Obituaries for 14 Dec. 2016

Ann Lawless

Ann Lawless (nee Berry) of Harrison died at home surrounded by her loving family on Monday, Dec. 5.

She was 86.

Funeral services were under the direction of Mulligan Funeral Home, Harrison.  A funeral Mass was celebrated at Holy Cross Church, Harrison, and her entombment was in Holy Cross Chapel Mausoleum, North Arlington.

For information or to send condolences to her family, visit

Predeceased by her parents Austin and Julia Berry, her brother James and sister Chris, Ann is survived by her loving husband John “Jack” Lawless (married 64 years), devoted sons John (Susan) and James (Lori), cherished grandchildren Jodi (Tommy), Meghan (Dave), Jimmy and John, dear great-grandchildren Thomas J., Paige E. and Kate E., her beloved sister Margaret and brother-in-law Gerald (Peggy).

She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

A lifelong resident of Harrison, Ann volunteered her time for Holy Cross Church Bingo for 40+ years, making countless friends over that time.

She was also a parishioner of the church.

She loved watching Harrison High School basketball, supporting the boys’ and girls’ teams for many years, a tradition that began when her son played on the boys’ team.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 2680, North Canton, Ohio 44720 or in loving memory of Ann.

Mary B. Murphy

Mary B. Murphy (nee Byrne) died Dec. 4.

She was 80.

Born in Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland, she lived many years in Kearny, then Norwood, before moving to Old Tappan three years ago.

Visiting was Thursday, Dec. 8, at the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, Kearny. Mass was Friday, Dec. 9, at Immaculate Conception Church, Norwood. Burial followed in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.

Mary was a retired nuclear medicine technician for St. Michael’s Medical Center in Newark.

Wife of the late John B. Murphy, she was the mother of Nuala Connelly, Brian Murphy and Sean Murphy. Sister of Catherine, Elizabeth, Teresa, Patrick, James and the late John, she is also survived by her grandchildren Brendan and Emma.

If you wish to make a memorial donation, the family asks that you consider Rogosin Institute in New York City.

Anthony L. Carratura

Anthony “Tony” L. Carratura died Dec. 5.

He was 56.

Born in Newark, he lived most of his life in Kearny. Visiting was Wednesday, Dec. 7, at the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, Kearny. A service took place Thursday, Dec. 8, at the funeral home. Cremation was private.

Tony is survived by his wife Maritza (nee Pulido) and his children and their spouses Tony (Nikki) and Mia (Jim). He was also the brother of Donna Rullo, Anita Gesek (Jon), Angela Riley (John) and the late Camille “Bubie” Nardone, Mary-Lou Suppa and James Cararrtura. Also surviving are his brothers and sisters-in-law Rosa and Artie McDonald, Oscar Cruz and Maria Kobylarz (late Koby).

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to Kearny Recreation or St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Ethel Tolen

Ethel Tolen (nee Wilkins) died quietly Dec. 6 at home.

She was 98.

Born in Nutley, she lived in Kearny since 1952.

Viewing for Ethel was at the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, Kearny. Graveside prayers were in the Stillwater Cemetery, Newton.

Ethel and her beloved husband, the late Robert P. Tolen, enjoyed a full and active life together. They loved the outdoors. They were avid skiers and hikers. She enjoyed relaxing next to the brook that runs along the side of their country cottage in Middleville.

Ethel leaves behind many dear friends, especially Shelly and Leslie, Anna, Lillian, Rosalie, Donna, John and Frank — along with their families. She was dear friends with the late Alice Majkowski and her family.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, an organization he has served 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 social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and X, 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 Kearny to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.