Obituaries for May 5, 2021

Robert DiGenova

There was nothing more important to Robert DiGenova, 88, of Brick, formerly of Kearny, than being with his family, so it was only natural that after living a good life that he died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his family on April 25, 2021.

Known affectionately throughout his life as “Dee Gee,” he was born and raised in his beloved town of Kearny, before making Brick his home with his wife of 56 years, Anne, much later in his life.

Bob lived a full, fun and interesting life and enjoyed telling stories about his friends from Kearny related to their shared enjoyment of watching the live entertainment of their time and the many sporting events that he participated in. He was a humble man who enjoyed talking about all the great athletes of his youth and the teams that he played on.

He was a great all-around athlete in his own right, earning the distinction of playing on a State Championship team and being an All-State soccer player at Kearny High School, where he was a runner-up for the prestigious Coggin Award for the best player in the state as a steadfast defender.

He was also a member of the 1950 Harrison Boys Club that won the United States Soccer Federation National Championship and later went on to be inducted into the Kearny High School Hall of Fame as an All-Around Best Athlete.

He served his country as a member of the US Army in the Korean War and always enjoyed telling his story about the visit from Marilynn Monroe.

Bob was a Kearny police officer for over 25 years who loved and cared for the people of Kearny before retiring in 1988 and enjoying a nice long retirement. He was known as a “cop’s cop” by fellow officers and most enjoyed the relationships he made as a true “community-policing officer,” interacting with all of the kids, business owners and community members alike on Davis Avenue during the latter part of his career.

To his friends and family, he was recognized as one of the most generous people that we’ve all known in so many different ways. To those who knew him well or only knew him for a short time, his family heard on so many occasions that he was a “great guy” and a “special man” who had the ability to connect and enjoy the company of everyone he met. He enjoyed watching the Yankees and Giants and as a lifelong Giants season ticket holder — dating back to the Polo Grounds — he especially enjoyed each Giants Super Bowl win.

There was never a moment of doubt throughout the lives of his wife, children and grandchildren that more than anything else they were loved and he just wanted to spend as much time as he could with his family.

Robert is survived by his loving wife, Anne (nee Watson) DiGenova, his children Robert DiGenova Jr and his wife Susan, Kara Boyko and her husband Richard, and his grandchildren, Bobby DiGenova, Christie DiGenova and Richie Boyko, all of Middletown; his favorite cousin, Elvira Larsen of Toms River; and many nieces and nephews from the Nicosia, Massaro, Eckert and Shaw families.

He is predeceased by his beautiful granddaughter, Danielle Boyko, his parents, Mildred and Vincent, his sisters Margaret DiGenova and Bernadine Nicosia, and many of his dear friends and family who meant so much to him during his life.

Visiting was Wednesday, April 28, at the O’Brien Funeral Home, Brick. A prayer service took place Thursday, April 29, at O’Brien Funeral Home. Burial was in St. Catharine’s Cemetery, Sea Girt.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Leukemia/Lymphoma Society in the name of Danielle Boyko.

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Michael T. Bell

Michael T. Bell of Kearny died Saturday, April 24, 2021.

He was 71.

Mr. Bell served in the US Navy for 10 years from 1968 to 1978. He was a member of the Harrison American Legion and the Harrison-East Newark Elks. He loved to go camping and go up to Cherry Ridge Range.

He was the only son of Michael and Mae Bell.

He leaves his two daughters Debbie and Melissa Bell, and five grandchildren, Morgen Commings, Alexander, Karolina, Gabriel Gomes and Collin Francis and his significant partner for the past 40 years Barbara Stoia.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Wounded Warrior Project, P. O. Box 758516 Topeka, Kan. 66675-8516 in loving memory of Michael.

Francis E. Dischler

Francis E. Dischler, 86, of Kearny, died April 29,2021.

Arrangements are by the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home in Kearny. There will be a funeral Mass on Tuesday, May 4, at Queen of Peace Church, North Arlington, at 11:30 a.m. Entombment will follow in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.

Mr. Dischler served in the Army from 1955-1957, He was a VP of Banking for the Trust Company of New Jersey. After retirement, he enjoyed driving the North Arlington senior bus for 20 years.

Beloved husband of Anne (nee Boghi), he was the loving father to Mathew and his fiance Ana. He was the brother of Paul, James and the late Thomas Dischler.

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

Richard A. Hoffman

Richard A. Hoffman, 76, died Monday, April 26, 2021 at his home in Kearny.

Born in Belleville, Mr. Hoffman was raised in Harrison and lived there until moving to Kearny in 1968.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara (nee Zeoli) Hoffman and one daughter, Dawn Nisbet.

A private graveside service was held in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Bloomfield, Thursday, April, 29, 2021.

Condolences and memories may be shared at

Ryan Kimball

Ryan Kimball of Belleville died April 27, 2021.

He was 35.

Private arrangements are through the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home in Kearny.

Ryan was the beloved son of Martin and Rose (nee Borkowski) Kimball and the loving brother of Jonathan Kimball.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to your own favorite charity.

Steven Ksyniak

Steven Ksyniak, 66, of Kearny, died at home on April 28, 2021.

Funeral Services are private, in the care of the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home in Kearny.

Born in Philadelphia, Steven lived in Harrison until moving to Kearny 27 years ago. He worked as a project engineer and estimator for Powersave in Bloomfield for many years.

Steven was the loving son of Anthony and Loretta Urgola, father of Gina and dear brother of Anthony and David.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to the Alliance to End Childhood Poisoning in Washington D.C. (202) 543-1147.

Joan Ruth Lewis

Joan Ruth Lewis, 90, of Kearny, died at home on April 28, 2021.

Family and friends are invited to attend a visitation for Joan at the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Dr. Kearny on Wednesday, May 5, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Stephen’s Church, Kearny, at 11 a.m. Burial will follow in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Hanover.

Born in Kearny, Joan was a lifelong resident.

A graduate of the College of Elizabeth College, she was a longtime member of its Alumni Association. She worked as an accountant for many years until her retirement. Joan was a dedicated member of the St. Stephen’s Senior Citizens Club and the St. Stephen’s Rosary Society. She also belonged to the Benstead Senior Center in Kearny.

The daughter of the late Thomas and Gertrude (nee Davin) Lewis, Joan is survived by several loving nieces, nephews and cousins.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the College of St. Elizabeth, or to St. Stephen’s Church.

Robert E. Murray

Robert E. Murray, 67, of Roxbury, a Kearny native and retired Kearny firefigher, died after a herculean battle with melanoma on Sunday, April 25,2021.

He was born and raised in Kearny before moving to West Orange and finally settling in Roxbury.

He served on the Kearny Fire Department for 25 years, retiring in 2013.

He was predeceased by his loving parents, Wilbert Robert and Irene (Fadeski). He is survived by his wife, Josephine (Fasulo), his sisters Loretta O’Neill and Irene Brooks, his children Robert Edward II (Danielle), Marguerita and Alexandra; his granddaughter Ava Michelina; his beloved dog Brandy; and many loving nieces and nephews.

He cherished his family above all else, lived in an eternal state of summer and never once questioned God’s will.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Robert’s memory to the Melanoma Research Alliance at

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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.