Obituaries for March 30, 2022

Vincent J. Doffont

God bless Firefighter Vincent J. Doffont, 37, who died unexpectedly and suddenly while on duty.

Vincent was born in Harrison and served his community through his dream job as a Harrison Firefighter. He was a resident of North Arlington and was a devoted and loving husband, father, son and brother.

He is survived by his wife Brighid Doffont, his son Liam and daughter Leighton, parents MaryLynn and Vincent Doffont, sister and brother-in-law Tara and Thomas McDonough, maternal grandmother Gladys Dolaghan, loving in-laws, and countless nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins. He was predeceased by his maternal grandfather John F. Dolaghan and paternal grandparents Regina and Vincent Doffont.

Vincent was often described as one-of-a-kind and one-in-a-million. Anyone who came in contact with him instantly felt his good-hearted nature, which was matched by his magnetic personality. He had an infectious smile that could light up any room, and many were drawn to his love for life which was only surpassed by his love for his family and friends, as well as coaching his son Liam in football.

He was a gifted athlete and sports enthusiast who succeeded at the highest levels and rose to the occasion with the fire of a true competitor. He was a star running back at St. Mary’s High School where he was named to all-county and all-state honors for football, and was inducted in to the St. Mary’s Hall of Fame in 2015.

He continued his play and accolades as a defensive back and place kicker at Montclair State University, where he was a two-time All American.

Vincent’s heroics don’t end there. As a riflemen in the U.S. Marine Corps Infantry Battalion 0311, he served two combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was awarded various medals after being wounded in action. He loved and honored his country, and he was proud to be an American.

He left no stone unturned when he believed life should be lived fully and nobly, and he exemplified such in his everyday interactions, and his love of travel. Often one to never turn down an opportunity to bring a smile to someone’s heart, Vincent was loved and endeared by many and he will be missed beyond measure.

His wings soared the highest heights, and his feet tore up many dance floors. He was and always will be a hero of the truest kind, and he gave selflessly to others, his community and his country as a Marine, sheriff, police officer and eventually through his job as a firefighter.

As the song goes, Vinny did it his way.

The funeral was conducted from Holy Cross Church, Harrison, on Saturday, March 26, 2022. A funeral Mass was celebrated there, as well. His visitation also took take place at Holy Cross Church. His burial was in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.

Funeral Services were under the direction of Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave., Harrison.

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

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8516 or in care of Mulligan Funeral Home, in loving memory of Vincent J. Doffont.

Elaine Neumann

Mrs. Elaine Neumann, 80, of Kearny, died Thursday, March 17, 2022, in Roseland, with her son and daughter by her side.

Wife of the late Fred Neumann, Elaine is survived by her loving children, son John Neumann and his wife Karilyn, daughter Dawn Neumann, as well as two grandchildren on whom she doted, Morgan and Richard S. Thoma.  Also surviving are her cherished sisters, Maureen Gavron-Fagan, Joan Macaluso and Carol Lazarus, their spouses Richard Fagan, Michael Macaluso and William Lazarus, as well as a niece, two nephews and several great-nieces, great-nephews and cousins.

She married Fred in 1963, and later went on to become a fixture at Savage Hardware for many years. The joy of Elaine’s life was in spending time with her husband and her children, and you could often spot her chuckling with her sisters.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Condon Funeral Home, 684 Kearny Ave., Kearny.

A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated at St. Stephen’s Church in Kearny. Interment was in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.

Richard Dick Swankie

Richard “Dick” Swankie of Harrison passed away peacefully on Friday, March 25 in Denville at the age of 91.

Dick grew up in Orange. He was a retired sales promotion executive with New Jersey Bell Telephone Company in Maplewood. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran. Dick lived in Harrison for 49 years with his late wife, Ann.

He was very involved for many years with Holy Cross Church, where he had been active with the Holy Name Society and served as an usher at Sunday Mass. He was a talented cartoonist whose work brought joy to everyone.

He was also an avid golfer, enjoyed trips to Atlantic City and loved spending time with his family and friends. He was always quick with a joke and/or compliment. He loved making people smile.

Dick was the beloved husband of the late Ann (nee Maffey), he was the devoted father of Michele Brennan (and her husband Matthew), and a wonderful grandpa to Danielle and Katie Rose. He was predeceased by his brothers, Robert and William Swankie.

The family will welcome visitors Friday, April 1, from 4 to 8 p.m., at the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny. A funeral Mass will be celebrated Saturday, April 2, at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Cross Church, 323 Harrison Ave., Harrison.

In lieu of flowers, please feel free to make a donation to St. Jude’s Children Hospital.

Matthew Cummiskey Durning

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Matthew Cummiskey Durning, 91.

Matt was born Aug. 31, 1930, in Glasgow, Scotland, where he was raised, attended St. Mungo’s Academy, and served a tour of duty with the British Armed Forces.

In his 20s, Matt immigrated to the United States and eventually settled in Kearny, where numerous members of his extended family lived. He worked as an accountant for St. Joe’s Mineral Company in New York City while attending college at night.

Matt lived in San Juan Capistrano, California, for two decades and had a private practice as a certified public accountant in San Clemente, California. Upon retirement, Matt moved to Florida, and he lived in Gainesville, from 2013 until his death on March 21, 2022.

Matt enjoyed playing soccer and briefly played semi-professionally while living in Kearny.

Matt was pre-deceased by his mother, Mary, his father, George, and his brothers Neil, John, George and Frank. Matt is survived by his son Matthew, his daughter Patricia, four grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and an extended family of cousins, nieces and nephews.

Matt will be missed by all who knew his gentle nature and generous soul. A virtual remembrance visitation will take place at a later date.






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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.