Cynthia Reimer remembered as ‘good disciple’ who wanted best for her school

April 1, 2024 at 1:22 p.m.

By Mary Stadnyk | Associate Editor and Rose O'Connor | Digital and Social Media Manager

   Cynthia Reimer


A banner displayed during the funeral Mass of Cynthia Reimer told much of the story of the beloved principal of St. Rose of Lima School in Freehold.

Adorned with more than 100 construction paper flowers, each carrying heartfelt sentiments from those whose lives she touched, the banner’s large letters read: “God’s Garden must be beautiful. He only takes the best.”

Ms. Reimer, whose death on March 17 followed a long illness, was held in prayer by the St. Rose community March 26 during a Mass of Christian Burial in the Freehold church. Father Jim Conover, pastor, was celebrant and homilist, speaking fondly of Ms. Reimer, who had served as principal since 2019.

“Ministering to others was so much a part of Cynthia’s life,” Father Conover said of the 64-year-old veteran educator.

He recalled her hospitality and her care for those in need, especially, “all the love that she shared for her family, her loved ones and friends and for the thousands of kids who were part of her life throughout her career as an educator.”

Father Conover shared with Ms. Reimer’s family and friends how she answered the call to discipleship.

“The life of a disciple is to be the emulation of Jesus himself. To emulate his loving care, his concern, his forgiveness, his understanding, his compassion, and Cynthia touched many lives in that way. She was a good disciple.

“So today, we enjoy knowing that our sister, Cynthia, is inheriting what was promised to her in Baptism and promised to her as a disciple of Jesus Christ, the inheritance of the kingdom of Heaven itself.”

Life spent in Catholic schools

Ms. Reimer attended Archdiocese of New York Catholic schools, beginning in her native Staten Island at The Academy of St. Dorothy and St. Joseph Hill Academy, and then attending Manhattan’s St. John’s University. She earned a master’s degree in administration and supervision from St. Peter’s University, Jersey City.

Taking up the mantle of educator in the borough in which she was raised, Ms. Reimer served for a year as teacher in Staten Island’s Blessed Sacrament School, then 13 more in Moore Catholic High School, where she also filled the roles of religious education chairwoman, director of development and director of student activities.

Ms. Reimer served as Catholic school principal within the Archdiocese of New York for 12 years, six in Monroe’s Sacred Heart School, six more in Sacred Heart School, Staten Island. Turning her sights toward New Jersey and the Diocese of Trenton, she was chosen as principal of Holy Innocents School and served for eight years until the school closed in June 2019.

In addition to her Catholic school career, Ms. Reimer also worked for several years at a women’s shelter in Staten Island, tutored students for the high school entrance exam and, most recently, wrote and edited educational content for various publishers. She served as an adjunct professor at Hudson County Community College, Jersey City, since 2006, teaching mathematics until her death.

Remembered for care, commitment

Dr. Vincent de Paul Schmidt, diocesan superintendent of Catholic schools, expressed his sympathies for the St. Rose School community, saying, “Anytime a school loses its leader, it can be tough to overcome.

“Cynthia’s primary focus everyday was St. Rose of Lima,” he said. “That is what made her illness so devastating on her. She didn’t want to think about herself or her condition, but rather she wanted to keep the focus on the school and its children.”

He continued, “Cynthia’s loss will have an impact on St. Rose of Lima School to be sure, but luckily she had provided firm footing on which the school can continue to grow and prosper,” Schmidt said.

Daniel O’Connell, assistant superintendent in the Department of Catholic Schools, happily recalled Ms. Reimer as a “delightful colleague” with a sharp wit and a contagious laugh.

Describing her as a “team player,” O’Connell said, “she often opened doors to her school to host many professional development sessions. She was always a gracious host.

“We were fortunate indeed when Cynthia left New York and came to the Diocese of Trenton,” he said.

Jordan, Riley, and Dani Struble, sisters and students at St. John Vianney High School, joined their father, Daniel Struble, the Student Assistant Counselor at the Holmdel school, in attending the funeral Mass of their former principal.

“She always treated us very nicely. She was very respectful,” freshman Jordan shared.

Their father, Daniel, remembered fondly how Ms. Reimer treated his daughters and their fellow students. “Cynthia was always looking out for the students. She was always caring and kind. She was a nice person, and she treated my family very well.”

Lisa Moore, who worked with Ms. Reimer in New York prior to her becoming the principal’s administrative assistant in Freehold, remembered Ms. Reimer’s vision for the school.

“She always put her faith first and saw to it that St. Rose of Lima was a mission-centered school,” Moore said. “She wanted St. Rose of Lima School to be the best it could be.”

Ms. Reimer was predeceased by her parents, Robert and Patricia (Simmons) Ms. Reimer, and her brother, Michael. She is survived by a sister and brother-in-law, a sister-in-law; six nieces and nephews; a great niece and a great nephew; a devoted friend, her godmother and many other friends.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Rose of Lima Catholic Education Trust, 16 McLean St., Freehold, N.J. 07728 or the St. Rose of Lima School PTA, 51 Lincoln Place, Freehold, N.J. 07728.





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   Cynthia Reimer


A banner displayed during the funeral Mass of Cynthia Reimer told much of the story of the beloved principal of St. Rose of Lima School in Freehold.

Adorned with more than 100 construction paper flowers, each carrying heartfelt sentiments from those whose lives she touched, the banner’s large letters read: “God’s Garden must be beautiful. He only takes the best.”

Ms. Reimer, whose death on March 17 followed a long illness, was held in prayer by the St. Rose community March 26 during a Mass of Christian Burial in the Freehold church. Father Jim Conover, pastor, was celebrant and homilist, speaking fondly of Ms. Reimer, who had served as principal since 2019.

“Ministering to others was so much a part of Cynthia’s life,” Father Conover said of the 64-year-old veteran educator.

He recalled her hospitality and her care for those in need, especially, “all the love that she shared for her family, her loved ones and friends and for the thousands of kids who were part of her life throughout her career as an educator.”

Father Conover shared with Ms. Reimer’s family and friends how she answered the call to discipleship.

“The life of a disciple is to be the emulation of Jesus himself. To emulate his loving care, his concern, his forgiveness, his understanding, his compassion, and Cynthia touched many lives in that way. She was a good disciple.

“So today, we enjoy knowing that our sister, Cynthia, is inheriting what was promised to her in Baptism and promised to her as a disciple of Jesus Christ, the inheritance of the kingdom of Heaven itself.”

Life spent in Catholic schools

Ms. Reimer attended Archdiocese of New York Catholic schools, beginning in her native Staten Island at The Academy of St. Dorothy and St. Joseph Hill Academy, and then attending Manhattan’s St. John’s University. She earned a master’s degree in administration and supervision from St. Peter’s University, Jersey City.

Taking up the mantle of educator in the borough in which she was raised, Ms. Reimer served for a year as teacher in Staten Island’s Blessed Sacrament School, then 13 more in Moore Catholic High School, where she also filled the roles of religious education chairwoman, director of development and director of student activities.

Ms. Reimer served as Catholic school principal within the Archdiocese of New York for 12 years, six in Monroe’s Sacred Heart School, six more in Sacred Heart School, Staten Island. Turning her sights toward New Jersey and the Diocese of Trenton, she was chosen as principal of Holy Innocents School and served for eight years until the school closed in June 2019.

In addition to her Catholic school career, Ms. Reimer also worked for several years at a women’s shelter in Staten Island, tutored students for the high school entrance exam and, most recently, wrote and edited educational content for various publishers. She served as an adjunct professor at Hudson County Community College, Jersey City, since 2006, teaching mathematics until her death.

Remembered for care, commitment

Dr. Vincent de Paul Schmidt, diocesan superintendent of Catholic schools, expressed his sympathies for the St. Rose School community, saying, “Anytime a school loses its leader, it can be tough to overcome.

“Cynthia’s primary focus everyday was St. Rose of Lima,” he said. “That is what made her illness so devastating on her. She didn’t want to think about herself or her condition, but rather she wanted to keep the focus on the school and its children.”

He continued, “Cynthia’s loss will have an impact on St. Rose of Lima School to be sure, but luckily she had provided firm footing on which the school can continue to grow and prosper,” Schmidt said.

Daniel O’Connell, assistant superintendent in the Department of Catholic Schools, happily recalled Ms. Reimer as a “delightful colleague” with a sharp wit and a contagious laugh.

Describing her as a “team player,” O’Connell said, “she often opened doors to her school to host many professional development sessions. She was always a gracious host.

“We were fortunate indeed when Cynthia left New York and came to the Diocese of Trenton,” he said.

Jordan, Riley, and Dani Struble, sisters and students at St. John Vianney High School, joined their father, Daniel Struble, the Student Assistant Counselor at the Holmdel school, in attending the funeral Mass of their former principal.

“She always treated us very nicely. She was very respectful,” freshman Jordan shared.

Their father, Daniel, remembered fondly how Ms. Reimer treated his daughters and their fellow students. “Cynthia was always looking out for the students. She was always caring and kind. She was a nice person, and she treated my family very well.”

Lisa Moore, who worked with Ms. Reimer in New York prior to her becoming the principal’s administrative assistant in Freehold, remembered Ms. Reimer’s vision for the school.

“She always put her faith first and saw to it that St. Rose of Lima was a mission-centered school,” Moore said. “She wanted St. Rose of Lima School to be the best it could be.”

Ms. Reimer was predeceased by her parents, Robert and Patricia (Simmons) Ms. Reimer, and her brother, Michael. She is survived by a sister and brother-in-law, a sister-in-law; six nieces and nephews; a great niece and a great nephew; a devoted friend, her godmother and many other friends.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Rose of Lima Catholic Education Trust, 16 McLean St., Freehold, N.J. 07728 or the St. Rose of Lima School PTA, 51 Lincoln Place, Freehold, N.J. 07728.




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