Obituaries

Otto Arias 

Otto Arias died April 27 at University Medical Center in Newark. He was 80.

Born in Cuba, he lived in Kearny for the past 40 years.

Arrangements were by the Armitage Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A funeral Mass was held at St. Cecilia’s Church, Kearny, followed by entombment in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. www.armitagewiggins.com

Arias was a retired jeweler and a member of the Knights of Columbus.

He is survived by his wife Magaly (Ranero) and his sons and their wives, Otto and Jeanette Arias and Hugo and Yolanda Arias. Brother of Sofia Mejias, Yolanda Lozano and Martha Arias, he is also survived by his grandchildren Christopher, Gabriella, Victoria, Olivia, Sophia and Jack.

Robert S. Baranowski Sr.

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Robert S. Baranowski Sr. entered into eternal rest on Monday, April 27. He was 65.

Born on Nov. 3, 1949, in Harrison, Robert was a lifelong resident.

Robert served his country in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. He worked for Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission for many years. He served as a Councilman for the Town of Harrison during the 1970s. He has been the youngest member ever to be voted onto the Town Council.

Robert is survived by his long-time companion, Eleanor Schofield of Westfield, siblings, Carol O’Neill and her husband Jack, Maureen Guevarez and Stanley B. Baranowski Jr. and his wife Jean. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by his parents, Stanley B., Sr. and Dorothy Baranowski (nee Smith).

Funeral arrangements were under the direction of the Mulligan Funeral Home, Harrison. A memorial Mass was held at Holy Cross Church, Harrison. His interment was in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. For information or to send condolences to the family, please visit www.mulliganfh.com.

Theresa Veronica Burns 

Theresa Veronica Burns (nee Rose) passed away quietly on April 26, surrounded by her loving and committed family, after a courageous seven-year struggle with Alzheimer’s. She was 79.

Born in Jersey City, she lived in Kearny before moving to North Arlington 58 years ago.

Arrangements were by the Armitage Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A funeral Mass was held at Queen of Peace Church, North Arlington, followed by entombment in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. www.armitagewiggins.com.

Theresa is survived by her husband Frank and her children and their spouses Catherine Burns-Medina and Michael, Lori Gilligan and Bill and Karen Tattoli and Mark. Sister of John Rose and the late Emanuel and James Rose. Also surviving are her grandchildren Amanda, Olivia, Christopher and Alyssa.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Alzheimer’s Research.

Emelia C. Ferreira 

Emelia C. Ferreira (nee Elnar) died April 24. She was 66.

Arrangements were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A funeral Mass was held at Immaculate Conception Church, Newark, followed by entombment in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. www.armitagewiggins.com

Emelia was born in Victoria de Las Tunas, Cuba. She lived in East Newark before moving to Newark in 1972.

She is survived by her husband Paulo and her daughters Tamam and Judith. Sister of Aidi Martinez, Oneida Terra, Margot Hernendez and Zenada Guzman, she is also survived by her granddaughter Leyanna.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to curepsp.org.

Bernadette Anne Hooper 

Bernadette Anne Hooper (nee Farley), the matriarch of a large Kearny family, died April 30 at home. She was 91.

Born in Newark, she lived many years in Kearny before moving to West Orange in 2008.

Arrangements are by the Armitage Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A funeral Mass will be held Tuesday, May 5, at 10 a.m., at St. Cecilia’s Church, Kearny, and burial will follow in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. To leave online condolence, please visit www.armitagewiggins.com.

Mrs. Hooper was the mother of nine children, the grandmother of 30 and the great-grandmother of 11.

She set an example of lifelong achievement for her many grandchildren by graduating from college at the age of 74.

Mrs. Hooper began attending Seton Hall University as part of its Senior Citizen program in 1991, four months after the death of her husband. From that first course in public speaking, Mrs. Hooper gained the confidence to begin her college journey. She graduated cum laude in May 1998 with a degree in Fine Arts. She threw herself into the graduation festivities, including attending the Senior Prom with her four adult sons.

Born on Veterans Day in 1923 in Newark, Mrs. Hooper, “Bernie” to her friends, was the daughter of Mary Rose Carr and John Farley, a Newark police officer. She and her younger brother, Jack, now deceased, grew up in Newark as part of a large extended Irish family. She went to work at age 15 after completing a two-year commercial high school program at Blessed Sacrament in Newark. She was employed by a flight school on Frelinghuysen Ave. and actually toyed with the idea of becoming a pilot. Her first lesson consisted mostly of marching through the halls of West Side High School as part of an air patrol exercise and that was that.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, she wanted to be a part of the war effort and secured a federal job at an Overseas Shipment area in Newark. After the war ended in 1945 she worked at the Separation Center in Port Newark, where thousands of soldiers came home to the United States. “My job was to welcome them, interview them, and ask them if they wanted to re-enlist. I didn’t get one to say, ‘yes’,” Mrs. Hooper reminisced. Subsequently, she was a part of the team that shut down the war effort at Port Newark.

She married Thomas J. Hooper, a reporter for the Newark Evening News, in November 1949. Theirs was a wonderful love affair. Their happy marriage lasted until her husband’s death in 1990, after nearly 41 years of marriage.

After her marriage, Mrs. Hooper worked at Abelson’s, a jewelry store in downtown Newark, until she left to have her first child in 1950. Over the next 15 years, nine children were born. Mrs. Hooper returned to work in 1972, when her youngest was in second grade, after her husband, at the time an editor with the News, lost his job when the newspaper closed.

Her first position back in the workforce was as a school crossing guard in Kearny. She then worked for the Credit Exchange in Newark and First Fidelity Bank (now Wells Fargo). She worked as a teller and later ran the Safe Deposit department for the Newark Broad St. Branch. She also worked as a lecturer for Weight Watchers.

A lover of tradition, family celebrations and summer vacations in Ocean Gate, Mrs. Hooper managed to make a party out of marginal holidays (think Valentine’s Day or the last day of school) and a cake mix. She gathered her family together for her birthdays and an annual Christmas Eve talent show, which has been held for almost a half-century. She loved receiving presents that were selected especially for her and she loved giving special gifts to those she loved.

Mr. and Mrs. Hooper discovered a great love of travel when they celebrated a special wedding anniversary with a cruise. They traveled to Europe together several times. After her husband’s death, Mrs. Hooper continued to travel to cities around the United States with her daughters. In addition, she began taking an annual trip back to Ireland, home of her ancestors.

A devout Catholic, Mrs. Hooper was an active member of the Rosary Society and served on the parish council of St. Cecilia’s Church in Kearny. She also served as an Archdiocesean representative.

Mrs. Hooper moved to West Orange in 2008 when failing health made it difficult to be alone. She lived with her daughter and son-in-law, Peg and Bob Huryk, and their three children, Robert, Jim and Maryrose. In addition to the Huryk family, Mrs. Hooper is also survived by: daughters Maryrose Mangan (Gene), Therese Thompson (Don), Agnes Gottlieb (Henry), Bernadette McVey (John) and sons Thomas J. Hooper Jr. (Darla), John Hooper (Karen), Martin Hooper (Peg) and James Hooper (Marilyn), her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, her devoted friends, Jean and Owen Kubilus, and eight nieces and nephews from the Farley and Kavalus families.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Bernadette Hooper Scholarship Fund at Seton Hall University.

Josephine Lamattina 

Josephine Lamattina, 92, passed away peacefully on Saturday, April 25.

Lamattina was born in Lyndhurst where she was a lifelong resident.

She was an executive secretary for Becton Dickinson and Co., Franklin Lakes, for over 40 years, retiring in 1984. Josephine was a very proud member of Sacred Heart Church, Lyndhurst, where she was a daily communicant for many years.

She is predeceased by her parents, the late Gennaro and Antoinette (nee Romano) Lamattina and her brother, Dominick Lamattina and her sisters, Agnes Fazzio and Theresa Piazza. She is survived by her sister and two brothers, Nettie DeSantis, Joseph and Louis Lamattina, and by many loving nieces and nephews, grand and great nieces and nephews. Aunt Jo was very grateful for Carol Kobes and Patricia White and for the staff at King James Care Center, Chatham.

A funeral Mass was held at Sacred Heart Church, Lyndhurst, followed by a private cremation. Donations may be made in Josephine’s memory to Sacred Heart Church, 324 Ridge Road, Lyndhurst, N.J. 07071. Arrangements were by the Nazare Memorial Home, Inc., Lyndhurst. Please visit us at www.nazarefuneralhome.com.

Antonia Lewczuk 

Antonia Lewczuk, 84, died on Saturday, May 2, at home in Kearny. The funeral will be from the Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home, 585 Belgrove Drive, Kearny, on Tuesday, May 5, at 9 a.m. A funeral Mass will be offered at Our Lady of Czestochowa Church, Harrison, at 10 a.m. Interment will follow in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.thiele-reid.com.

Mrs. Lewczuk was born in Poland. She immigrated to this country in 1966 and lived in Harrison before moving to Kearny in 1971.

She was an electronic assembler for Will Way, Inc., North Arlington, for many years before retiring.

Antonia is survived by her son Walter Lewczuk; three brothers Feliks Lewczuk, Zygmunt Lewczuk and Henryk Lewczuk; grandchildren Daniel and Michael; and one great-granddaughter Penelope.

Margaret ‘Peggy’ E. Mikolajczyk 

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Margaret “Peggy” E. Mikolajczyk, 81, of the Holiday City West section of Berkeley Township, died on Sunday, April 26, at Community Medical Center, Toms River. Peggy was born in Jersey City, and lived in Kearny before moving to Berkeley Town ship 32 years ago. She was a parishioner of St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, Toms River, and served with the Rosary Altar Society.

Peggy is predeceased by her parents Anthony and Sarah Davidson, her son Mark A. Mikolajczyk, and her grandson Michael James Noto.

She is survived by her loving husband Edward B. Mikolajczyk; her five children. Edward A. Mikolajczyk and his wife Peggy of Omaha, Neb., Gail Noto of Matawan Anthony E. Mikolajczyk and his wife Sandra of Brooklyn, N.Y., Margaret R. Chappell and her husband Dennis of South Carolina, and Jude Mikolajczyk of Toms River; 13 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Arrangements were by the Timothy E. Ryan Home for Funerals, 145 St. Catherine Blvd., Toms River. A Mass of Christian burial was offered at St. Maximilian Kolbe Church Toms River, followed by burial in St. Joseph Cemetery, Toms River. Condolences may be sent by visiting www.ryanfuneralhome.com.

Edward Polinski 

Edward Polinski, 88, died on April 26.

Arrangements were by the Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home, 585 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A funeral Mass was offered at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Kearny, followed by private interment at Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Wrightstown. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.thiele-reid.com.

Edward was born in Natnicoke, Pa., on July 31, 1926. In 1932 his family moved to Harrison, where he lived before moving to Kearny in 1956. He served in the U.S. Coast Guard aboard the U.S.S. Algonquin from 1943 until 1946. He was employed as a rates and tariffs administrator for N.J. Transit for 30 years until retiring many years ago.

A passion of Polinski’s was writing and playing music. He played the saxophone and various other instruments and enjoyed performing with the Joe Rose Orchestra.

He is survived by his daughter Maria Lockard and her husband Patrick; one son Edward N. Polinski; two sisters Helen Olecknowicz and Sophie La Bruto; grandchildren Sarah Mould and her husband, Peter, John Lockard (Camila Rocha), Patrick Lockard (Luisa Colorado) Daniel Lockard (Jess Jutkiewicz), and Kayla McAlinden and her husband Shane; and great-grandchildren Connor and Liam Lockard and Landon and Ian Mould.

Edward was predeceased by the love of his life Ruth (nee Davis) Polinski on Jan. 11, 2015.

He was also predeceased by his siblings Julie Farravil, Lily Wojyehowski, Annie Grohowski and John Polinski.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to a charity of choice in Edward’s memory.

Anthony Rygiel 

Anthony (“Tony the Mailman”) Rygiel, 95, who was born in Newark on July 15, 1919, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 28.

He lived his entire adult life in Harrison. In 1981 he retired as a letter carrier from the Harrison Post Office.

Anthony served in World War II as an antiaircraft artillery automatic weapons crewman with the 397th Army Battalion in the European Theater of Operations. He received a commendation for his unselfish and heroic actions on the occasion of the D-Day invasion of the French Normandy coast on June 6, 1944. His honorable discharge from the Army dated Nov.30, 1945, lists his awards as: American Defense Ribbon, American Theater Ribbon, European-African-Middle Eastern Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, Distinguished Unit Badge, Bronze Arrowhead and Victory Medal.

He was predeceased by his wife Wanda (Kusmierz) in 1984 and by all six of his siblings: Matthias, John, Mary Schaefer, Joseph, Anne Janowski, and Frank.

Tony is survived by his daughter Elaine Yablonski and her husband Stan, of Chester; and his son Anthony and his wife Sharon, of Harrison; grandchildren Matthew Yablonski, Jill Yablonski- Crepeau and her husband Adam, Jennifer Rygiel- Boyd and her husband Thomas, Keith Rygiel, Craig Rygiel; and two great-grandchildren Sean and Mackenzie Boyd.

Funeral arrangements were under the direction of the Mulligan Funeral Home, Harrison. A funeral Mass was held at Holy Cross Church, Harrison. His interment was in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. For information or to send condolences to the family, please visit www.mulliganfh.com.

The Observer Staff