By Madison Clayton
Wall Township Public Schools lost a legend in December.
Mrs. Eva Applegate, who dedicated nearly 28 years to the Wall Township Board of Education, passed away on Dec. 30, at age 80. She had been hit by a car while crossing a street in Manasquan in early October and had been transported to Jersey Shore Medical Center in critical condition.
Mrs. Applegate was a woman who dedicated countless years to Wall High School, especially the music department. Even after her retirement from the Board of Education, she still continued to attend almost every concert and volunteered her time to help.
“It was always her mission to save the arts,” said Mrs. Ellen Hollander, a vocal and theater teacher at Wall.
Mrs. Applegate was a stalwart fixture of the music department, attending every concert and marching band performance. Due to her love and dedication to the arts, the Wall High School Theater was dedicated and renamed “The Eva Applegate Theater” in her honor in 2014. A special seat was even assigned to her so she had a good place to watch every performance.
“She always wanted to keep opportunity open for students to explore arts,” said Mr. Les Hollander, director of the music department at Wall.
Mrs. Applegate was always there to help out with instrument inventory, fitting band students for their uniforms and chaperoning the band on the buses to football games.
In addition to her helping out with the music department, Mrs. Applegate was a tireless volunteer on Project graduation for many years.
Mrs. Applegate’s dedication and time over her life led her to receive many honorable awards such as the Wall Township Community Relations Alliance Committee Volunteer Award, the New Jersey School Board Associate Milestone Award for 20 years of service, be inducted into the Wall Foundation for Educational Excellence Hall of Fame, earn an Honorary Lifetime Membership to the Tri-M Music Honor Society and the JFK Valor Award for her service to her community.
Mrs. Applegate is greatly missed by many of the Wall High School students and staff, but her love of the school and arts program will never be forgotten.