordination, Deacon Heller spent thirty-Seven years in the book binding industry, employed by Quinn and Boden Co. Rahway, and Quinn Woodbine, Woodbine, NJ.
He was predeceased by parents Charles and Catherine Heller, wife Alice (nee) Harraden Heller, brother and sister-in-law Charles and Norma Heller, and sister Catherine Mackey. He leaves behind brother-in-law Morgan Mackey, Stuart, Florida; Daughter Nancy and Husband Lee Dunn, Hazlet; and Son James and wife Jane, Fair Haven. He is survived by grandson Eric and wife Jennifer Dunn and their son Tyler, Freehold Township; grandson Steve and wife Natalia Dunn and their daughter Milani, Toms River; granddaughter Alyson and husband Michael Schoeber and their daughter April, Los Angeles; and grandson Bryan and wife Courtney Heller and their daughter Hannah, Shrewsbury. Deacon Jim also leaves numerous nephews and nieces in both the Heller and Harraden families.
A favorite quote on life of Deacon Jim’s, “The race is not won necessarily by the fleetest foot or the strongest hand, rather, the resolute heart, the fixed effort, and the clear aim doth bring the racer to the tape, and try and try and trying still, all the racers win!”
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