Obituaries for Feb. 9, 2022

Michael G. Pasqua

Michael G. Pasqua, of Kinnelon, son of Michael and Emma Pasqua of Kearny, died Jan. 17, 2022. He was a 1951 Kearny High School graduate and earned a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers Pharmacy in 1955. He became an Air Force Major and hospital administrator in Wethersfield, England.

When discharged in 1960, he attended Montclair State College to pursue his love of teaching and coaching. He taught biology and drama and coached varsity basketball at the Carteret School in West Orange from 1961-1965, when he became a science teacher at Kearny’s Washington School.

He coached basketball and expanded the crew program as coach of both the Kearny HS JV & Varsity teams. He retired from his beloved profession in June 1990 and enjoyed taking cruises to the Caribbean, gardening and spending time with his dogs.

Michael is survived by his brother Richard Moorehead of Hilton Head, South Carolina; his cousin Will Maier of Phoenix and his surrogate family, Gary & Sandra Downey and their children Colin, Kieran, Caitlyn and Kallie.

A Mass and memorial service will take place Friday, Feb. 4, at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of the Magnificat Church in Kinnelon.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations in his name to the ASPCA or the Salvation Army.
For more information, contact the Lombardi Funeral Home, Caldwell, at (973) 481-1900.

Maryann Vuocolo

Maryann Vuocolo, 79, of Kearny, died Feb. 4, 2022.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a visitation for Maryann at the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny, on Wednesday, Feb. 9, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Stephen’s Church in Kearny at 11 a.m. Interment will follow in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.

Born in Newark, Maryann lived in the Ironbound section until moving to Kearny 40 years ago. She worked as a chief clerk for the State of New Jersey, Division of Youth and Family Services, in Newark for 15 years until her retirement in 2017. Maryann served in the PTA in Kearny for many years and most treasured time spent caring for her loving family.

Maryann was the beloved wife of Charles D. Walsh; loving mother of Jennifer Vuocolo and her fiance Corey; dear step-mother of Catherine Heidi Griffin; cherished grandmother of Isabell Algarin and her husband Jason; and adoring great-grandmother of Mia. She was the dear sister of Angelo Vuocolo and his wife Patricia, and the late John Vuocolo; and is also survived by her niece Angela.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the American Diabetes Association, or to the American Heart Association.

Richard W. Thomson

Richard W. Thomson of North Arlington died Jan. 27, 2022, due to complications from Mantle Cell Lymphoma, a rare form of cancer, which he was diagnosed with in 2011.

Richard was born in Kearny to James and Margaret (nee McKinley) Thomson.

He graduated from Kearny High School in 1960 and joined the United States Air Force.

After basic training and Air Police Tech School, he was stationed for three years at Torrejon AFB near Madrid, Spain, performing duties as an ADT operator and communicator plotter for “ B” flight CDF.

Upon his honorable discharge from the Air Force, he became a registered representative and investment adviser for Scott Planning Company. In 1973, he created Aberdeen Securities in North Arlington and became his own broker/dealer in mutual fund sales. In 2001, he merged Aberdeen Securities with his current investment firm Nationwide Planning Associates in Paramus. He served clients until his death.

Richard was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution by his 4th grandfather William Chapman, who served with George Washington.

Richard leaves behind his beloved wife of 54 years, Marie Thomson (nee Masson), his daughters Kelly Chaddha and her husband Arun, and Debra Peneiras and her husband Sergio, his grandchildren Evan  Peneiras, Sarah Peneiras, Anthony Purtificato and Michael Thomson and his wife Briana.

Private services be under the direction of the Parow Funeral Home, North Arlington.

The family would appreciate donations made in Richard’s memory to your favorite charity or the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718 Oklahoma City, Okla. 73123.

Joan A. Wasielewski

Joan A. Wasielewski (nee Kobuszewski), 84, died Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022.

Born in Jersey City, she lived in North Arlington and Sebastian, Florida, before moving to Lyndhurst 1½ years ago.

Joan was the beloved wife for 65 years of Thaddeus Wasielewski; the mother of Doreen Wasielewski, Karen Paton and Dolores Ganjawala and her husband Parag; the  grandmother of Megan, Nicole, Erica, Danielle, Matthew, Neena and Nick; the great-grandmother of Evelyn; and the sister of Thaddeus Kobuszewski and the late Patricia Coyle and Thaddeus Kobuszewski.

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

Thomas G. Britton

Thomas G. Britton of Kearny died at the Center for Hope Hospice, Scotch Plains, Monday, Jan. 31, 2022.

He was 76.

Funeral services were under the direction of Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave., Harrison. A funeral Mass took place at St. Cecilia Church, Kearny. His interment will take place at Brigadier General William C. Doyle Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery, Wrightstown.

If you would like to send a condolence message to his family, please visit

Born in Newark, Thomas was raised in Kearny and lived there his whole life.

He was an original from the “Cooper’s Block” neighborhood.  He worked for the Kearny Department of Public Works for 40 years, retiring in 2008. Tom was a very charitable man throughout his life, donating and volunteering much of his time to many charitable events in Kearny. He was an avid football fan, and always rooted for Notre Dame and the New York Giants.

He served his country in the US Army during the Vietnam War from 1965 to 1967 and was granted an Honorable discharge.

Tom is survived by his cherished daughter, Kellyann Britton, dearest friends, Pat and Maria Lockard, Paddy and Diane Brannigan, Jeanne Zincavage, “The Wizard” and many cousins living in Florida and Indiana. He was predeceased by his mother Sadie Britton and his best friend Joseph Zincavage.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 Saint Jude Place, Memphis, Tenn. 38105-1942, in loving memory of Tom.

Michelle K. Davidson

Michelle K. Davidson, 70, died Feb. 3, 2022.

Daughter of Stanley and Marie (nee Gavin) Karas, Michelle was born in Newark. She graduated from Harrison High School in 1969.  From there, she went on to earn an associate degree from Taylor Business School.

Michelle then married the love of her life, Walter Davidson, husband of 46 years. They moved to Bloomfield in 1998, where she was the head of the Bloomfield Bicentennial Committee and was a member of the cultural commission. Michelle’s most treasured moments were with her family.

She is survived by her beloved husband Walter Davidson; son Glenn Davidson, his wife Wendy Camerota; daughter Amanda O’Hagan, her husband James; grandchildren Ian and Evan O’Hagan.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Michelle’s name may be made to St Jude Children’s Hospital at

Michelle’s arrangements were under the care of Halpin-Bitecola Brookdale Funeral home, Bloomfield, 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.