Landing, NJ Mrs. Frances Elizabeth Lella, (86), died on February 22, 2015 at the Morristown Medical Center. She was born in Staten Island and raised in Brooklyn, before moving to Landing 53 years ago. She was a homemaker and attended Our Lady of the Lake R C Church in Mt. Arlington and was an avid reader, and loved; playing the piano, music, chocolate, and peppermints.
She was predeceased by her husband Joseph in 1998 and by her son Joseph, Jr. in 1969. She is survived by her 4 children; Joanne Forgey of Hackettstown, Andrew (and his wife Margaret) Lella of Andover, Lisa Riveron of Ledgewood, and Nadine Gerlach of Flanders. She also leaves her 9 grandchildren; Christine, Leah, Stephen, Paul, Christopher, Erica, Rudy, Jessica, and Stephani, 9 great grandchildren, and brother Robert Johnson of Tucson, AZ.
Friends may visit the Davis & Hepplewhite Funeral Home, 96 Main St., Succasunna, NJ (973-584-7264) davishepplewhitefh.com, on Wednesday from 3 – 5 & 7 – 9 pm. The Funeral Liturgy will be held on Thursday at 10 am at Our Lady of the Lake R C Church in Mt. Arlington, with the interment to follow at the Stanhope Union Cemetery.
Allamuchy Township, NJ Rev. Mr. James George McGrory, 86, died on February 20, 2015 at the Bethel Health Care Center in Bethel, CT. He was born in Jersey City and lived in Succasunna before moving to Panther Valley 23 years ago. He served in the US Navy during WWII on the USS Independence in Operation Crossroads at Bikini Atoll. He earned his Mechanical Engineering degree from Stevens Institute of Technology in 1956 and was employed as a Professional Engineer at Picatinny Arsenal in Rockaway Township for 35 years until his retirement in 1991. He was an Ordained Permanent Deacon for 39 years, serving at St. Therese RC Church in Succasunna and at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton R C Church in Flanders. He was past Chaplin of the Allamuchy Volunteer Fire Department. In 1975, Jim co-founded the Roxbury Soccer League, which has since served thousands of children and has grown into a significant youth sports program. He served on the Diocese of Paterson, Department of Special Education Advisory Board, as a Professional Engineer Consultant, for the development of Weigand Farm and Camp Alexander in Milton, NJ. He worked with an army of volunteers on the design and construction of a summer camp for children and adults with special needs.
Randolph, Walter Radford Barkman, Sr., 68, died suddenly on February 17, 2015 at home in Randolph. He was born in Somerville and grew up in Flanders and Chester before moving to Randolph 30 years ago. He served in the U.S. Army in Germany during the Vietnam War. He was a freelance landscaper and grounds keeper at the New Vernon Cemetery for 40 years. He also drove charter busses for the Vanderhoof Transportation Company in West Orange. He loved helping everybody and enjoyed cutting and splitting wood and being with his dogs. He loved telling stories to his many friends.
He was predeceased by his son Thomas W Barkman in 2000 and is survived by his wife Kathaleen (Peters) of 42 years, son Walter R (and Navah) Barkman Jr. of Newton, twin brother Fred W Barkman of Parsippany, sister Cynthia L Barkman (and Ron Caruso) of Long Valley, 5 grandchildren; David, Josh, Ruth, Tamara, and Robert.
Friends may visit at the Davis & Hepplewhite Funeral Home, 96 Main Street, Succasunna 973-584-7264 (davishepplewhitefh.com) on Thursday from 2 – 4 & 6 – 8 pm. The Funeral Service will be held on Friday, 10 am, at the funeral home, with the interment to follow at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Chester.
Stanhope, NJ Mrs. Norma Jean Ryver, 83, died on February 9, 2015 at home. She was born and raised in Philipsburg, PA and lived most of her life in Mine Hill before moving to Stanhope 3 years ago. She was a retired sales representative for the J C Penny department store in Rockaway. She was a member of the Lutheran Church of Our Savior in Stanhope where she sang in the choir, and was an accomplished singer.
She was predeceased by her husband Donald Eugene Ryver in 2004 and is survived by her daughters; Bonny (and Jack) Fahy of Woodbridge VA, and Ruth Ellen Najemian of Stanhope, 5 grandchildren; Kevin (and Kara) Fahy of Woodbridge VA, Timothy (and Liz Pacheco)Fahy of Conroe TX, Paul Najemian, Adam Najemian, and Sarah Najemian all of Stanhope, 4 great grandchildren; Allison, Peter, Colette, and Joseph Fahy. She also leaves two nieces, Judy Butler of Clearfield, PA and Carol Jean Lucas of Philipsburg, PA.
Friends may visit at the Davis & Hepplewhite Funeral Home, 96 Main Street, Succasunna 973-584-7264 (davishepplewhitefh.com) on Thursday, February 12th from 4-6 pm, with the Funeral Service at 6 pm. Donations may be made in her name to the Compassionate Care Hospice or to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Roxbury Township, Mr. Robert John Ward, 92, died on February 9, 2015 at the Regency Grande Nursing Home in Dover. He was born in Utica, NY and grew up in Hillside, NJ. Following his retirement, he lived in Florida and then Mt. Arlington before moving to Ledgewood 6 years ago. He served in the U S Navy during WW II as a Lt. Gunnery Officer and then, earned his B S in Pharmacy from Rutgers University. He was President and owner of the Glen Ridge Pharmacy for 30 years before his retirement in 1988. He also attended St. Therese R C Church in Succasunna.
He was predeceased by his son Raymond Ward in 2012 and is survived by his wife Adele (Konopka) Ward of 68 years, daughter Karen Handy of Stanhope, son Steven Ward of Burnt Hills, NY, and daughter-in-law Karen Ward of Victor, NY. He also leaves his 8 grandchildren; Gretchen Mancuso, Matthew Handy, Michael Ward, Erin Handy, and Kevin, Stephanie, Kelsey, and Ryland Ward, and 5 great grandchildren; Ella and Jenna, and Kelly Mancuso, and Nolan and Isla Rae Ward.
The Funeral Liturgy will be held on Friday, 10:30 am, at St. Therese R C Church, 151 Main Street, Succasunna, with military honors at the conclusion of the Mass. Arrangements are by the Davis & Hepplewhite Funeral Home, 96 Main Street, Succasunna 973-584-7264 (davishepplewhitefh.com) Donations may be made in his name to the Wounded Warriors Foundation.
Maria E Levy
Bronx, NY Beloved Mother and Grandmother Mrs. Maria E Levy aka “Toquina”, 61, passed away on February 3, 2015 at the Albert Einstein Montefiore Hospital in Bronx, NY. She was born February 12, 1953 in New York and lived in the Bronx most of her life. She was a loving Mother, Grandmother and Friend. She had the most generous heart and touched many lives with her presence. Her positive outlook always brought joy and laughter to those she touched. She was a member of the Church of the Ladder Day Saints in the Bronx and held a very strong relationship with God.
She was predeceased by her adoring husband Raymond Levy in 2007. She is survived by her 5 children; Lesley (and Ranffis) Larios of Succasunna, NJ, Ivy DeJesus of Brooklyn, Cecilena Chapman of FL, Susie Ortega of Poughkeepsie, NY, and Dario Hernandez of Budd Lake, NJ and 8 grandchildren; Kevin Larios, Vincent Ortega, Amber Ippolito, Angelique Mercado, Jayden, Julianna, Janette and Julius III Akerele.
Friends may visit at the Davis & Hepplewhite Funeral Home, 96 Main Street, Succasunna 973-584-7264 (davishepplewhitefh.com) on Thursday, February 12th from 1 – 3 pm. A Memorial Service to honor Maria’s life will be held at the Funeral Home at 2 pm. In Lieu of Flowers: Her Family requests that donations are sent in her name to the Saint Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital @ shop.stjude.org
MARIO F. DI MATTEO
(August 11, 1937 – February 1, 2015)
Mario F. Di Matteo—husband of 40 years to Argaille A. Di Matteo, his wife; father to Lillian Di Matteo Dixon from previous marriage; grandfather to Chelestina Dixon Gonzalez and Laura Dixon; great grandfather to Benedetto and Solara Gonzalez; brother to Teresa Di Matteo Fracassi, Paola Di Matteo DeSantis, Bruna Di Matteo DiSano, Onorina Di Matteo Sestini, and Pietro Antonio Di Matteo; and friend to so very many whose lives he touched with his wonderful music, working as Musician, Teacher, and Entertainer for 65 wonderful years—passed away on Sunday, February 1, 2015 at 2:05 a.m.
Coming to America in 1956 from Avezzano, L’Aquila, Italy, the place of his birth, August 11, 1937, and having an equivalent Associate’s Degree in Music and background in piano, accordion, classical guitar, organ, and voice, Mario sought to make his mark on the Music scene in New York and New Jersey, both places of his residence and professional career. He studied for a time with Mr. Rudolf Schramm at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
A self-educated Renaissance man, Mario dabbled in various hobbies such as refurbishing heavy equipment, collecting model trains, exploring Electronics, Computer Technology, all while performing in New Jersey restaurants such as The Governor Morris Hotel, Morristown; The Beacon Manor, Pt. Pleasant; The Brunswick Inn, New Brunswick; Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant, Dover; De Maio’s Restaurant, Parsippany; and Zeris and Chrisandi’s Restaurants, Denville, to name a few. Mario performed on keyboard, organ, synthesizers, Midi-technology musical equipment—a one-man band, whose artistry was reflected in a mirror suspended behind him showing audiences the versatility of arms, legs, fingers, voice creating and performing the wonderful musical legacy that still lives in us all. He designed and repaired most of all of his equipment, seeking to improve at every turn, keeping up with music technology advances, as he made countless restaurant patrons and concert goers happy with his music. He was in demand for organ concerts demonstrating Yamaha and Hammond organs, and performed for the New Jersey Organ Society. Even in his retirement, he performed at nursing homes, rehab facilities in the New Jersey area, and kept up with all his other creative interests, despite the several healing journeys he experienced as well.
Mario enjoyed travel, trekking to Canada, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Italy, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona with his wife, Argaille and on his own. A favorite trip was made to The Grand Canyon in Arizona, where Mario took a helicopter ride over the Canyon and said after the experience, “My heart was in my throat the whole time, and tears in my eyes at the awesome wonder of God”! The accompanying photo to this dedication is of Mario immediately following that Awesome Grand Canyon trip!
A Service of Remembrance will take place to celebrate the life of this kind, caring, superbly creative Musician, Teacher, and Life-long Learner on Saturday, February 14, 2015, 11:00 a.m. at the United Presbyterian Church of Flanders, 58 Drakesdale Rd., Flanders, NJ 07836. Tel: 973-584-8195 . In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the United Presbyterian Church at the above address for their many community outreaches. He is a beloved “honorary member” there. Arrangements are by the Davis & Hepplewhite Funeral Home, 96 Main St., Succasunna, NJ, Tel: 973-584-7264, davishepplewhitefh.com.
While Mario leaves all of the above-mentioned loved ones and countless friends and musical colleagues with aches in our hearts, we lovingly send him on his way, celebrating the blessing of his life in ours, confident his wonderful spirit goes on to the next chapter in his own Life.
Roxbury Township, Mrs. Phebe Berniece Stoops, 88, died on January 30, 2015 at the Merry Heart Nursing Home in Succasunna. She was born and raised in Dover, and was a Dover High School Graduate. She lived most of her life in Dover before moving to Succasunna 2 years ago. In 1991 she retired as a Clerk and Administrative Assistant for J C P & L in Dover, and previously worked as a secretary at Austenal, and as a purchasing agent at Pyrofilm. She and her husband, Richard, enjoyed traveling after their retirement.
She was predeceased by her husband Richard Stoops in 1996, and by her parents Jasper and Phebe Stagg. She is survived by her 4 children; John (and Susan) Bobinyec of NC, Sheryl (and Curtis) Carter of Ledgewood, Lynda Stoops of WY, and Richard (and Kathy) Stoops of Hackettstown, 6 grandchildren, and 17 great grandchildren.
Friends may visit the Davis & Hepplewhite Funeral Home, 96 Main St., Succasunna, NJ (973-584-7264) davishepplewhitefh.com, on Thursday from 3 – 5 & 7 – 9 pm. The Funeral Service will be held on Friday 10 am at the Funeral Home, with the interment to follow at the Locust Hill Cemetery in Dover.
Belvidere, NJ. Mr. Donald William Decker, 84, died on January 28, 2015 at St. Luke’s Phillipsburg Hospital. Don, as he was affectionately known to his family and friends, was born in Montclair, NJ. He was the youngest of 12 children who are all deceased. He was a long time resident of Succasunna, NJ before moving to Belvidere 12 years ago. Don was a member of St. Therese RC Church and past Grand Knight in the Knights of Columbus. He was an active member of the Church serving as a Eucharistic Minister for both the Church and local hospitals.
He served in the U. S. National Guard for eight years and was a retired Senior Insurance Adjuster for the Harleysville Insurance Company.
Don loved all sports, especially the Yankees and the Giants. He was an avid golfer. He spent many hours on the baseball fields in Roxbury Twp. as a Little League coach. Don loved to spend time with his family. He was a gentleman, who was known to everyone for his kind and gentle ways.
Don is survived by his beloved wife Patricia (Kearney) Decker of 61 years; 4 children: Ellen (Steve) Geisel of Sarasota, Fla., Donna (Marty) Racioppi of Succasunna, NJ, Bill (Gretchen) Decker of Burlington, VT, and Bob (Michele) Decker of Great Meadows, NJ and nine grandchildren (Kevin, Megan, Kristin, Brian, Matthew, Julie, Kaitlyn, Kerrianne, and Robbie).
Due to the weather, the Memorial Mass has been rescheduled for Tuesday, February 3, 2015, at 10:30 am, at St. Therese Church, 151 Main Street, Succasunna, NJ. Arrangements are by the Davis & Hepplewhite Funeral Home, 96 Main St., Succasunna, NJ (973-584-7264) davishepplewhitefh.com. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. (stjude.org)
Roxbury Township, Fr. James Anthony Damien Smith, 83, died on January 27, 2015 at the Compassionate Care Hospice in Dover. He was born and raised in Brooklyn and then earned his Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from St. John’s University, studied at the former Immaculate Conception Seminary in Darlington, NJ, and then earned his Master’s Degree from Seton Hall University in Education. He was Ordained on May 26, 1956 in the Paterson Diocese, and was a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He served as Pastor of St. Patrick’s R C Church in Chatham before serving at his last parish, St. Therese R C Church in Succasunna. He then resided at Nazareth Village in Chester before moving to Merry Heart Assisted Living in Succasunna, 2 years ago.
He was the beloved son of the late Frank and Leona Smith and is survived by his dear friends Thomas and Maria Tamburro, their 4 girls; God Daughter Victoria, Alexandra, Georgina, and Carmela, and Tom’s mother Georgina Tamburro.
Friends may visit the Davis & Hepplewhite Funeral Home, 96 Main St., Succasunna, NJ (973-584-7264) davishepplewhitefh.com, on Friday from 3 – 7 pm, with the Wake Service at 7 pm. The Funeral Liturgy will be held on Saturday 10 am at St. Therese R C Church, with the interment to follow at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Totowa.