POMPTON LAKES, N.J. -- Sam Ciervo of Pompton Lakes died unexpectedly on Jan. 25. He was 63.
A pillar of his community, he was a passionate, respected English teacher for 25 years at his alma mater, Pompton Lakes High School (PLHS). He taught legions of students the difference between “good” and “well,” and inspired many to become teachers.
While his deep humility meant downplaying his own accomplishments, he earned many accolades including Teacher of the Year (twice, a rarity) and Coach of the Year by his peers from the N.J.I.F.A. Most important to him was the respect he earned from students, parents, colleagues, coaches and peers.
He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Joanne, his beloved daughters, Clare and Emily, his sisters, Vikki and Rose, his nieces, Cailin and Keri, and his loving extended family and circle of friends. These people experienced his greatest gift: unrelenting devotion to his loved ones.
Always present and helping, often before he was asked, he was a companion by the bedside in hospitals, an on-call family repair man, a supporter at every event for his children, and a daily presence in his parents’ lives.
Friends are invited to visit with the family on Sunday, Jan. 29 from 2-5 p.m. at Vander May Wayne Colonial Funeral Home, 567 Ratzer Road, Wayne. A service will begin at 5 p.m., including eulogies and a joyful celebration of his life.
As a tribute to his legacy, his family intends to create a memory book. They would like to include friends' and students' stories and fond memories.
“Mr. Ciervo” certainly touched many lives as a teacher, a coach, and a friend, and all invited to write down a special story and bring it to the funeral home on Sunday where they will be collected and given to the family.
In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated to the “Sam Ciervo Memorial Scholarship Fund,” care of PLHS, 44 Lakeside Ave., Pompton Lakes, NJ 07442.