Obituaries for 4 July 2018

Allison Elizabeth Gaynor

Allison Elizabeth Gaynor died Wednesday, June 27, 2018.

She was 24.

Allison was born in Newark and lived in Kearny her entire life.

She had the biggest heart and loved her family unconditionally. She fought hard in her short life to stay here for us. Allison loved her “fur babies” (cats) like they were her children. She is, in death, the way she was in life — an angel.

Our little girl lost her battle, but she fought the demon with everything she had. Allison is finally free, with no more pain and no more suffering. She will never grow old and tired. She will eternally be our beautiful, smart, funny and compassionate “Ally Cat.”

If all of our love was enough to keep her here, we would have had her forever. We all loved her so much.

Allison is survived by her parents Kim and Luis Alfieri; two brothers, Christopher Gaynor and Louie Alfieri; grandparents, John and Ellen Catena and Dee Alfieri; aunts and uncles, Edward and Lynn Zazalli, John and Jeana Rivas, Nick and Sarah Luciano, Nick and Denise Alfieri, Vito Alfieri, Dennis and Deborah Sharples, Joe and Michele DeRocker and Joseph Catena.

She is also survived by many cousins, friends and all of her cats.

She was predeceased by her father, Chris Gaynor; grandparents, Mary and Chris Gaynor, Nick Alfieri and Charles Luciano; and her aunts and uncles, Judy Reiser, Bobby Catena and Mike Gaynor.

Stephanie Rae Miller

Stephanie Rae Miller died June 22, 2018, at home in Kearny.

She was 29.

Visiting was at the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, Kearny. Mass was celebrated at St. Stephen’s Church. Cremation was private.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to, Kearny Thistle F.C. or the Kearny Arts Council.

Stephanie was the beloved daughter of Denise O’Neill (her step-father Vinny O’Neill) and Stephen Miller (Janet Bayer). Granddaughter of Elizabeth O’Neill and the late Hugh O’Neill, Mary Rose Miller and Edward S. Miller, she is also survived by her loving brothers Kyle and Luke along with many relatives and friends. Stephanie loved her fur babies Angus, Mocha and Magic.

Stephanie, a very creative and artsy person, had many passions. Some of her favorites included cooking in the kitchen, yoga, animals and baking pies at Stewart’s Scottish Market. She loved to travel and exhibited her free spirit by climbing mountains and jumping from planes. Her last trip was a beautiful tour of Ireland. She played soccer for Thistle F.C., Kearny High School and the Irish American’s Woman’s team. Her favorite color was always the “pantone color of the year.”

Her broken-hearted mother recently wrote the following about their terrible experience:

“Our family has been struck by a terrible tragedy, related to depression and mental health. This disease took our beautiful, sweet, artistically talented, funny, free-spirited daughter, sister, step-sister, granddaughter, goddaughter, niece, cousin, friend.  Our sweet, beautiful Stephanie Rae Miller has been taken from us by suicide, a decision she thought could save her. With all the love and support she had in her life, it didn’t seem to be enough to protect her from this very painful disease. She is now painting the clouds in Heaven. Stephanie can now soar above the clouds and be the free spirited soul that yearned to be.  As for us, our lives are forever changed. Hug your children every day! Please stop judging, there is a real epidemic going on.”

Louis Donald Sylvester

Louis Donald Sylvester, of Harrison, died peacefully Monday, June 18, 2018.

He was 81.

A memorial gathering took place at the Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave., Harrison.

To send a condolence message to his family, visit

Born in Newark, he was a lifelong resident of Harrison. He was Harrison police officer from 1954 until he retired as captain in 1991.

He was predeceased by his beloved companion Roseanne Barton (2006). Louis was the loving step-father of Kimberly Barton Heelan and John Barton.

He will be greatly missed by his family & friends.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tenn. 38105 or Shriner’s Hospital for Children, 3551 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19140, in loving memory of Louis Sylvester.

John B. ‘Jack’ Eakins Jr.

John B. “Jack” Eakins Jr. died June 28, 2018.

He was 77.

Born in Brooklyn, Jack lived on Long Island before moving to Kearny 46 years ago.

Visiting was at the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, Kearny. A service takes place Tuesday, July 3, at 10 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Arlington, Kearny. Cremation will be private.

Jack is survived by his wife Pam (nee Gillespie) and his son and daughter-in-law Kevin and Gretchen Eakins. Also surviving are his grandsons Donovan and Ryan.

Jack served six years in the Navy, attended Hofstra University and graduated from Fairleigh Dickenson University. He was a member and past officer of the Kearny Optimists and was Past Governor of N.J. Optimists.

He was involved with Scouting for many years, taught Sunday School at Grace United Methodist Church and was a member of Copestone-Ophir F &A.M., all in Kearny.

He was a finance trustee at St. Mary’s High School, Rutherford, and had been a computer analyst in New York City, surviving the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to the Kearny Optimist Club.

Thomas M. Bradley

Thomas M. Bradley, 86, died Friday, June 15, 2018, at his home in North Arlington, surrounded by his loving family.

The funeral was from the Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home, Kearny. A funeral Mass was celebrated at Queen of Peace Church, North Arlington. Entombment was in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.

Mr. Bradley was born in Cambuslang, Scotland, and immigrated to Kearny in 1950 before moving to North Arlington in 1960.

While in Scotland, he served in the British Army.

After becoming a citizen in the United States, he was drafted and served in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1955.

Tom was a union delegate and master technician for N.J. Bell for 25 years, retiring in 1986. He decided to return to work and joined Johnston Communications in North Arlington where he worked for 15 more years. After, he was a telecommunications consultant at Fedway Associates, Inc., in South Kearny until 2012.

He was a member of the Scots-American Athletic Club of Kearny and Lodge No. 1992, B.P.O E. 1992, North Arlington.

He is survived by his children, Rose Marie Edwards, Bernadette Santiago and Thomas P. Bradley.

Tom was the grandfather of A.J., Nico, Donna, Michael, Will and Matt and great-grandfather of Evan, Leanne, Jaden, Carley, Tyler, Ryan and Katy.

He was predeceased by his wife, Bernadette (nee Mc Sherry) Bradley.

Elena (Helen) A. McDonough

Mrs. Elena (Helen) A. McDonough, a former Kearny resident, died June 25, 2018.

She was 97.

Visitation was at the Condon Funeral Home, 684 Kearny Ave., Kearny ( The funeral Mass was celebrated  at St. Stephen’s Church, Kearny. Interment was in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.

Mrs. McDonough had been a bookkeeper for Valley National Bank, Kearny, for many years until retiring.

She was predeceased by her husband John G. McDonough Sr., as well as her five siblings and their spouses. She is survived by her children John G McDonough, DMD (Kathleen), Elena High (Benjamin), Lorraine Traczykowski (Dennis) and Karen O’Donnell (James Sr.). Helen also leaves behind her 13 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Surviving, also, is Mrs. McDonough’s sister, Aurora Bibona.

John P. ‘Johnny D’ Di Pasquale

John P. “Johnny D” Di Pasquale died June 24, 2018.

He was 72.

Born in Newark, he lived in North Arlington and then Kearny for many years.

Visiting was at the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, Kearny. Mass was celebrated at St. Stephen’s Church, Kearny. Cremation was private.

John was a graduate of Queen of Peace High School, North Arlington, and Rutgers University. He excelled at academics and sports. He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War as a specialist 5th Class Criminal Investigator.

He owned Mar-Con Associates and worked as an industrial supply salesman.

Husband of his lifelong sweetheart, Marlene (nee De Paolo), he was the beloved father of Marlaina Melker (Zack) and John A. Di Pasquale (Adena). Brother of Bonnie Cerminaro (Vincent) and brother-in- law of Rosanne Lucarelli and Carolee Petti, he was the cousin of Eloise Brown (nee Melillo), nephew of Ann Melillo and numerous nieces and nephews — Michele and Brian, Michael and Samantha, Joseph and Marnie, Lance and Tara, Rosanne and Andrew and Carolee and Anthony. He is also survived by his grandchildren Lily, Violet, Julia Rose and one on the way, along with his great-nephews (grandsons in his heart) Lance, Dane and Cole.

The legendary Johnny D. was a great story teller. He captivated the hearts of the little ones as well as the adults. They were mesmerized by his candor and genuine love and humor for all. Sunday dinners, watching the Giants, attending all the children’s games, trips with the family to Italy, the cabin in the Catskills, adventures with the “Silver Fox,” visits to Saratoga racetrack, and the shore, all made for a good life with enduring memories.

His impact on us all as a stanchion of our family will be greatly missed and forever in our hearts. Johnny D., husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend will be listed among the best. We love you.

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

Kathryn D’Antuono

Kathryn D’Antuono (nee Elson) died June 25, 2018.

She was 89.

Born in Hoboken, she lived many years in Kearny.

Visiting was at the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, Kearny. Mass was celebrated at St. Cecilia Church, Kearny. Entombment was Holy Cross Mausoleum, North Arlington.

Kathryn was the wife of the-late Nicholas and is survived by her sister Patricia Elson. She is also survived by many dear friends, especially Rose Rivellini, Fran Rainey, Eva and Joe Reese, Laura Catalini and Stella Dzierewianko.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to St. Cecilia Church, 120 Kearny Ave., Kearny, N.J. 07032.

Henry Zalewski

Henry Zalewski, 85, died Saturday, June 30, 2018.

Born in Jersey City, he lived in North Arlington the past 60 years.

While serving in the Army during the Korean War, he played on their football and baseball teams. He worked for the Borough of North Arlington as a parking violations officer for 15 years before retiring 10 years ago.

Earlier, he worked as a truck driver for Penn Yan Express in Carlstadt for over 25 years.

Henry was an avid sports fan, he participated in sports while growing up in Jersey City and later enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren play. He loved to go crabbing with his family. He was the beloved husband of Angela ( nee Dubanowicz ), the devoted father of Linda Mellea and her husband Patrick, Hank Zalewski and his wife Eileen, and Chuck Zalewski and his wife Gina, and the cherished grandfather of Patrick and Sarah Mellea, and Cory, Kyle, Callan, Casey, Rhianna, Haylee and Ben Zalewski.

The funeral will be from the Parow Funeral Home, 185 Ridge Road, North Arlington, on Tuesday, July 3 at 9 a.m. Mass will be celebrated at Queen of Peace Church, North Arlington, at 10 a.m. Cremation will be private.

Anna ‘Nancy’ Santiago

Anna “Nancy” Santiago (Creighton) died peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family on Wednesday, June 27.

She was known to many as “the lady on Second Street with all those children.”

The funeral will be conducted from the Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave., Harrison, on Tuesday July 3 at 9:15 a.m. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at Holy Cross Church, Harrison, at 10 a.m. Interment will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.

Viewing hours will be Tuesday, July 3, after 8:45 a.m. To send a condolence message to her family, visit

To those who really knew her, “Mom enjoyed dancing in the kitchen; talking (& talking) — reminiscing with “Harrison stories,” watching “Blue Bloods,” “American Idol,” “The Voice” and ice skating with family. She loved the color light blue and had beautiful blue eyes.  She would laugh and say — Second Street is my past, present and future.

She was predeceased by her parents, Anna and Patrick Creighton; a sister, Eileen Aponte; her husband, Celso, and a son, “Baby Nelson,” with whom she is now reunited.

She is survived by her children Maryann (Jack), Debbie (Mic), P, Denise (Rick), Kimberly, Darlyn, Nelsonia, Renee, Nelson “Jr.” (Ruthie) and Dana (Glenn); several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; two nieces, Joann and Cathy and grand-dogs when vacationing with family in South Jersey.

A very special thanks to Claucia (home health aide), Rutgers Cancer Institute  and Hussain at  Barnabas Health.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, in loving memory of Anna.

Learn more about the writer ...

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.