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danny murphy 120Half of Monmouth County‚Äôs hearts were broken with the tragic loss of Stephanie Hogan and her boyfriend John.  I cannot imagine the pain of losing a son or daughter. I have known Tim and Eileen for eighteen years, loving parents and a strong addition to the Meridian, Riverview and Monmouth County.

I went to John Days Funeral home for the wake early knowing there would be a large turnout for their family.  I was about tenth in line as the doors opened at 4 pm.  I was stunned by the incredible dignity of Tim his wife and family as they received grieving friends and family.  Stephanie was beautiful as if sleeping.  As I gave Tim and Eileen a hug I told them they were made of steel for their dignity they were showing.  As I left there already was a line out to the street and continued until 10 pm the night

The funeral at St James the next day the church was filled by 9:30.  The family arrived at 10 and after a short wait Monsignor Phillip Lowery came out to the alter.  Stephanie went to Red Bank Catholic and was well known to the Monsignor.  As he started down the aisle past me he looked up at the family and slowly shook his head once from side to side with a sense of resignation. 

Tim delivered a loving eulogy for his daughter still showing dignity held throughout last two days.  Pain and tears followed everyone out of the church and to St Olive.  Tim and family and a hundred friends said goodbye to Stephanie, a hundred flowers covered the casket as we left.

It was a tragic motor cycle and car accident that caused the loss to everyone.  There is no real blame to be put on this as we have lost two great people and a 17 years old girl will be living with this accident for years to come.  Everyone lost and love dignity and steel were weaved together by this great family.