Assumption Regional principal remembered as 'dedicated, inspirational'
R.J. LIBERATORE Jr. Staff Write
GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP — Former Assumption Regional Catholic School Principal Mary Ellen Schurtz, who died Monday, was remembered for her dedication to education. She was 65.
“The school was her life,” said Cathryn Flammer, Assumption’s advancement director. “She was very committed to what she was doing.”
Flammer described her as “dedicated, inspirational, a strong woman.”
A memorial gathering for Schurtz is scheduled for 8 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday before an 11 a.m. burial Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish Church of the Assumption, 146 S. Pitney Road.
Schurtz was born in Philadelphia to Frank and Eleanor Roken. She received her bachelor’s degree from LaSalle College and a master’s degree from Rowan University, according to her obituary.
She married Thomas Schurtz on June 1, 1974, and moved to Woodbridge, Middlesex County, so she could teach at St. Agnes School in Clark, Union County.
The couple moved to Galloway in 1984. Schurtz began her 26-year career at Assumption in 1991 as a teacher, according to her obituary.
Schurtz was an active member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, where she also served as a minister.
For new Assumption Principal Joan Dollinger, the news of Schurtz’s death brought back memories.
“We first met in the 1990s, when she was a teacher at Assumption,” Dollinger said. “She was very passionate about the ministry of a Catholic education. That showed in everything she did. It was in her relationships with the children, the parents and the staff.”
Dollinger replaced Schurtz at Assumption this summer.
Dollinger said several hundred students, parents and friends gathered Wednesday at the school for a prayer service “to remember her and celebrate her life.” She said it was a moving evening.
“It was just such a testimony to the woman she was,” Dollinger said.
Assumption Regional Catholic School has established a scholarship in Schurtz’s name. It will provide student tuition assistance to one student annually. The recipient will be selected by the Schurtz family.
The family asked for donations to the Mary Ellen Schurtz Memorial Fund at Assumption Regional Catholic School instead of flowers.
Arrangements were conducted by Wimberg Funeral Home, 211 E. Great Creek Road, Galloway, 609-641-0001. For condolences or directions, visit wimbergfuneralhome.com.
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