Kearny Second Ward Councilman Jonathan Giordano died Saturday, Jan. 7.
He was 50.
Giordano, a Democrat, had served on the Kearny Council since 2015, when he was elected to replace retiring former Councilwoman Laura A. Cifelli-Pettigrew.
Cifelli-Pettigrew was one of numerous friends and colleagues who took time to remember Giordano and the effect he had not just on local government, but on the lives of the people he knew and loved.
“Jon was one of the kindest gentlemen I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing,” Cifelli-Pettigrew said. “I was delighted when he was selected as my replacement on the town council. He was a good friend. I had looked forward to seeing him this weekend at the Robbie Burns celebration at the Argyle restaurant. His sister, Robin, has been a close friend since my years at KHS and I can’t imagine the pain Jon’s family is experiencing at this time.
“My heart is broken for their loss. He was a delightful young man and I will sincerely miss him. My sincere condolences to his family.”
Kearny Mayor Alberto G. Santos said he was very fond of Giordano and absolutely loved working with him on the council.
“He was a kind and caring person who adored his family and loved his community,” Santos said. “His sole purpose in serving as councilman was to make Kearny better. He also had a wonderful way of making us laugh even when we felt overwhelmed by challenging issues.
“Right now I could use one of his witty reflections or humorous observations to pick me up. (He was an) all around good, caring and smart guy.”
Several of Giordano’s friends and colleagues took to social media to remember him.
Third Ward Councilwoman Carol Jean Doyle was among the first to do so early in the morning on Sunday, Jan. 8.
“The loss of Councilman Jon Giordano brings a very sad day for the Town of Kearny,” Doyle wrote on her personal Facebook page. “The loss to his family is devastating and heart-breaking. Jon was professional, sincere and hard-working. His clear thinking brought levity to many issues. His business experience played a huge factor in many of the council’s decisions. I will miss his expertise. What I will miss most is Jon my friend. He always had a smile, an infectious laugh, a voice for the radio and always a kind word. My sincere condolences go out to Ivy, Enzo and his Mom, Pat.”
Barbara Cifelli-Sherry, who once also represented Kearny’s Second Ward on the council, echoed Doyle’s sentiments.
“Awoke to the incredibly sad news of the untimely passing of Kearny Councilman Jon Giordano,” Cifelli-Sherry wrote. “Jon was a man of integrity, generosity, talent and intelligence. He possessed a strong sense of responsibility for his family and our community. He used that quality in being an outstanding son, husband and father – and by using his public service, to better the lives of Kearny residents.
“Jon was vibrant and handsome. He will be remembered for his endearing personality and his contagious laugh. My heart goes out to his extended family which has been a bedrock institution here in our hometown. With deepest condolences, we mark his passing … with deepest gratitude, we acknowledge his life.”
Said First Ward Councilman Albino Cardoso: “My prayers on this moment go to the soul of my dear friend Councilman Giordano. Rest in peace, my friend.”
Manny Ventoso Jr., of Kearny, and Giordano, were classmates at Kearny High School. Ventoso said he most remembers how Giordano was ready to be of service to anyone in need.
“Jon was a very humble man and was always there for everyone,” Ventoso said. “He loved his town. Kearny has truly lost a good man.”
According to Giordano’s LinkedIn page, since 1997, he was the owner and president of West Hudson Millwork, a company that manufactures commercial cabinetry, furniture, countertops and closets. In that same timeframe, he was also the president of Josam Realty, which specialized in commercial properties.
He was a 1984 alumnus of Kearny High School – and he attended New Jersey City University (then Jersey City State College) from 1984 to 1986.
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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.