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Obituaries

Jason DeFina

Jason DeFina died on Dec. 21 at home. He was 47.

Born in Jersey City, he lived in Newark for the past 20 years.

Private arrangements were by the Armitage and Wiggins Funeral Home in Kearny. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.armitagewiggins.com.

Jason is survived by his wife Michelle (nee Santamassino), his children Melissa and Jason, his brothers Tony and Rance and four grandchildren.

Charles William Girgan

Charles William Girgan, of Kearny and Palm Coast, Fla., 89, passed away on Thursday, Jan. 16.

A memorial service in celebration of his life will be held on Thursday, Jan. 23, at 4 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Arlington, 663 Kearny Ave, Kearny. Arrangements are by the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, Kearny.

Charlie, as he was known to his many friends, may be remembered for his successes in business and on the athletic field. Those who knew him best, however, will cherish most of all, his spirit of humility, honesty, kindness and generosity.

A resident of Kearny for 65 years of his 89 years, Charlie was born and raised on Johnson Ave., a street affectionately remembered as “Cooper’s Block.” He graduated from Kearny High School in 1942 as a member of both the football and baseball teams. He then enlisted in the United States Navy, where he served as Quartermaster 1st Class on the U.S.S. Huse Destroyer Escort (DE) 145 during World War II. For service to their country, Charlie and his shipmates received four Bronze Stars as well as the Victory Medal. Always a sportsman, Charlie obtained his Bachelor of Business degree from the former Upsala College, East Orange, Class of 1949, where he was captain of the football team. It was there where he met the great love of his life, Evelyn Kemp and asked her to marry him. Married on April 1, 1951, they went on to share a marriage of 62 years, which will forever be an inspiration to all who knew them.

Always with Evelyn by his side, Charlie continued his football career as a kicker for the Jersey City Giants of the American Professional Football League. Later as a chartered property and casualty underwriter (CPCU), he went on to build a respected career in the insurance industry as partner of Mintz and Girgan (currently Mintz, Girgan and Brightly), a position he held for over 50 years.

His love of sport flourished in his passion for golf, which he played alongside lifelong friends at Forest Hills Field Club (FHFC) in Bloomfield, where he served as vice president for many years.

He is survived by his cherished wife Evelyn; devoted daughters Jeanne Naughton and her husband Michael and Jan Girgan and her husband Carl Picillo as well as two adoring grandsons, Michael Charles and William Ellis Naughton. He is also survived by several nephews. He was predeceased by his brother Jon Girgan.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Barnabas Health and Hospice and Palliative Care Center, 95 Short Hills Road, West Orange, N.J. 07052 or charity of choice would be appreciated.

Marilyn Gruchacz

Marilyn Gruchacz, (nee Mc- Corry), entered into eternal rest on Tuesday, Jan. 14, at home in Point Pleasant. She was 71.

Funeral services were under the direction of Mulligan Funeral Home, Harrison. A funeral Mass was held at Holy Cross Church, Harrison.

For information or to send condolences to the family, please visit www.mulliganfuneralhome.org.

Born in Harrison, she lived most of her life in Bloomfield before returning to Point Pleasant in 2008. She worked for Mutual Benefit Insurance Company, Newark, for many years. She was a graduate of Queen of Peace High School, North Arlington.

She is survived by her loving children Brian, Kevin and Jill and her cherished grandchildren Elizabeth, Tyler and Lucas. She is also survived by her ex-husband Michael Gruchacz.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tenn. 38105- 1942 in memory of Marilyn.

Thomas Laidlaw, Patricia Robertson Laidlaw

 

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Thomas Laidlaw, 82, formerly of Kearny, passed away Tuesday Dec. 31, in St Petersburg, Fla., and his loving wife, Patricia (Patsy) Robertson Laidlaw, formerly of Harrison, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 14, in Clearwater, Fla.

Born and raised in Kearny, Thomas married Patricia Robertson on July 24, 1954, at Holy Cross Church in Harrison.

He was the economic development director for Somerset Co., Md., before retiring to Florida with his wife in 1996. Prior to that, he served as corporate vice president and general manager of Ametek, Odenton, Md., division vice president of Sherwin Williams, Cleveland, Ohio, and director of industrial engineering for RCA Corp., Harrison.

Tom was a graduate of Kearny High School, where he was an All-State soccer player and a captain of the Kearny team. He continued to play in college, being awarded a soccer scholarship from Seton Hall University, South Orange, where he received his undergraduate degree. He maintained ties to the Kearny and Seton Hall soccer alumni associations, attending annual banquets and being honored for his commitment to Kearny and Seton Hall soccer. He received his executive MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He served in the United States Army from 1954 to 1956.

Patsy was born and raised in Harrison. She raised their four children prior to becoming the executive secretary for the legal department at the American Shipbuilding Corp, Cleveland, Ohio, before retiring. Previously, she was an executive secretary in the engineering department at RCA Corp.

She was a graduate of Queen of Peace High School, North Arlington, and Washington Secretarial College, Newark. She also attended Seton Hall University and George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

They are survived by their loving children, Patricia, Thomas Jr. (Cindy), Margaret Laidlaw Kelso, and Janet Bertan (Bruce); three grandchildren, Andrew, Christopher and Wyette Bertan; Patsy’s sister Martha Robertson, and Tom’s two sisters, Margaret Lower (Donald), Jean Metcalf, and his brother John (Helen).

Burial services will be held at Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington on March 15, at 11 a.m. Please view and sign the online guestbook at www.blountcurrywest.com.

Clemente S. Lopez Jr.

Clemente S. Lopez Jr. entered into eternal rest on Sunday, Jan. 12, at home in Harrison. He was 63.

Funeral services were under the direction of Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave., Harrison. A funeral Mass was held at Holy Cross Church, Harrison.

Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, he lived most of his life there before moving to Harrison, two years ago. He worked as a home health aide for the last two years. Prior to that, he was an auto body painter in the Philippines. In his free time, Clemente enjoyed singing, karaoke and reading.

Predeceased by his parents, Clemente B. Lopez Sr. and Felipa R. (Sarte) Lopez and a brother Edgar Lopez (2013), he is survived by his beloved fiancé Arlene Cecista of Manila, his loving children, Darwin, Elvira, Clemente III, Alexander, Corazon, Elizabeth, Carlo and Aubrey and John Clement, dear brothers and sisters Amelita Lopez, Mercedita Laqui, Alberto Lopez, Maria Clarita Enriquez, Elpidio Lopez and Hermosa Lopez, and 15 grandchildren. Clemente is also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins.

For information or to send condolences to the family, please visit mulliganfuneralhome.org.

Marguerite A. Woods

Marguerite A. Woods, (nee McEnroe), entered into eternal rest peacefully on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at home.

Funeral services were under the direction of Mulligan Funeral Home, Harrison. A funeral Mass was held at Holy Cross Church, Harrison.

For information or to send condolences to the family, please visit www.mulliganfuneralhome. org.

Born in Newark, she was a lifelong resident of Harrison. She worked as an administrative assistant for Hudson County Schools of Technology, North Bergen. Marguerite was a parishioner of Holy Cross Church and a member of the Harrison Senior Citizens.

Marguerite was a very active women who enjoyed bowling, reading on Chadwick Beach, the outdoors and most importantly, spending time with her grandchildren. She was well known for her impromptu homemade pizza parties.

Predeceased by her parents Richard and Julia McEnroe, she is survived by her loving children, Donald, Stephen and his wife Joan, James and his wife Kimberly, Andrew and Patricia and her husband Mark. She was cherished grandmother of Ryan and Conor Woods, Michael and Ashley Woods, and Dakota and Tristan Hatcher. She was the dear sister of Raymond McEnroe, sister-in-law of Carol McEnroe, Harry Woods, Robert and Claire Greene, and James and Elaine Poplaski. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

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