Bernice Jewusiak Castiglia, almost 96 years old, passed away peacefully after a short illness on September 12, 2015 at Merry Heart Health Care Center in Succasunna, NJ. Bernice was a resident of Merry Heart Assisted Living since 2012. Before moving to Succasunna, her home was in Lyndhurst, NJ where she lived for more than 62 years.
Bernice was married for forty years to her first husband William (Bill) Jewusiak who died in 1979, and was married 25 years to her second husband James Castiglia who died in 2007. Born in Sayreville, NJ in 1920, Bernice was the daughter of the late John and Sophie Woszczyna and was predeceased by all of her sisters Helen Stochel, Jeanette Meyertons, Viola Garboski and Stella Markulic, and both of her brothers, Joseph Woszczyna and Stanley Woszczyna.
She is survived by her daughter Barbara Ann Critelli of Succasunna, her son Michael Jewusiak of Florida, and her granddaughter Elizabeth (Lisa) Critelli and her granddaughter’s fiancé John Turnage of Flanders, NJ.
Mrs. Castiglia was a self-employed seamstress/tailor, who made clothes, slipcovers and did alterations during her lifetime. She was an amazing cook and baker who assisted at cooking demonstrations at classes held at Bamberger’s Department Store in Newark, NJ during the 1960’s and 1970’s with her husband Bill. Bernice enrolled in driving school when she was 56 years old, and then got her drivers license and first car. She took ballroom dancing lessons in the 1980’s and 1990’s and participated in senior citizen dancing competitions in Bergen County with her husband James. She was a member of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Seniors, Sacred Heart Seniors and St. Michael’s Seniors, and was a founding member of the Lyndhurst Disabled Club. She was also an active member in the Mount Carmel Golden Tones Senior Choir that performed in nursing and veteran’s homes in Bergen County and senior citizen meetings in Lyndhurst. An avid reader with a large cookbook library of her own, and an enthusiastic collector of all things, Bernice believed everything could be multi-purposed and she could not part with any of her possessions. She also enjoyed crocheting and created many beautiful shawls and afghans for friends and family gifts. Beading was a new craft learned at Merry Heart and she made necklaces and bracelets. Bernice especially loved spending time with family and friends and shopping at malls.
At this time the family wishes to thank the staff at the Merry Heart Sub Acute and Anita Vescio for the excellent care Bernice received during her illness.
Friends may visit at the Davis & Hepplewhite Funeral Home, 96 Main Street, Succasunna, (973-584-7264) (www.davishepplewhitefh.com) on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 pm. The Funeral Liturgy will be held on Wednesday, September 16, 2015 at 10 am at St. Therese R.C. Church, Succasunna, with the Internment to follow at Holy Cross Cemetery on Ridge Road in North Arlington, NJ.