William Himelman, 85, of Lincroft, passed away on Wednesday, January 25 at the age of 85 after a brief illness. Known to all as “Bill” or “the Judge,” he was born in Brooklyn, New York, and moved to Belmar with his family in 1935.
He excelled both academically and athletically at Asbury Park High School, having earned many honors including “most likely to succeed” and “most popular” by his peers. As a standout athlete, he helped lead his football team to the Central Jersey Football Championship in 1949 and was selected to the All State Football team. Having been offered numerous scholarships to various colleges, Bill elected to attend Vanderbilt University. During the Korean War, he enlisted in the United States Marines and attained the rank of second lieutenant. He completed his studies at Albright College and went on to attend Rutgers School of Law where he was president of his class. In 1957, he was sworn in as a member of the New Jersey State Bar and was a successful attorney practicing law for nearly 60 years in Red Bank.
In 1956, Bill married Joan Ganzell, who was the love of his life. They had two children, Daniel and Carla, whom they adored. Bill and Joan enjoyed life to its fullest extent, traveling to over 80 countries. Joan passed away on May 30, 2016 just two weeks shy of their 60th wedding anniversary. Bill was a devoted husband and cared for his ailing wife until her death. Theirs was the truest love, the strongest bond.
Bill was involved in local and national politics, and campaigned for many local and national democratic candidates over the years. He served as the New Jersey State Commissioner of Elections upon his appointment by Governor Richard Hughes and served as the Campaign Manager for Governor Robert Meyner. Bill ran for New Jersey State Senate in 1971. He was also the Chairman of the Democratic Party of Middletown Township, and served as the Township Attorney of Shrewsbury and Planning Board Attorney of Middletown.
Bill is most known and respected for being the longest serving Municipal Court Judge in the State of New Jersey, having been continuously on the bench for 38 years as the Municipal Court Judge of the Borough of Red Bank from 1978-2017. He was also the Municipal Court Judge in both Little Silver and Keansburg. Bill was a highly regarded Jurist, as in life, he treated everyone with respect and touched many lives.
Bill’s greatest pleasure in life was spending time with his beloved family. He was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. He also loved to golf. His physical wellbeing and love of the gym helped to keep him happy, healthy and maintain the vigor he had until his last days.
Bill was a kind, generous and compassionate man who truly cared about the welfare of others. He wanted to know your name, and learn about your life. For him, it was nice to be important, but more important to be nice. With his caring smile and natural charm, Bill was an inspiration of positivity and optimism to those who knew him.
Bill was predeceased by his wife, Joan; and grandson, Matthew. He is survived by his son, Daniel Himelman, Esq. of Atlantic Highlands; his daughter, Carla Campbell and her husband Tom Campbell of Allentown, Pennsylvania; his five grandchildren, Samantha Himelman, Esq. and her husband Seth Niedermayer, Esq. of Manhattan, New York, Eric Himelman and his wife Lisa of Red Bank, Dr. Jessica Himelman of Manhattan, New York, Stephen Campbell of Manhattan, New York, and Robert Campbell of Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Bloomfield Cooper Jewish Chapel, Ocean, was in charge of arrangements. Memorial donations may be made in honor of Judge William Himelman to Memorial Sloan Kettering for Melanoma Research.
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