Nutley’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is Saturday; honorees named


They’ll be marching along in the big parade this Saturday afternoon starting at 1 p.m., and when they do, several dignitaries will be among the marchers.

This year, the Nutley Irish American Association has named Mary Ellen Clyne, president and chief executive officer of Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, as the parade’s grand marshal. Her cohort and deputy grand marshal will be John Kruse, a Jersey City firefighter and Nutley resident who has deep ties to the community.

Grand Marshal Mary Ellen Clyne

Clyne is the only woman to lead a hospital anywhere in Essex County. As president and CEO of Clara Maass Medical Center, she leads a facility of more than 2,200 employees and oversees revenue in excess of $260 million annually.

Her vast educational background — she has a bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate in nursing, all from Seton Hall University in South Orange — have led her to what she calls a “solid understanding of clinical excellence, as well as culturally competent, compassionate care.”

In addition to her responsibilities at CMMC, she’s also an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University’s nursing program.

Clyne is a second-generation Irish American. Her maternal grandparents come to the U.S. in the early 1900s. Her maternal grandfather, John McCaffrey, lived in Granard, County Longford. He then moved to County Leitrim, where he ran a family bakery before leaving for the United States in 1928.

Clyne’s Irish roots aren’t just on her mother’s side either.

Her paternal granddad came to the U.S. in 1923 on a shipped, appropriately called “Celtic.” Her paternal grandmother came 10 years earlier, when she was just 7 years old, on a ship called “The George Washington.”

The first settled in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, then relocated to Queens before moving to New Jersey.

Clyne currently lives in Hillsborough with her husband, Gerard. They have three children.

Deputy Grand Marshal John Kruse

Kruse, a resident of Nutley, has been a Jersey City firefighter for the last 22 years. He was born and raised in Jersey City, one of nine children, and his Irish roots are on his mom’s side of the family. They hailed from Ballyforan, County Roscommon.

Kruse is an alumnus of Hudson Catholic High School, Jersey City.

In the FDJC, he is the chairman of the Jersey City Firefighters Local 1066 and is the vice-president of the Jersey City Firefighters District Fund, a non-profit established to help firefighters and their families following a family death, a traumatic injury or serious illness.

Kruse is also a member of the Jersey City Firefighters’ Emerald Society.

Kruse has been an active member of the Nutley Irish American Alliance for 10 years and is a trustee of the organization.

In Nutley, he’s coached Little League since 2004 and has served on the board of directors for the Nutley East Little League.

Kruse has three children — two sons, John Jr., a junior at Nutley High School and Christopher, an eighth-grader at John H. Walker Middle School; and a daughter, Natalie, a fifth-grader at Radcliffe Elementary School.

“I am honored and grateful and look forward to a memorable 2016 St. Patrick’s Day Parade, marching down Franklin Ave. with family, friends and fellow dignitaries,” Kruse said. “I would like to thank the officers and the board of trustees of the Nutley Irish American Alliance and N.I.A.A. President Thomas J. McEnery for the great honor of being selected as Deputy Grand Marshal of the 2016 Nutley St. Patrick’s Day Parade.”

In addition to the grand and deputy grand marshals, also being honored are the Police Officer of the Year, Ryan Thomas Mulligan, who has been a member of the Nutley PD since 2003; the Parade Queen, MaryKate Hood; and the Nutley Irish Member of the Year, Maureen Connor.

Meanwhile, there’s more than just a parade on Saturday. The day kicks off at 10 a.m. with a Mass at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, 17 Msgr. Owens Place. Then the lineup begins at noon at Holy Family Church, 28 Brookline Ave.

Stepoff is at 1 p.m. with a review station in front of John Walker Middle School, 325 N. Franklin Ave.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.