William J. Machinsky (Bill), 71, of Freehold died on Sunday, July 4.
Bill was the embodiment of a Renaissance man; he was a gourmet cook and connoisseur of food and spirits who relished entertaining, pursued a wide range of active sports and outdoors pursuits, enjoyed water color painting, and had a passion for fine arts photography including printing, mounting and exhibiting. Strong and full of vitality until cancer snuck up on him, he succumbed to a fatal recurrence this Sunday July 4. A “larger than life” man with a big heart, he leaves behind an immense gap in the lives of his loved ones.
Bill was born and raised in the Anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania. He attended Philadelphia College of Art and earned a BFA with a major in illustration and a minor in photography. Upon graduation he worked as a newspaper photographer for two years. When the paper went out of business, Bill went on to graduate school and studied psychology and art psychotherapy at Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital in Philadelphia, earning his MCAT in Psychiatric Art Therapy.
Following graduate school, Bill worked for thirty-one years as a psychotherapist and served as the clinical manager of the Vita Nova Day Psychiatric Hospital at St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton, NJ. He was dedicated to the Vita Nova (“new life”) program, which offered mental health services for Mercer County residents and helped them develop skills that encouraged productive living despite mental illness. This program, which he spearheaded, brought significant contribution to addressing the needs of the emotionally disabled in an overlooked segment of the community, as psychiatric care of this type was limited, often beyond the means of most individuals, and publicly funded programs were decreasing.
When the medical center was ultimately compelled to discontinue their day psychiatric services, Bill made the decision to return to his first passion and pursue a career in fine art photography. His work captured both the tangible and intangible, offering vibrant color and perceptive black and white photography of thriving and abandoned places, landscapes and seascapes, still life, and other vistas. Bill was an exhibiting artist with the Guild of Creative Art in Shrewsbury, New Jersey, holding a position on the Board of Directors for several years until he became unwell. He has had photographs exhibited at juried shows at the Guild, the Art Alliance of Monmouth, the Belmar Arts Council, and the Monmouth Festival of the Arts.
Bill was predeceased by his parents, William J. and Margaret Rose. Bill is survived by his wife Eve, daughter (Margaret Stasia), two stepdaughters (Anjali and Sarita), a granddaughter (Eliyanah), sister (Bonnie), a niece (Amanda), two nephews (Jason and Joseph), and grand/great-grand nieces and nephews.
Visitation Thursday, July 8 from 4 –7 pm at the Holmdel Funeral Home, 26 S. Holmdel Road. Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Friday, July 9 at 10:30 am at St. Rose of Lima Church, Freehold. Burial will follow at Old Tennent Cemetery, Manalapan.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in his memory to the American Cancer Society; www.cancer.org or the Guild of Creative Art in Shrewsbury, NJ; guildofcreativeart.org. For messages of condolence, please visit Bill’s page of tributes at www.holmdelfuneralhome.com.