Obituaries for July 20, 2022

Jacqueline Dunphy-Howell

Jackie Dunphy-Howell died July 12, 2022.

She was 65.

She lived most of her life in Kearny before moving to Nutley two years ago.

Arrangements are by the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, Kearny. At Jackie’s request, there was a private cremation and there will be a memorial service Thursday, July 21, from 3 to 7 p.m. at the funeral home.

Jackie loved life! She cherished her family, friends and students — and the students’ families as well. A proud graduate of Rosemont College, she held a master’s degree and taught at Lincoln School in Kearny for many years. The positive influence she had for so many is countless. Jackie’s life was all about smiles and random acts of kindness.

Beloved daughter of Kathleen (nee Toner) and the late Jack Dunphy, she is survived by her cherished daughters Alana and Molly Howell. Loving sister of Roey Hine (Ron), Kitty Kolarsick (Charlie), Patrick Dunphy (Ginny), Brendan Dunphy (Beverly) and Terence Dunphy (Jenn). She was also the coolest aunt and great aunt to many nieces and nephews. Jackie is also survived by her former husband Richard Howell.

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

Anne Virginia Dowie

Anne Virginia Dowie (neé Kelly), 96, of Jupiter, Florida, formerly of Kearny, died peacefully at home on June 24, 2022.

Born March 29, 1926 in North Arlington, New Jersey, she spent  most of her life in New Jersey before moving to Jupiter, Florida in 2001.

Anne was the youngest daughter of a working-class family hit hard by the Great Depression. In 1939, she began dating the love of her life, John Dowie, who returned from the Pacific Theater of World War II, with a Purple Heart.

They were married for 65 years until his death in 2015.

Together, they embodied the American Dream, both graduating from Kearny High School, raising two children and sharing long careers  in public service for the town of Kearny — Anne in the Construction Code  Department and secretary to the Planning and Zoning boards.

“Nana,” as her grandchildren called her, would advise them to “always maintain your dignity” and to put any money she gave them right in the bank. She was a devoted supporter of opportunities for young women through her work with the Philanthropic & Educational Organization (PEO) and volunteered at the Jupiter  Lighthouse well into her 90s.

She was also crazy for Frank Sinatra, who she most enjoyed listening to with a Dewars on the rocks.

Anne was predeceased by her husband John, her two big sisters Gertrude and Mary and her parents Frank and Catherine Kelly. She leaves behind her son, retired Kearny Police Chief John Dowie and his wife Ann of Kearny; her daughter Suzanne DeLuca and husband Jeffrey of Jupiter, Florida; and her five grandchildren Catherine and Jonathan Dowie and Jeff,  Joshua and Jesse DeLuca.

We invite you to share in a celebration of life service Friday, July 29, at 3 p.m. at the Abacoa Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida. In lieu of flowers, please make gifts to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation or Autism Speaks. 

Edward S. Poplaski

Edward S. Poplaski, 87, died Saturday, July 16, 2022.

The funeral will be from the Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home, 585 Belgrove Drive, Kearny, on Wednesday, July 20 at 9 a.m. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Cecilia Church, Kearny, at 10 a.m. Interment will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. Relatives and friends are invited to visit with the family at the funeral home Tuesday, July 19,  from 4 to 8 p.m.

Born in Old Forge, Pennsylvania, Ed lived in East Newark before moving to Kearny in 1958.

Mr. Poplaski served in the U.S. Army from 1958 until 1960.

Edward was a police officer in the town of Kearny for 27 years. He retired in 1987 at the rank of Detective. He was a member and Past President of P.B.A. Local 21 in Kearny, as well as a member of the Polish-American Club, also of Kearny.

He is survived by two sons, Steven Poplaski and his wife, Maryann, and Richard Poplaski and his wife, Donna; three grandchildren, Richard Poplaski Jr., Karen DeBalko and Kimberly Procida. He was the great-grandfather of Robert and Jackson Procida. He was the brother of Lorraine Scocozza, Jack Poplaski and James Poplaski. Ed was predeceased by his wife, Joan (Shaw) Poplaski, in 2011 and his brother Raymond Poplaski.

Joan DeWitt

Joan DeWitt, (nee Murphy), 74, died suddenly Saturday, July 9, 2022, at her home.

Her funeral service was at the First Lutheran Church, Kearny. Pastor Glenn Boisclair officiated. Interment was in Glendale Cemetery, Bloomfield.

Born in Brooklyn, Joan lived most of her life in Kearny.

Ms. DeWitt was a school teacher. She taught third and fourth grade at Schuyler School in Kearny for 38 years before retiring in 2010.

First Lutheran Church was a very important part of Joan’s life. She served on the Church Council and was the recording secretary as well as a Sunday School teacher. She served on the executive board of the Schuyler School P.T.A. and was a Volunteer at the former West Hudson Hospital in Kearny.

She is survived by cousins Robert and Barbara Meurer of St James, New York; Neil Meurer, of Acworth, Georgia; Diane Topps of Ridge, New York; and Laura Blanco, of Shoreham, New York. She was the godmother of Jennifer Lenihan of Harrington Park.

Joan was predeceased by her parents James and Mildred (nee Alquist) Murphy.

In lieu of flowers, contributions to a charity of your choice in Joan’s memory would be appreciated.

Dave J. DiMichele

Dave J. DiMichele died July 10, 2022.

He was 77.

Born in Newark he lived in Kearny most of his life.

Visiting was at the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, Kearny. A service took place in the funeral home Burial was in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.

Dave is survived by his devoted wife Michele (nee Sistarenik), his loving sons and their wives Dave Jr. (Natalee) and Anthony (Joanna). He was also the loving grandfather of Isabella, Julianna and Adrianna.

Joseph Finnerty

Joseph Finnerty died Wednesday, June 29, 2022, surrounded by his family.

He was 68.

Born in Harrison, Joseph spent most of his life in Harrison, before moving to Mine Hill, with his wife Lee, where he lived for 25 years. Joseph moved to Jacksonville, Florida, in 2014 and most recently Lake City, Florida, until the time of his death.

He was predeceased by his wife of 20 years Leanore Finnerty who he shared a passionate love of Disney with until the time of her death. He is survived by his mother Joan Finnerty, of Harrison, four children, Melynda, Toni, William and Nicole, eight grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.  He is also survived by his brother Michael, sisters Maureen and Kathleen and a brother-in-law Raymond, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Joseph served his country in the United States Army during the Vietnam War, where he received several medals including the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and two Bronze Service Stars.

Joseph was very active with the American Legion and the VFW for many years, and anyone who knew him knows he loved anything military related and was always so proud of his time in service.

The family will have a private service for Joseph and in lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Armand Calabrese

Armand Calabrese, 86, of Kearny, died at home on July 16, 2022.

Family and friends are invited to attend a visitation for Armand at the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny, on Tuesday, July 19, from 3 to 6 p.m. A funeral Mass will be celebrated Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Kearny. Entombment will be in Holy Cross Mausoleum, North Arlington.

Born in Jersey City, Armand was a lifelong Kearny resident. He worked as a public works supervisor for the Town of Kearny for many years prior to his retirement. He was a dedicated member of the Elks, Eagles and Scots-American Club. Armand also served on the Board of Directors for the Kearny Federal Credit Union.

Armand was the beloved husband of the late Mary Calabrese and was also predeceased by his siblings John, Madeline, Carl, Aniello, Anna, Anthony, Theresa and Jerry “Gene.” He is survived by many loving nieces, nephews and their families.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

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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.