Rosemary Drew, nee McNamara, age 87, of Toms River died on Thursday, January 11, 2019 at Community Medical Center, Toms River. Born in Jersey City, she lived in Hoboken before settling in Toms River in 1979.
Rosemary was a proud and supportive alum of St. Dominic's Academy. In many ways, she was ahead of her time. In an era when it was common for women to marry and begin families soon after high school, Rosemary instead completed an intense 3-year program at Holy Name School of Nursing, graduating with an RN degree. She enjoyed her independence and soon began a career in occupational health, working for The New York Times, CBS News, and Maxwell House.
Her love of travel and adventure inspired her to spend a summer working at a hospital in California after driving cross-country with her dear friends, and fellow nurses, Joan and Carol. Later, that same love of adventure led her to enlist with her 'partner in crime' Joan, in the Army Air National Guard Reserves, which took her through the US and Europe.
In 1964, she met and married Hoboken Detective, Walter Drew, and resigned her commission with the rank of Captain. In 1969, with the birth of her only child, Rosemary left the occupational health field to raise her daughter. Not one for being idle, she returned to work part-time as a Hudson County Visiting Nurse after her daughter entered grade school.
Upon moving to the shore, she first worked for Brisbane Child Treatment Center, and then at Ciba-Geigy until her retirement in 1997. In addition to travelling, she loved New York City, fine dining, and Broadway Theater. In her retirement, she participated at Open Arms and Harbor House charities, group and Gulls on the Go, a ladies group that sponsored monthly trips in the tri-state area. Her favorite way to pass the time, however, was caring for and spending time with her granddaughter, Vivian Rose.
She was predeceased by her husband Walter in 1996, her parents, Thomas and Rose (Kiernan), her brothers Thomas and Robert McNamara, and her aunt Marie. She is survived by her daughter, Melissa Drew and granddaughter, Vivian, of Island Heights; her step-son, Chris Drew and his wife Concetta of Cranford; her grandchildren, Ryan and Brianna; and her nephew, Robert McNamara, and lifelong friend, Joan McManus.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, April 13, 2019 11:00 AM at St. Gertrude's Mission Church, 103 Central Avenue, Island Heights, NJ.
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