Obituaries for Feb. 23, 2022

Ernestine Cookie Banach 

Ernestine “Cookie” Banach, 78, of North Arlington, died Feb. 11, 2022.

Loving mother of David Banach & his wife Deanna, and the late Christopher Banach, she was  the adoring grandmother of Robert Roche, Fox David Banach, Brian Christopher Banach and Baby Scarlett Amelia Banach due to arrive April 2022. She is also survived by her long time loving companion Bill Bayersdorfer.

Cookie was born in Newark. She was a nurse for 55 years starting out in 1966 as a Registered Nurse, progressing to Head Nurse and eventually Director/Administrator of Extended Care in West Hudson Hospital.

She specialized in geriatrics where as a member of National Nursing Home Association, she was honored as top administrator on the Atlantic coast.  After a long career in that position, she moved on to hospice for a time and was most recently a case worker for a nursing home, only calling it quits as a result of the COVID pandemic. She retired at the age of 76.

She was an avid supporter of animal rights and frequent donor. She was a lover of art who often frequented art and craft shows and enjoyed her personal collection.

Her funeral is set for Thursday, Feb. 17, at 10 a.m., from the Ippolito Stellato Funeral Home, 425 Ridge Road, Lyndhurst.  Funeral service at 11 a.m.  Entombment will be in Holy Cross Chapel Mausoleum, North Arlington.

Friends will be received Wednesday, Feb. 16,  from 4 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.

Donations may be made to Bergen County Animal Shelter, 100 United Lane, Teterboro N.J. 07608.  Leave condolences at

Anna Rispoli

Anna Rispoli, 90, of North Arlington, died Feb. 13, 2022, surrounded by her loving family after a courageous two-year battle with pancreatic cancer also having been a breast cancer survivor.

Anna is survived by her loving husband, Vincent James, her sister, Veronica Caporale, her children, Theresa Wescott and George, Daniel Rispoli and Toni Lynn, Diane Addesso and Mark.  Her grandchildren, Colleen Connaughton and husband Bernard, Brian Wescott and fiancé Jessica, Lindsay and Stephen Addesso, Nicole Rispoli and her great-grandchildren Zachary, Aisling and Gianna.

She was predeceased by her parents Charles and Verna Domanski and her brother Frank Domanski.

A special thank you to all her Loops of Love, bowling and neighborhood friends who remained in touch or kept her in their thoughts and prayers during her illness. Anna and her beautiful blue eyes will be greatly missed by all who loved her.

The funeral was at the Ippolito-Stellato Funeral Home, Lyndhurst. A funeral Mass was celebrated at Queen of Peace Church. Entombment was in Holy Cross Chapel Mausoleum, North Arlington.

In lieu of flowers, a donation to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis Tenn. 38105 or Queen of Peace Church, 10 Franklin Place, North Arlington N.J. 07031 would be appreciated.  Leave condolences at

William ‘Howdy’ Ronan

William “Howdy” Ronan of Little Ferry, formerly of Harrison, died Dec. 10, 2021, in the presence of his partner Clair Cuniff.

Bill was born in Newark and was raised in Harrison where he lived for most of his life. Bill was predeceased by his parents John and Fanny Ronan, as well as his brother Jack and sister Patricia.

Bill’s dad was born in Northern Ireland and his mother hailed from Scotland. Bill was immensely proud of his heritage.

At a young age, Bill was given the nickname “Howdy” due to his red hair and freckles that caused him to resemble the children’s television character Howdy Doodie. As Bill got older, some people took to calling him “The Dude,” but to most he was known simply as Howdy.

Howdy attended Holy Cross Grammar School and Harrison High School, where he excelled at soccer and baseball. After high school, he entered the US Army and later received an honorable discharge. After returning from the Army, Howdy became a local coaching legend.

From a young age, he showed leadership abilities on the sidelines, coaching not only semi-professional soccer but basketball and softball as well. Howdy loved sports and they were an important part of his life. Bill had an encyclopedic knowledge of players, stats, trivia and the fundamentals of all sports.

As he grew older, he developed a particular affinity for girls’ softball, which he grew to love.

Aside from sports, Howdy had a wonderful, lighthearted personality with a quick wit and a unique ability to needle you and make you happy that he did. Howdy high pitched lilting Irish voice filled the room and you know immediately that the “Dude” was in the house. To say that Howdy was a Harrison legend is an understatement indeed. All who knew him and had the fortune of spending time in his company will treasure his memory.

In addition to tending bar in many Harrison and Kearny establishments, Howdy also worked for Amtrak at Penn Station in Newark. Howdy was a “red cap,” or baggage handler and many a commuter came to look forward to their interactions with Howdy who seemed to make their commute just a bit more pleasant.

Unfortunately, Howdy suffered a stroke at the age of 50. Just to prove his doctors wrong (something Howdy relished) he went on to live for more than 30 years post stroke. Anyone can tell you how rare that feat is. Whenever asked about it, Howdy would just say he was a tough kid from Harrison.

That tough kid from Harrison will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

Rest in peace William “Howdy” Ronan.

Joan R. Egan

Joan R. Egan (nee Ciuba), 79, of Kearny died Jan. 7, 2022.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a memorial visitation for Joan at the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny, on Sunday, Feb. 20 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Born in Newark, Joan lived in Kearny since 1976. She worked for St. Stephen’s School in the cafeteria for many years prior to her retirement. Joan was the favorite aunt to her loving nieces and nephews.

Joan was the beloved wife of the late John E. Egan; loving mother of Jo Ann Egan, Melanie Macartney (John) and Andrea Egan; and cherished grandmother of James, Tiffany, Jonathan and Devin. She was also the dear sister of Richard Ciuba, Ronald Ciuba, Cookie Wilczek Judith Murrin, and the late Melanie Calabrese, Hobo Ciuba, Robert Ciuba and Mary Ann Caruso.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.




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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.