Friday, February 20, 2009

In Memoriam

Tracy's mother Joyce wrote Tracy's obituary. It follows below with information about the memorial services, and a request in lieu of flowers.

It's been clear that your words and prayers have meant the world to Tracy and to her family.

- Sarah

RARITAN TOWNSHIP, NJ - Tracy Pleva Hill, age 41 years, of Flemington, NJ, passed from this life on Friday, February 20, 2009, wrapped in the loving arms of her family after an eight-year warrior's battle with breast cancer.

Tracy is survived by her loving husband, Jeff and adored son, Jason; her parents, Joyce and Ted Pleva of Somers, NY; her sisters and brothers-in-law, Liza and Mark Donoghue of Wappingers Falls, NY, Katie and Matt Wineman of Woodbine, MD, and Jamie Pleva of Somers, NY; her grandmother, Geraldine Maday; her mother-in-law, Peggy Hill of Greensboro, NC; and a sister-in-law, Cindy and husband Wendell Roth of Greensboro, NC.

She was a loving aunt to Lily and Rowan Donoghue, Jack and Nathan Wineman, and Pete and Alexis Roth.

She was pre-deceased by her father-in-law, William Alfred Hill.

Tracy was an advocate for the Young Survival Coalition (YSC), an organization dedicated to young women with breast cancer. Tracy was featured in two of their videos, "Fighting For Our Future" and "The Beautiful Eight".

Tracy deeply touched all who knew her with her wit, beauty, and inspirational spirit. Her one desire was to do the Chicken Dance with Jason on his wedding day.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. in St. Magdalen Church, 105 Mine Street, Flemington, NJ under the direction of the Holcombe-Fisher Funeral Home, 147 Main Street, Flemington, NJ. Interment will be private. Calling hours will be Monday from 2:00-4:00 and 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the funeral home. Please visit for further information or to send condolences.

Per Tracy's request, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Jason Hill College Scholarship Fund, c/o TD Bank, attn: Mr. Harrie Copeland, 1 Royal Road, Flemington, NJ 08822.


LoisScott said...

Dear Jeff,
Buddy and I are so sad for your loss of Tracy. I read quite a bit of her (and your)blog, thanks to Denise who told me how to find it. I was sorry I didn't know your beautiful and spirited wife.
Please know our thoughts are with you.
Love, Lois (Scott), Closter

Pamela McDonald-Frank said...

Dear Jeff,

You never met me, but I knew Tracy from High School. I just learned of her passing and my heart is just breaking for you and your son and Tracy. I know your loss is so unfair and no words that anyone can ever say can take away the hurt. I will pray for all of you to find the strength you need to begin to heal.

I remember Tracy as fun loving and always nice to everyone. She will be truly missed.

With deepest sympathy,
Pamela McDonald-Frank
Simi Valley, California

Anonymous said...

Dear Jeff, Jason, Joyce, Ted and Pleva sisters,

I have never been on Tracy's blog until yesterday but I could not stop thinking of her and found myself typing her name...

I have learned alot about the true measure of love and loyality by being a part of your lives for the past months.

Joyce with her gentle touch and encouraging words and Ted with his sense of humor that made you laugh just when you needed it most (and of course his amazing desserts!)...the perfect sugar rush in the middle of our shift!

Pleva sisters you are each beautiful in your own way and your love for Tracy was strong and that did not die with her...that will be forever with her and with you.

Jeff you were really the pillar of strength that tracy held onto and you could see it in her eyes every time she looked at you. And to Jason...I've never seen your mom as happy as when you came and held her hand. Your mom was so proud of you.

We shared a toast for Tracy at my home last night. I will never forget you all.

May the raindrops fall lightly upon your brow
May the soft winds freshen your spirit
May the sunshine brighten your heart
May the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you
And may god enfold you in the mantle of his love

God Bless you all

Anonymous said...

Dear Jeff, Jason, Liza, Katie, Jamie, Joyce & Ted,

I was friends with Tracy during our days together at Somers High School. In recent months I learned of Tracy's battle having reconnected with Somers folks on Facebook. I have been following the blog and have kept Tracy and you all in my thoughts and prayers since that time.

When I think of Tracy every memory includes a lot of laughter. Whether it was singing Pat Benetar at the top of our lungs on the bus on the way to a track meet, or getting busted by Coach Gilberti for sneaking off to get a snack before a race, whenever I spent time with Tracy I always felt a little bit cooler, a bit more of an adventurer. She had a way of bringing out the inner rock star in all of us.

I just wanted to say that she will be remembered and she will be missed.

With much love and
deepest sympathy,
Michele Maglione
Brooklyn, NY

Marge & Joe Strempel Sr. said...

Dear Jeff

Jeff we are so sorry to hear of the passing of Tracy. Tracy was a long time friend of our son Joey.
She was in his wedding and has kept in touch with us through her tough battle. She was a beautiful person and will truly be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your beautiful son Jason.I have been following your blog and am amazed at the strength you found to write it so beautifully.
Love Marge & Joe Strempel Sr.

Michele Gaffney said...

Dear Jeff and Jason,

I am truly beside myself and at a loss of what to say to express how saddened I am to hear that Tracy has passed away. She was such an amazing person. She made an impact on my life from the day we met and has been with me all of these years. She will continue to inspire me forever. I’m sure no one can think of her without feeling her enthusiasm and strength.

What’s written next is everything that has been going through my head for some time now. I was hesitant to post it before and was glad when you asked people to post stories about Tracy. I may not have known Tracy for as long or as well as many of her friends, but from the day we met I knew we’d be friends and I knew how special she was.

For everyone reading who doesn’t know, Tom and I met Jeff and Tracy at a Bradley Birthing Class. It was a great group, with a great instructor, Vicki, and for the months preceding the birth of our children we met weekly to talk about our expectations of childbirth and everything we were about to go through. There were only a few couples in the group (four, I believe) and we shared one of the most important and intimate experiences of our lives with each other. Tracy was so much fun and so vibrant. We all shared so much more than a bunch of information about labor and delivery. Over the course of those ten weeks we learned about each other and about ourselves and we grew together. It was a very special time in our lives filled with lots of laughter and wonderful memories.

I remember the first meeting Tracy came to after she gave birth to Jason. She recounted her birth story and we all were so proud of the two of you. Jeff, I remember how you took charge and spoke up for Tracy in the hospital and we all hoped that our husbands would do the same for us when we were going through childbirth. You and Tracy were both amazing in your strength, love, and support for each other.

I also remember our experiences that first year, having our new little boys to care for. Sharing stories of nursing and sleep deprivation and all those fun things we go through during that first crazy year. I remember how she found a recording of A Child’s Gift of Lullabies and how she bought one for each of us because she thought the songs were so beautiful that they made her cry. I listened to those songs and I cried too. I remember when my son got sick, she was one of the first moms who took notice and had Jason tested for lead. Most of the moms I know didn’t take it as seriously, but she was concerned for him (and for us) and did what she could to make sure Jason was ok. I remember when she thought she felt a lump in her breast and how her doctors told her that her breasts would feel strange while she was nursing; that she was too young to worry about cancer. I remember how long it took for them to take notice and how pissed off Tracy was and how hard she planned to fight. I remember when she took up kickboxing and she was so strong and in control. I was so amazed by her ability to stay strong and keep it all together. I remember being so proud of her for being part of the YSC and making such an effort to help other women stay strong.

I remember seeing her at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and how she joked about her new hair that was growing in. We had a really good laugh that day. Every time I picture her in my head, that’s how I see her. Laughing and joking no matter what we were talking about. She knew how to keep a smile on her face. I’m sure there were days when she wasn’t able to smile and joke so much about her cancer, but the fact that she could face it was such a positive attitude is what, I’m sure, kept her going all these years. I remember how she vowed to be here for Jason’s wedding day, and although she will not be here in person to dance at his wedding, she kept herself here long enough for him to know her, to know what kind of person she was and, I’m sure, to know what kind of person she hopes he will be. It hasn’t been lost on me, having a son the same age as Jason, living through this along side of her and praying each day that she would be able to spend more time with the two of you. I’m so, so sorry it could not have been longer but I’m glad Jason was able to get to know his mom and I know that you will bring her great spirit to him. I know I can’t begin to know what it is like to be in your shoes, but I hope that you will soon be able to find some peace in all of this. You have been an amazing husband and wonderful friend to her and to all of us to stay in touch and keep us all in touch with Tracy and you and Jason even through the hardest of times. You will always be in my thoughts and prayers.

With much love and respect, and our sincerest condolences to Tracy's entire family, Michele, Tom, Matthew, Dominick and Sophia.


Anonymous said...

Tracy sang Mozart's Requiem mass along with the SHS chorus in 1985. Since I can not be at her funeral, I will be saying good bye by listenning to the Requiem and remembering... My heart goes out to you and your family. May you find peace. And for Tracy... Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Grant her eternal rest, Lord, and let perpetual light shine on her.
Tracy (& Brian) Withers