Obituaries for 22 April 2020

Cynthia L. Taylor

Cynthia L. Taylor (nee McLeish) died April 6, 2020.

She was 104.

Born in Carnoustie, Scotland, she moved to the United States in 1951.

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

Cynthia was the wife of the late Andrew Taylor Sr. The mother of Andrew Taylor Jr. (Ann) and the late June Grimes, she is also survived by her five grandchildren Raymond, Laurie, Tracy, Melissa and Andrew and her 10 great-grandchildren Alexander, Danielle, Tyler, Emily, Abigail, Ciara, Caitlin, Brenna, Andrew and Michael.

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

Kenneth A. Smedberg

Kenneth A. Smedberg of Spring Lake died peacefully at home Tuesday, April 7, 2020.

Ken was born Aug. 26, 1933, to Arthur and Mabel (Nelson) Smedberg in North Arlington.

Ken grew up in Kearny, attending Kearny High School and Newark State Teachers’ College. He served his country in the U.S. Army. He retired after 33 years from the Kearny Fire Department as captain.

Upon retiring to Spring Lake, he was a member of the Spring Lake Beach Fire Department for five years.

Ken coached Kearny Pony baseball with his brother Gene for many years, he was a member of the Kearny FMBA, the KFD Captain’s Association and the Old Guard of Bricktown.

He was pre-deceased by his parents, a sister Doris Linkston and brothers Arthur, Roy, Robert and Eugene Smedberg.

He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years Dolores (Carey), his devoted children Karen Spagnuolo, Gary Smedberg, Christopher Smedberg and his wife Jennifer, and Denise Friberg and her husband Robert. He leaves nine adoring grandchildren. Justin Spagnuolo and his wife Samantha, Ryan and William Spagnuolo, Austin and Alexa Smedberg, Andrew and Taylor Smedberg and Wesley and Allyson Friberg.

A memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later date.

The O’Brien Funeral Home, Wall Township, was in charge.

To offer online condolences to the family, please visit



Maria Aurora Baptista

Maria Aurora Baptista died April 14, 2020.

She was 59.

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

Maria is survived by her sons John and Joseph Tavares. The sister of Maria Lourdes Soares, Manuel Baptista and Maria Augusta Tavares, she is also survived by her grandchildren Jonathan and Samantha.


Alan Ostanski

Mr. Alan Ostanski, formerly of Kearny, died in Newark on April 13, 2020.

He was 63.

The son of Lorraine (Egerer) and the late Frank Ostanski, Alan had been a driver for Thumann’s Provisions in Newark.

Private services were entrusted to the Condon Funeral Home, Kearny (

Alan is also survived by his children, Christopher and Joseph Ostanski and Alicia Wells. In addition, he leaves behind his siblings, Frank and Gary (Carol) Ostanski and Carol (John) Postel as well as his uncle Freddy Egerer and four grandchildren.


Bernice C. Kolesar

Bernice C. Kolesar (nee Manley) of Kearny died April 5, 2020.

She was 88.

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

Bernice is survived by her husband John and her daughter and son and their spouses, Sharon Reilly (Pete) and John Kolesar (Thara). Sister of William, Cathy and Gertrude, she is also survived by her grandchildren Mackenzie and Mason.

Stephen Bioty Jr.

Stephen Bioty Jr. of Kearny died April 13, 2020.

He was 80.

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

Husband of the late Grace (Dearolf) he was the father of John Bioty, James Bioty (Tonteshay) and Michelle Olawski (Michael). He is also survived by many loving grandchildren.


Gregory J. Kropilak

Gregory J. Kropilak, 72, died Sunday, April 12, 2020.

Born in Newark, he lived in Kearny for 19 years before moving to North Arlington in 1997.

He worked for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority as a toll collector before retiring in 1997.

He was a past Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus Queen of Peace Council  3428 in North Arlington.

Gregory was the beloved husband of the late Linda Kropilak (nee Ilaria) and the former husband of Delphine Kropilak (nee Anderson); the loving father of Kimberly A. Sharkey, Kristen M. Szivek, Daniel M. Kropilak, Kelly Alice Kropilak, Erin Elizabeth Walsh  and the late Gregory J. Kropilak; the devoted son of the late Josephine (nee Rossi) and George Kropilak; the cherished grandfather of Jamie Sharkey, Michael I. Szivek and Hanna Walsh; and the dear brother of Gary J. Kropilak and Mary Jo Castillo.

Private funeral services were under the direction of the Parow Funeral Home, 185 Ridge Road, North Arlington.

The family would appreciate donations made to the American Diabetes Association in his memory.


James J. Manley

James J. Manley, a lifelong  Kearny resident, joined his loving wife, Addie, “Tubby,” on Saturday, April 11, at the age of 93.

They had been married for 69 years when Addie passed.

Mr. Manley was a proud member of the U.S. Marine Corps. He was a gate operator for the Erie Lackawanna Railroad before retiring. He was also well known locally as a master plasterer, a lost art these days.

He was a devout member of St. Stephen’s Church in Kearny, where he served as an usher for many years.

He was the beloved father to his five children and their spouses, Maureen and Bob Bloomer, Michele and Smitty Smith, Michael and Cookie Manley, Mark Manley and partner David and Marjorie and John Plaugic. His loss is also greatly felt by his six grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his beloved grandsons Chris Smith and Patrick Manley.

Private funeral services were entrusted to the Condon Funeral Home in Kearny ( with a memorial Mass to be celebrated at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you make a donation to the charity of your choice in Jim’s memory.

Mary A. Bennett

Mary A. Bennett (nee Cournoyer) died April 12, 2020.

She was 90.

Born in Boston, she lived in Harrison before moving to Toms River 20 years ago.

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

Mary was a proud veteran having served in the Army from 1949 through 1952.

Wife of the late Joseph L. Bennett, she is survived by her children Thomas Bennett (Heather), Mary Bennett and Kathleen Bennett. Sister of Margaret Baricevac and Joanne Avery, she is also survived by her grandchildren Jason, Sean, Jesse, Cassandra and Madison along with her great-grandchildren Jessa and Luna.



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