Obituaries for April 13, 2022

Robert R. Burton

Robert R. (Bob) Burton, 63, of Kearny, died Friday, April 1, 2022 at home after a heroic battle against glioblastoma.

He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 37 years, Wendy, as well as their four children, Bob (Jaclyn), Jayce (Amanda), Lacey (Jonathan) and Brielle. He leaves behind his six adoring grandchildren Isabel, Elijah, Bobby, Luna, James and Eloise. Additionally, he is forever loved and remembered by his mother, Lorraine Ryan, and his siblings and loved ones, Mike, Karen, Bill, Joe, Scott, Dina, Bryce, Barbara, as well as his niece and nephews. He was predeceased by his father, Russell Burton.

Bob was loved by so many. He was a hardworking, self-made business owner and master carpenter. He dedicated many years to coaching Kearny youth baseball and softball. Through his ability to make friends wherever he went and his never-ending support to anyone in need, he has touched the lives of many. Above all, Bob was a family man whose main goal in life was to see his children happy — a task he completed simply by being present.

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

Regina D. Harris

Regina D. Harris, (nee Tyrell), 86, died Monday, April 4, 2022, at home in North Arlington.

The funeral was from the Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home, 585 Belgrove Drive, Kearny.  A funeral Mass was offered at St. Anthony of Padua Church, East Newark. Interment was in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. Condolences and memories may be shared at

Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Mrs. Harris lived in Newark, NJ moved to East Newark where she lived for over 50 years before moving to North Arlington in 2017.

Regina was a switchboard operator at Hartz Mountain Industries in Secaucus, for 10 years before retiring in 2007. Prior, she was a cashier at A&P Supermarket in Kearny for 10 years.

She served as a long-time board member and was a Past President of the East Newark Board of Education as well as a member of the East Newark and Harrison High School P.T.A. and also was a Past President. Regina was a member of the East Newark Seniors, St. Stephen’s Seniors and was the President of the St. Anthony of Padua Rosary Society

Mrs. Harris is survived by her children, Deborah Baggett, Catherine Lees (Robert), and Edward Harris, (Donna),  one sister, Lorraine Stefanic, and one daughter-in-law, Maureen Harris. She was the grandmother of Michael Baggett (Anita), CMDR John Baggett, USN (Nellie), Catherine Baggett, Pamela Vertorano (Dominick), Lisa Skawinski (Michael), Caitlyn Lees  Rachel Lees, Rhianna List (Justin) Thomas Harris and James Harris. She also leaves behind her great-grandchildren, Turner, Julia, Elias, Sara, Deacon, Vincent, Theodore, Peyton, Rory, Sawyer, and Braeden.

She was predeceased by her husband, Evan Harris, her son, Michael Harris, her son-in-law, Jonathan Baggett, and one sister, Shirley O’Rourke.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Maria Villa

María Mercedes Villa(nee Agrelo) died April 4, 2022.

She was 73.

María, also affectionately called Mercedes, was generous of spirit and action. She had a deep faith and lived a life of service. She loved to take care of those around her, whether it was cooking for an army, or driving her friends home after getting their hair done.

Born in Rianxo, a small town in Galicia, Spain, her adventurous spirit brought her to the United States in her early 20s. She then met her beloved husband of 40 years, Carlos, with whom she settled in Kearny for the remainder of their lives.

She was daughter of the late Santiago Agrelo and Teresa Martinez, and daughter-in-law of the Late Juan and Esperanza Villa. María was the mother of Teresa Sachs (Neil) and Rick Villa (Kristen Mount), and grandmother of Olivia, Emily, Andrew, Payton, Austin, and Kamryn.  She is survived by her siblings, Archbishop Santiago Agrelo who will be celebrating the funeral mass, Rita Agrelo (Francisco), Manolo Agrelo( Margarita), Isaura Agrelo (Manolo), Isabel Agrelo (Alfonso) and Javier Agrelo (María Dolores).  She was also sister-in-law of Juan Villa (Rose),  the late José Ramón Villa, José Manuel Villa (Maruja), the late José Villa and Maria Esperanza Villa.  She also loved and was loved by many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Arrangements were by the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home in Kearny. Mass was celebrated at St. Cecilia Church. She was entombed at the Mausoleum in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to St. Cecilia’s food pantry.

John J. Hodson

John J. Hodson, 88, died Saturday, April 2, 2022.

Born in Jersey City, he lived in Harrison before moving to Kearny in 1965.

Before retiring in 2002, he worked as a CAD Engineer for ITT in Nutley and earlier for Western Electric in Kearny.

He proudly served in the United States Army during Korea. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus Queen of Peace Council No. 3428 in North Arlington.

John was the beloved husband of Eleanor Hodson (nee Butler); the devoted father of Lynne Pedalino and her husband George, Marianne Stevenish and her husband Robert, Kathryn Stanak and her husband Stephen and John Hodson and his wife Kristine; the cherished grandfather of Alex Pedalino, Kaitlyn Pistilli and her husband Jonathan, Nicholas Hodson and Robert Stevenish.

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

The family would appreciate donations made in John’s memory to St. Stephen’s Church, 141 Washington Ave., Kearny, N.J. 07032.

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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.