This will be the first year that the Jersey City Reservoir Preservation Alliance (JCRPA) has been without our beloved long-time Board Member, one of our founders, and wonderful friend Vincent McNamara, known to many as Vinny.
Vinny passed away peacefully on December 7, 2018. We shared his obituary and information about his wake that month, but we did not say much else out of respect for the family and our own deep sadness as the loss of such a tremendous man. We were especially touched by the numerous family and friends who took the time and energy from their own grieving to reach out to us and to donate in his name.
Vinny was more than a highly active part of the JCRPA, he was a part of the Reservoir itself. He could be counted on as a predictable fixture at the site greeting visitors, teaching children about safely enjoying nature, spreading word about our needs and caring for the property. He was our go-to person for anything that needed brought to the attention of the City. He cut through red tape, he would contact various City Departments and employees as many times as necessary - Vinny knew how to to get things done. For a retired man, he sure did a lot of work!
He wasn’t just great in his work ethic either. His astute understanding of local politics made him a great strategist when we were battling to save the site. He was the voice of reason at many of our Board meetings. He was an excellent, nonjudgmental listener. If there was something new he was exposed to, he took great effort to learn about it. With his kindness and humility, he inspired everyone around him to do better and be better. He was supportive of inclusivity and equity and would stand up for you if you were in need of support. We could all learn from Vinny, and we should all continue to.
Next time you’re in the Reservoir or passing the Red Gate (his go-to spot), we ask that you remember this great man and the legacy he has left for us in the form of natural beauty.