Obituaries (June 1, 2016)

Sophie Vaichas

Sophie Vaichas (nee Wesolowski) died at home on May 26.

She was 98.

Born in Scranton, Pa., she lived in Harrison before moving to Kearny 54 years ago.

Private arrangements were by the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, Kearny.

Sophie was the wife of the late James Joseph Vaichas. She was predeceased by her daughter Barbara McAllister and grandson Richard McAllister. She is survived by her son-in-law Richard McAllister, her granddaughter Susan, her late grandson’s wife Erika and her great-grandchildren Connor and Faith.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to the American Cancer Society.

Marie M. Munkenbeck

Marie M. Munkenbeck, 94, of Pompton Plains, formerly of Kearny, died at home Saturday, May 21, in the loving care of her family.

Born in Harrison, Marie was one of six children born to Ernesto and Gaetano Spinello and attended the Kearny school system. A child of the Depression, she, along with her siblings, all worked hard to support their family, and that hard work allowed her to develop a talent for sewing for which she would be known throughout her life.

Marrying “the boy next door,” Edward McHugh, in 1943, the couple settled in Kearny upon his return home from the Army during World War II, raising their three children there.

Marie’s children always remember being well dressed due to their mother’s passion and talent with a sewing machine. She had a keen eye, and always enjoyed fashion and decorating the home.

For Marie, family came first, and she was devoted to the care of her children until the very end. Later in life, she married Bernard Munkenbeck who predeceased her.

Marie is lovingly survived by her children, Robert McHugh and his wife Jane; Edward McHugh and his wife Elizabeth; and Susan Smith; her sisters, Gloria G. Broant and Ermaline DeGonge; seven grandchildren, Erik, Meredith, Brian, Keith, and Ian McHugh, Stacy and Ryan Smith; and seven great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her brothers, Federico, Gerald and Ernest Anthony Spinello.

Visiting was May 25 at the M. John Scanlan Funeral Home, Pompton Plains. A funeral Mass was  celebrated Thursday, May 26, at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, Pompton Plains. Burial followed in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.

Donations to the Crohns & Colitis Foundation of America would be greatly appreciated by Maries family. 

Learn more about the writer ...

Editor & Broadcaster at 

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.