West Milford lost one of its most active volunteers Sunday when Charles “Chuck” Enering lost his battle with stomach cancer.
“Chuck was a well-known, passionate community volunteer who provided a lifetime of service and always gave his heart and soul to our community,” Mayor Michele Dale said Tuesday. “He was outgoing, friendly, and always a pleasure to be with. The loss Chuck will be felt across our township and by all who worked with him over his 30 years in West Milford.”
Enering, 64, died Feb. 24 at Morristown Medical Center after fighting the disease for the last several years.
He was one of the founders of the West Milford Presbyterian Church food pantry as well as being heavily involved in the church’s Boy Scout Troop 144 and Troop 44.
“I don’t judge people,” Enering said during a 2018 holiday season interview as volunteers brought bags of food to the pantry. “If someone comes for food, I give it to them.”
During that November 2018 interview, Enering said the pantry, which also works closely with a pantry at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, served an average of 30-40 families a month, sometimes going as high as 60.
“That’s a lot (of food),” Enering said.
Enering said the need, however, is there throughout the year and many people in the community may not truly understand hunger or homelessness in the township.
He said there are many people that are on hard times and try to keep to themselves and may not be seen around the township, but instead stay in the more rural areas.
Enering said at the time that he stayed away from publicizing the work he did so that those he helped would feel free to come to him for help.
He continued his volunteer work despite his illness.
He and his wife moved to Vernon late last year.
According to his obituary, Enering graduated from Bergen Technical High School in 1974, marrying Kathryn Moser in 1982, and raising two sons in West Milford.
Enering worked in advertising and printing throughout his career and specialized in large-scale print promotions for department and grocery stores, his obituary said.
Through Highland Printing, a business he founded, Enering used his talents to help small businesses, church groups and other community organizations.
He was also involved with the Lions Club, running its coat drive, food drive, and Health Fair.
Friends of the family set up a Gofundme page to help with expenses.
As of Tuesday afternoon, donors contributed $10,125 of a $15,000 goal.
A memorial service for Enering is scheduled for noon on March 7 at the Presbyterian Church on Union Valley Road.