Obituary for July 11, 2018

Angela Marie Rubbone (Amorosi)


Angela Marie Rubbone (nee Amorosi), 66, of Towaco, died with her loving family by her side on Tuesday, June 26, 2018.


Born in Newark, Angela was raised in nearby Bloomfield and West Orange. An accomplished athlete in an era when women’s sports didn’t enjoy the prominence that they do today, Angela excelled as a pitcher for the Mountain High School Mountaineers softball team.


She went on to graduate from Mountain High (currently West Orange High School) in 1969, then earned her bachelor’s degree in 1973 from the Panzer School of Physical Education at Montclair State College (now Montclair State University).


What followed was a fulfilling, 35-year career as a physical education teacher and coach at Kearny High School until her retirement in 2008. Angela enjoyed the distinction of being Kearny High’s first ladies’ track team coach and also led the school’s gymnastics team for many years.


In 1995, she concurrently served as the head gymnastics coach at perennial New Jersey power, Ridgewood High School.


It was at Kearny High School that Angela met her beloved husband Joseph. They first encountered each other in 1974 at one of the school’s pep rallies in conjunction with their then roles as assistants for the baseball and track programs, respectively. At first, their relationship was merely personable and professional. But in the spring of 1976, their paths began to cross with greater frequency when they had to coordinate and schedule gym time for their teams.


The love light sparked and they started dating shortly thereafter. Angela and Joe were married on March 10, 1979, at St Raphael’s Church in Livingston. They initially settled in West Orange, where they were blessed with their son Joseph (1980) and daughter Alisa (1983). For each child, Angela took ample time away from work to love and nurture them.


The family later moved to Towaco in 1988. Angela and Joe’s marriage of 39 years proved to be one that God truly smiled on, filled with loving companionship and many good times and memories.


Aside from working out and running — Angela trained for and successfully completed the New York City Marathon in 1998 — her favorite pastime was tennis. A fierce competitor, with an extremely strong and often unreturnable left-handed serve, she could shut down her opponents, which frequently included Joe or one of her kids, in no time.


Of course, winning was important, but Angela enjoyed the social aspect of the game just as much, regularly getting together with friends in the Packanack Lake Tennis Club. Angela also enjoyed playing pickleball — a fast-paced paddle game combining tennis, badminton and table tennis.


The warmth, love and closeness of family was much valued by Angela. She always got excited about the holidays. They were a joyous time for her and she loved having her family gathered to celebrate together. When a holiday gathering included a turkey on the dinner table, extended family always looked to Angela to bring the bird.


She prepared it the old-fashioned way, just like her mother and grandmother taught her. No frozen turkeys for Angela. Oh no! The turkey needed to be fresh and it needed to be big! She’d always make sure to brine the turkey for several days before cooking it. Then there was her traditional Italian stuffing, which she painstakingly prepared with stale bread and finely sliced onions before carefully placing back into the bird to cook.


As for transporting the 20- to 30-pounder to relatives’ homes, she left that to Joe and the kids to figure out. Angela was equally known for her delicious and creative Jello, so dessert was always a much-anticipated delight.


Angela and Joe were very grateful for the time they could have together. They spent many summers on Long Island enjoying the various state parks where Joe served as a lifeguard for over 45 years.


They also had a lot of fun traveling and their favorite destinations included Mexico, the Dominican Republic and just about any island in the Caribbean. In recent years, they often took trips to Belmar, where they would spend the day on the beach and then gradually make their way to nearby Loch Arbour for dinner at McGillicuddy’s, one of Angela’s favorite restaurants.


Angela was a very sociable, caring and giving person who was most sincerely devoted to her family, but who also lovingly gave of her God-given time, talents and treasures in the service of friends and those in need.


When her mother suffered from Multiple Sclerosis for 20 years, Angela was there. When her father became ill and needed help, Angela insisted he live with Joe, the kids and herself in their Towaco home. When her husband was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2010, Angela never left his side prior to and during his recovery.


In-between, she made it her mission to support her children, attending nearly every one of her son Joey’s football, basketball and baseball games from the time he was a young boy all the way through his senior season as a cornerback on the Amherst College football team, and just about all of Alisa’s dance competitions, gymnastic meets and UCLA Dance Team events.


Her drive to help those in need also inspired her to become the founder of a support program in Kearny called “REACH,” made up of a select group of Kearny High School students who aimed to enrich the social and emotional growth of their peers.


Much of what shaped Angela’s life was inspired by her ceaseless faith in God. She spent many years as a parishioner at St. Raphael’s Church in Livingston, where she taught catechism and served as a Eucharistic Minister. She was a deeply devoted Catholic and never missed Mass, even in recent times when she was sick.


She was especially grateful to the Rev. Dominik Bakowski, and the rest of the parish family at St. Pius X Church, for their ministry and prayers throughout her illness.


Angela was the beloved wife of Joseph. She was the loving mother of Joseph M. of Hoboken and Alisa and husband Sean Rice of Santa Monica, Calif.; loving step-mother of Pamela and Jennifer Rubbone, both of Queen Creek, Ariz.; dear sister of Charles and wife Lois Amorosi of Cape Coral, Fla.; and dear sister-in-law of Rae-Ann “Dolly” Amorosi.


She is also survived by numerous beloved cousins, nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews. Angela was predeceased by her loving parents Gerard and Margaret Amorosi, and her dear brother Gerald Amorosi.


A funeral Mass was celebrated June 29, 2018, at St. Pius X Church, Montville.


The Vander May Wayne Colonial Funeral Home, Wayne, was in charge.

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