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A Holmdel Historian, Gerald Ceres, Dies at 89

Ceres' legacy includes a a popular pictoral book on Holmdel history and the preservation of Dr. Cooke's Medical Office in Holmdel Village.

Holmdel's historian, Gerald V. Ceres, died Thursday, at Sunrise in Lincroft.

One of his lasting contributions to Holmdel in his decade-long role as the President of the Holmdel Historical Society was his early and steadfast effort to save the unique Dr. Cooke’s Medical Office, next to the Village Elementary School on McCampbell Road, from demolition. In 2011, it was added to the National Registry of Historic Places, and it has since opened for scheduled tours.  

Ceres also curated and wrote a pictoral book on Holmdel called "Images of America:Holmdel and Pleasant Valley," published by Arcadia in 1996. It is still sold through the Society. 

"People will enjoy the endless hours that he gave to the history of the town for many years to come," said George Joynson, the current president of the Society. "His book is a great source of information on the town and its history."

Mayor Patrick Impreveduto offered his condolences to the family. "His contribution to Holmdel will always be remembered," he said. 

Born in Perth Amboy, Ceres was a longtime resident of Holmdel since 1964.

Jerry was a U.S. Army veteran of WWII and received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University.

He worked at Fort Monmouth Signal Corp Laboratories as division chief of the Communication Security Division until his retirement in 1978.

Subsequently, he operated a nursery at his Holmdel farm until the early 1990's.

One of his late contributions to Holmdel was the relocation and restoration of Dr. Cooke's office now residing at the Village School property.


He is predeceased by his sister, Grace Barklow; and grandson, Gerald V. Ceres III. Jerry is survived by his wife, Rita of 61 years; and by his sister, Mildred Lipton from Brooklyn, NY. He is survived by 3 sons, Gerald V. Ceres Jr. and wife Bonnie of Colts Neck, Mark V. Ceres and wife Mary of Clinton, and Bruce V. Ceres of Lincroft; and 2 daughters, Lisa Catapano and husband Steven of Toms River, and Cindy Cutrona and husband Marc of Hazlet; and 5 grandchildren, Brian, Katlin, Kimberly, Kristina and Marc Jr.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend his visitation from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23 at the Holmdel Funeral Home, 26 South Holmdel Road, Holmdel.

A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 24 in the funeral home.

Interment will be in Holmdel Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations in his name to the Holmdel Historical Society, P.O. Box 282, Holmdel, NJ 07733 or to Purrfect Cat Catchers, checks payable to JBPCC, P.O. Box 143, Morganville, NJ 07751.

For directions or to send an online condolence to the family, please visit www.holmdelfuneralhome.com.

ANA R September 21, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Our condolences to the family..
resident September 21, 2012 at 01:26 PM
So many of Holmdel's historic building have been lost over the years but thanks to the efforts of Mr. Ceres Dr. Cooke's Office was saved. The citizens of Holmdel owe him a debt of gratitude. Deepest sympathy to the family.
Diane McCarty September 21, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Gerry was a wonderful man. I worked with him. I loved to hear his stories. He loved Holmdel and it's history and he loved his family. May he rest in peace. My condolences to the Ceres family.
Carol Beckenstein September 22, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Gerry was a fine man; it was a privilege to know him. Sympathies to his family on the loss of this Holmdel treasure.

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