Erika Joy Steinbauer
Erika Joy (Holmstrup) Steinbauer, 64, of Ocean Grove, NJ passed away on Monday, March 3, 2014, after bravely fighting cancer for more than 22 years. Born in Staten Island, NY and raised in the Radburn section of Fair Lawn, she made Glen Rock her home for thirty years before moving to the Shore seven years ago. Erika held a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education/Sociology from Muskingum College in New Concord, OH, a Master’s in Special Education/English as a Second Language from William Paterson College in Wayne, NJ, and a Principal Certification from Teacher’s College at Columbia University. She was an active member of the Community Church of Glen Rock for many years.
Erika is survived by her children John Edward, 39, and wife Laura of Colorado, Erik August, 35, of Nevada and Lindsay Joy, 32, of Colorado, as well as her grandson Charlie, 17 months, of Colorado, brother Rob and wife Karen of Pennsylvania, and sister Jan of New Jersey. She is the beloved daughter of Joy (Cashel) and the late Roy Holmstrup.
Her long and distinguished career in education spanned over thirty years and included honors such as being named the NJ National Distinguished Principal in 1995 and serving on both the Bergen County Association of School Administrators and NJASA. She began her career with the Borough of Ho-Ho-Kus as an Elementary/Special Education Teacher. Her twenty-seven years with the River Edge Board of Education included serving as a Basic Skills Teacher, Staff Development Coordinator, Principal, and ultimately serving as Superintendent of the district for 9 years until her retirement in July of 2010. In 1998, under her direction as Principal, Cherry Hill School of River Edge was nationally recognized for its excellence by being named a Blue Ribbon School. River Edge and her profession became a second home and another family to her throughout the years. She gained a great sense of love and communal purpose in surrounding herself with fellow educators and working towards educational goals that she believed in.
Erika loved the ocean. From her childhood days at Point Pleasant, to her retirement years spent in Ocean Grove, and all the beaches in between, she found great calm and peace spending her time with friends and family by the rolling waves and under the warm sun. It was near the ocean, and surrounded by family, that she spent her final moments.
A funeral service is planned for Monday, March 10, 2014, 10 AM at Vander Plaat-Caggiano Funeral Home, 13-31 Saddle River Road, Fair Lawn, NJ, 201-797-3500. Cremation will be private. The family will receive relatives and friends Sunday, March 9 from 3-6 PM at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Erika may be made to the Building Bridges Program at New Bridge Center (checks may be made payable to the River Edge Board of Education), 410 Bogert Road, River Edge, NJ 07661 and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, 785 Springfield Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901.
Dear John, Erik, and Lindsay,
May God Bless you abundantly at this most difficult time. Your Mom was very special. She was a great role model in so many ways. Though we will miss her, she will be in our hearts forever. You will all be in our thoughts and prayers. Love to Laura and Charlie ! Love always, Theresa &John
We are so sorry to hear the sad news. Our oldest daughter Brittani started her education at St. Peters for pre-K and then full-day kindergarten (Cherry Hill was only half day at that time). After three years, in 1995, we struggled with the decision to switch to public school for her 1st grade. Erika invited us to Cherry Hill and personally gave us an extensive tour and introduction to the school system. She spent so much time with us, made us feel completely comfortable; and the decision to switch to Erika’s "home" was immediately obvious. We had the privilege to have two children attend Cherry Hill and were satisfied every day and could see Erika's positive influence everywhere. The Blue Ribbon status was certainly a highlight and reflected her commitment to excellence. We remember our eleven years at Cherry Hill as the happiest time of our lives, thanks to Erika. We will miss her, but please know that her influence on our family will live on for generations to come. With sincerest condolences - Al, Edie, Brittani & Demi Maglio.
The passing of one of our dearest friends
Dear Family and Friends of Erika Joy, Much love and sympathy on the loss of your mother, daughter, sister, grandmother, friend and colleague. I look forward to celebrating her beautiful life with all of you on Monday!
May our God comfort you and give you peace, Dorothy VanderWerf
Jan, I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.