Mary Ellen Rustum
Mary Ellen Rustum
Mary Ellen Rustum
Mary Ellen Rustum
Mary Ellen Rustum
Mary Ellen Rustum

Visitation at Funeral Home

2:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Sunday, October 9, 2022
Preston Funeral Home
153 South Orange Ave
South Orange, New Jersey, United States

Funeral Mass

10:30 am
Monday, October 10, 2022
Our Lady Of Sorrows Church
217 Prospect Street
South Orange, New Jersey, United States

Final Resting Place

11:00 am
Tuesday, October 11, 2022
Holy Cross Cemetery
340 Ridge Road
N. Arlington, New Jersey, United States

Obituary of Mary Ellen Rustum

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Mary Ellen (Hoey) Rustum, 89, of Maplewood, NJ, died Thursday, September 29th.

Mary Ellen was born and raised in Kearny and Harrison, NJ. Her mother, Kathleen, was from County Cavan, Ireland, and her father, John, was an Irish-American police officer in Newark.  She always treasured her Irish family and heritage.  True to her roots, she loved people, was full of fun and forever kept her Irish wit and sense of humor.

Upon graduation from St Cecilia’s High School in Kearny, Mary Ellen joined The Engelhard Minerals and Chemicals Corporation.  She rose to become the Executive Assistant to the CEO, Charles Engelhard, and traveled throughout the world with the Engelhards in the 1950s and early 1960s, including 10 trips to Africa and numerous trips to Europe and South America. Given her important role with one of the world’s richest men at that time, Mary Ellen was frequently the subject of newspaper photos and articles. While attending the 1960 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles with the Engelhards, Mary Ellen was seated across from John F. Kennedy at an event. A few years later, she had the opportunity to meet President Lyndon Johnson at an Engelhard family wedding.

Mary Ellen married Edwin Wadie Rustum on August 17, 1963. Soon thereafter, they moved to Maplewood, NJ, where they raised three children and lived until 2004.  Mary Ellen was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, and friend, and hostess as well.  She cherished her Catholic faith, loved books, movies, music, and tennis, and was also a dedicated “news-junkie”.  She and Ed were terrific dancers, and especially loved to cha-cha.  Mary Ellen volunteered extensively for Our Lady of Sorrows Church in South Orange and The South Orange-Maplewood School District.  She and Ed were married for 43 years until Ed’s passing in December 2006.  She returned to Maplewood in September 2019.

Mary Ellen is preceded in death by her parents, Kathleen and John Hoey, and her beloved brothers, Jack and Kevin.  She is survived by her children, John, William, and Kathleen. She leaves her loving daughters-in-law, Paige Rustum and Jennifer Rustum, beloved son-in-law, Peter O’Neill, and cherished grandchildren Juliana, Eliza, Luke, Lucinda, Annabelle, and Jack Rustum.  She also leaves many treasured nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend the Funeral Mass at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 217 Prospect Street, South Orange, NJ, on Monday, October 10, at 10:30 AM. Interment will be Tuesday, October 11, at 11:00 AM at Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington, NJ.  Visitation will be held at Preston Funeral Home, 153 South Orange Ave, South Orange, NJ, on Sunday October 9, from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM. For more information or to send condolences please visit

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Mary Ellen's memory to:
Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, 217 Prospect Street, South Orange, NJ 07079
or  Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark, Development Office, 590 North 7th Street, Newark, NJ 07107 In memory of Mary Ellen Rustum
To Give by Phone please call: 973-639-6531





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