Obituaries for 3 June 2020

John Trovato

John Trovato, 71, of North Arlington died May 7, 2020.

Funeral services were private and under the care of the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home in Kearny.

Born in Newark, John lived in Kearny before moving to North Arlington 30 years ago.

John served in the Army for several years, stationed in Germany until his honorable discharge in 1980. A member of the Knights of Columbus and the VFW, John worked as a truck driver for the Town of Harrison from 1989 until his retirement in 2010.

The son of the late John and Domenica (nee Cimato) Trovato, John was the beloved husband of the late Joan Trovato; dear brother of Catherine Ingenito and her husband Thomas, and the late Dr. Joseph Trovato.

He also leaves to cherish his memory his nieces and nephews Andrea, Laura, Anthony and Joseph.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to the A.S.P.C.A.

Lena Gavin

Lena Gavin, nee Devingo, a long-time Kearny resident, died Friday, May 29, 2020, at 88.

Lena was predeceased by her loving husband of 69 years Donald Gavin, who died March 30, 2020. She was a loving mother above all, but a loving and caring friend to everyone fortunate to cross in her path.  Lena was the epitome of 1 John 4:7: God is love.

She was beloved by her children and their spouses: Donald and Denise Gavin, Robin Gavin, Mary Kurdyla, Susan Gavin, Joe Gavin, Jim and Amanda Gavin; her grandchildren Melissa, Jason, Courtney, Kyle, Max, Jessica, Heather, Sophie, Aiden and Bailey; and five great grandchildren with one soon to bless this earth.

She was referred to as ma, grammy, gram, but no better moniker was given than by her youngest grandchild … grandma meatballs. She was an Italian cook extraordinaire. No one ever left her home wanting more, always offered plenty. She was a selfless, loving, caring and beautiful woman.

Lena was a long-time parishioner of St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Kearny. She was also a long-time participant at bingo in the church basement. Above all, she lived by the Word of God and lived every day of her life proclaiming His goodness.

Lena will be sorely missed but she will live on in the hearts of many and serve as a shining example for all of us to emulate.

Because of the current environment, a celebration of Lena’s life will take place at a later date. She will be interred in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.

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

You may leave your memories, thoughts and prayers at

Marjorie McDonough

Mrs. Marjorie (nee Eckert) McDonough, 86, died May 27, 2020, surrounded by family in Verona.

Interment in Holy Cross Cemetery was private. A memorial Mass celebrating her life will take place at a later date.

Born in Kearny, Mrs. McDonough was a lifelong resident of Harrison.

She graduated from St. Cecilia High School and worked as a custodian for the Harrison Board of Education until retiring at 80.

Mrs. McDonough was active in her community through the Elks Lodge of Harrison and the Rosary Society at Holy Cross Church in Harrison.

She was predeceased by her husband, James McDonough and parents, Joseph and Julia (nee Jones) Eckert.

Mrs. McDonough is survived by her sons, Timothy (Lynn) McDonough and James (Debbie) McDonough, grandchildren, Meaghan (Kevin), Jimmy, Caitlin, Briann (Jay), Brian, great-grandson, Jaxson, siblings, Floyd (Sissy) Eckert and Delores (George) Robertson and dear friend, Noreen Silvers.

Donations in her memory to the Holy Cross Church Food Pantry (16 Church Square, Harrison, N.J. 07029) would be appreciated.

Condolences and memories may be shared at

George Tonner

George Tonner, beloved by all who had the pleasure of meeting him in his 80 years, died May 21, 2020, in Montclair.

He was a kind and giving soul, always giving to those in need and sharing with those he cared for. He loved people and rarely left folks without a smile, a chuckle and a shake of their head.

He will be missed by many.

He is survived by his daughter Shelley Tonner and her partner, Brett Starr; his son Sean Tonner as well as his loving sisters Betty Tonner, Charlotte Harris and Mary Stanton, who affectionately call George “Sonny,” the nickname his mother gave him as a child and which George cherished.

His grandchildren, Brandon Tonner-Connolly and Shawna Tonner, will always treasure their memories of growing up with him as a pillar of support and encouragement. He loved his nieces Jennifer Harris and Mary Beth Dimone and his nephews Frank Harris and Christopher Stanton.

He will also be missed by his cat, “The Scared,” who loved to find ways to sleep on his hat and jacket to the delight and consternation of George.

Despite not taking his high school Latin classes seriously as a boy, much to the chagrin of the nuns at St. Cecilia’s, George was a hard worker his entire life. He started his working life as a pin boy at a bowling alley at the age of 11 and proceeded to a long career in management with Engelhard Industries.

As an avid and accomplished bowler, George spent many joyful years as a part-time bartender and a resident mentor at the Bowl-O-Drome. A modest man, he always had to be coaxed into telling the story of how he once bowled a 290 and came within inches of a perfect game. His claim to have been the first bowler to wear two different bowling shoes habitually, however, has yet to be verified.

He enjoyed spending time on both sides of the bar at Graham’s, his neighborhood tavern, and was a stalwart friend and source of support to many there.

George was also an enthusiastic golf fan. Whether watching on TV, duffing it on the course, or attending PGA Tour events, he loved everything about the game.

He also loved taking long walks and frequently strolled the length of Kearny on the main avenue, waving to the many friends who would shout a warm greeting to him from a hastily opened storefront door or through a rolled-down car window. In his later years, George treasured having breakfast every morning with the morning crowd and the kind owners of The Kearny Coffee Shop.

He was predeceased by his wife of 50 years, Barbara Tonner, and his mother and father, Elizabeth and George Tonner.

Many of his friends will have greeted him in heaven, including his driving and lunch buddy for years, Frank Harris. For those who remain, please pray for his peaceful rest. Funeral arrangements are private.

A memorial service to celebrate George’s life will take place at a later date.

Condolences and memories may be shared at

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to St Jude, who George reverently called “my man.”


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