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William H Tremayne

November 26, 1935 May 15, 2020
William H Tremayne
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Obituary for William H Tremayne

Bill Tremayne served his family, friends, faith, countless civic organizations, government leaders and was on many boards - he lived an extraordinary full life with much fulfillment and no regrets. Bill Tremayne, however, should be remembered not for his accomplishments and high-profile associations, but, for his character, integrity, and giving of himself in a deeply meaningful, quiet and selfless way. He was neither brash nor self-promoting, as he led his life with personal values such as honor, integrity, humility, and service.

Bill was born in Wilkes-Barre, and raised in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania to parents Dorothy (Davis) and Howard Tremayne. After graduating Wilkes University in 1957, Bill embarked on an extraordinary 36-year career at Prudential Financial. Starting as a young field auditor, he eagerly traveled the United States visiting branch offices and certifying financial records for the home office in Newark, NJ. The job brought him to 48 of the nation’s 50 states, but it was a single stop in Minneapolis that would change his life forever. There he met his soulmate and 62-year life partner, Lora Christensen (Somerset, NJ) - true love, they were married within 6 months. They were forever by each other’s side, significantly complementary, she vivacious and outgoing; he tranquil and thoughtful. The couple was blessed with 3 loving children, Cuyler and Lexine (Los Angeles, CA), Carter and Lisa (Red Bank, NJ) and Kerry (Tewksbury, NJ), seven cherished grandchildren, Brandon, Matthew, Nesi, Brycen, Sydney, Samantha and Avery; and four step-grandchildren, Elizabeth, Alec, Daniel and Caroline.

Bill’s professional and civic accomplishments are exhaustive and his impact immeasurable.
At Prudential, he rose to oversee the tax department, later switching gears to head up public affairs while he also chaired the Prudential Foundation. As a Senior Vice President, he was steadfast and reliable, and over time was entrusted with ever escalating responsibilities and challenges. He took great pride in representing Prudential to the highest degree possible, never more so than when he was dispatched for high profile public matters. He accomplished things in a quiet, “behind the scenes” supportive manner, inspiring people to become more than they ever thought they could be, and letting the spotlight and accolades fall on others.

As all who knew him, Bill was endowed with a burning passion for civic and community service. With no personal agenda, a duty to help his fellow man and improve society was innate. In New Jersey, Bill was called upon and appointed by 3 former governors, Messrs. Byrne, Florio and Kean to address challenges in the state of New Jersey via the NJ Taxpayers Association, the Capital Needs Commission, Newark School System Study, NJ Economic Advisory Committee and in 1988 he was tapped to chair the NJ Highway Authority. He was a trusted inside staff member for 2 New Jersey gubernatorial runs. In 1977, Bill became the Treasurer of the Bateman for Governor Committee. In 1981, Bill served on the Kean for Governor Committee. Following that successful election, he served on Kean’s transition team as Director of the Treasury and Budget team.

At the federal level, in 1982, Bill helped lead the Grace Commission Defense department audit team for Johnson & Johnson/Prudential under President Ronald Reagan and was on the board of Business Executives for National Security. Locally, he was President of the Piscataway Board of Education and founding director and former chair of the New Brunswick Development Corporation (DEVCO), an instrumental entity driving the ongoing 25-year modernization of downtown New Brunswick. Other boards that Bill dedicated his time to were those of Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, Wilkes University, the RBA Group, New Jersey Council of Churches, Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey, Raritan Valley Country Club, and the New Brunswick Cultural Center. In 1996, Bill founded and was named President and CEO of HINJ, the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey, where he served in that capacity until 2001, when he retired and turned over leadership of HINJ to Bob Franks.

A man of deep faith, Bill was a 57-year member of the Christ United Methodist Church in Piscataway. Over that time, he was a lay leader, board of trustee’s member, an ardent fundraiser and trusted advisor to many pastors. Philanthropically, Bill and Lora have given generously to the causes that they are most passionate about. Top on their list are Christ United Methodist Church, Wilkes University, George Street Playhouse, and the new NJ Performing Arts Center in New Brunswick (envisioned by Bill while serving on the DEVCO board).

Bill loved bird watching in his earlier years, and he was a member of the Audubon Society of NJ. He banded eagles and hawks in Pennsylvania and his most memorable trip was to the remote Aleutian Islands in Alaska - “closer to Russia than NJ” he would say. Bill loved golf anytime and anywhere. He played at his home course of Raritan Valley Country Club all the way to Ireland and countless boondoggle golf trips domestically. He enjoyed golfing with friends, children and grandchildren. One of his favorite places was La Quinta, California, where Bill and Lora had a second home, often spending winters with family and friends, and of course golfing.

He was a voracious reader, loved chess, bridge, scrabble, tennis, and simply looking at nature out of his big bay windows at home. He loved dining out, traveled all over the US and the world with his wife and their closest friends. Most of all, he enjoyed entertaining at home, with family and a constant stream of friends. He was a barbecuer, bartender, gardener and whatever his loving wife Lora put him up to, always with a smile and without complaint. Lora and he were quite the pair for 62 years, always together, eminently complementary. Bill will miss his Lora more than anything - she was his everything.

Lora and family have such immense gratitude and appreciation to the incomparable staff of professionals working at Parker of River Road where Bill spent the last year. It wasn’t the tasks done, but the tender genuine care and love they showed Bill that will never be forgotten. During Bill’s last several years, his dear friend Dr Abel Moreyra also provided unparalleled guidance to Bill and family who were navigating difficult health care options and decisions.

Bill was predeceased by his younger siblings, brother Ron and sister Marilyn, as well as by his loving grandson Brandon.

A celebration of life will take place at a later date.

In lieu of any flowers or gifts, please consider donating to Christ United Methodist Church in Piscataway, in Bill’s honor.

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