William (Bill) J. Eyres, Sr., 81, of Colts Neck, died peacefully on Thursday, August 3 in Red Bank after a brief illness. Bill was born in Newark to Irish immigrants, Patrick and Ann (Murphy) Eyres. A true “Jersey Boy,” he attended St. Ann’s Grammar School, Seton Hall Prep (class of 1954) and Seton Hall University (class of 1958). While in college, he married his sweetheart, Carol Hedenburg, started his family and worked three jobs to support his family and put himself through college. Who said it couldn’t be done! One of his jobs, working for Avis Rent A Car at Newark Airport, turned into his career and family business. He purchased an Avis Rent A Car franchise for central New Jersey and the Jersey Shore in 1960 which he operated until recently.
He carried the Avis, “We try harder,” spirit into everything he did and worked to improve life for those around him. He served as treasurer for Congressman Jim Howard, on the Board of Regents for Seton Hall University as the athletic chairman during their Final Four run, on the Board of Trustees for the Boys and Girls Club of Newark and for the Avis Advertising and Policy Committee. He served in the Army Reserves and was honorably discharged as a first lieutenant. He is a member of the Seton Hall “Hall of Fame” for his “armchair” support of the Seton Hall Basketball Program and a recipient of the Most Distinguished Alumnus award.
Bill’s life revolved around his family, his friends, his car rental business and Seton Hall. No matter what happened, good or bad, he lived by his motto “We’re all in this together.” A life well-lived by a man who loved and was loved.
He was predeceaed by his wife, Carol; his parents, Patrick and Ann Eyres; and his three sisters, Mazie Bartholomew, Margaret Bien and Rose Eyres. Bill is survived by his four children and their spouses, Maureen (Michael) Staub, Ruth (Newt) Hausmann, Bill (Erica) Eyres and Kevin (Nannette) Eyres; nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; a sister, Janet Quinn; a sister-in-law, Linda (Tom) Daly; several nieces, nephews, cousins; and Gela Champuridze, his caregiver who added 7-and-a-half years to his life.
Higgins Memorial Home, Freehold, was in charge of arrangements. Memorial donations may be made to the Pirate Blue Athletic Fund. Gifts in memory of Bill Eyres can be mailed to Pirate Blue Athletic Fund 400 South Orange Ave. South Orange, NJ 07079.
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