Jean Rotanelli of Manchester, NJ passed away peacefully on January 26, 2021 at Riverview Medical Center surrounded by her family after a long and incredibly courageous battle with cancer. She was an inspiration to all who knew her.
Jean was born on October 5, 1936 and raised in the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx, attending Christopher Columbus High School. She went on to earn her undergraduate degree from the College of New Rochelle while attending evening classes after work, highly unusual for a woman in those days. Jean went on to earn the American Institute of Banking “Banking for Professionals” Certificate from what is now the PACE University Graduate Program. She leveraged her educational background into a distinguished career at J.P. Morgan and its predecessor companies, serving for over 30 years as a Credit Officer for Money Market Trading Operations & Derivatives.
Jean’s greatest passion was her family, starting with Ronald, her beloved husband and closest friend of more than 68 years. Jean and Ron married in 1957 after waiting almost two years for Ron to return from active duty during the Korean War. Jean and Ron settled in River Vale, NJ and started a family, first daughter Lynne Rotanelli Ward who currently resides in Rumson, NJ with her husband Hugh and shortly thereafter son Ronald Jr. who lives in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. They enjoyed many decades of happiness in that expanded ranch home on River Vale Road with their wonderful neighbors. When it was time to downsize, Jean and Ron became snowbirds, splitting their time between homes in Manchester, NJ and Stuart, FL.
Jean’s proudest achievement may be her two grandchildren, Kyle and Madison Ward of Rumson, NJ who will both be forever inspired by her strength and wisdom.
Jean had a keen intellect and varied interests, although many of them involved helping people and animals. She was a Big Sister for many years for an at-risk young lady through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. She was a passionate dog lover and had many loving animals throughout her lifetime. Jean was a voracious reader and loved to do crossword puzzles, especially the challenging New York Times version. She was an amazing cook and homemaker and always had an eye for home décor and fashion and absolutely anything at all that was “on sale”.
Jean was predeceased by her parents, her father Charles Irace and her mother Fay Irace, another strong woman who passed away several years ago at the ripe age of 102. Jean was also predeceased by her only sibling, younger sister Marlene Irace Henning, formerly of Nanuet, N.Y.
In lieu of flowers, please send any donations in Jean’s memory to the Monmouth County SPCA or to the Riverview Medical Center Foundation, where she was very well taken care of during her final days.
A celebration of Jean’s life will take place in several months once the severity of the current COVID pandemic hopefully dissipates.