Obituaries for March 1, 2023

William Docherty

William Docherty died Feb. 22, 2023.

He was 89.

Born in Jersey City, he lived many years in Kearny before moving to Toms River in 2001. Visiting was at the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, Kearny. A service took place at the funeral home. Burial was in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.

Bill, a U.S. Army Veteran, worked many years for the Town of Kearny both for the Street Department and the Recreation Department. He was a member of the Elks and the V.F.W., both in Kearny.

Husband of the late Betty Ann (nee Rafferty), he was the father of Patty Munley (her husband Albie), Dave Docherty (his wife Mary) and the late Billy Docherty. He is also survived by his grandchildren; Billy (his wife Amy), Mikey, David, Kelsey (her husband Jim), his great-grandchildren Rachel and Amelia along with his loving “adopted Children” Teddy and Sue Munley.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to the VFW in Kearny in his memory.

Richard G. Elsmore

Richard G. Elsmore died Feb. 14, 2023.

He was 72.

Memorial visiting was at the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home in Kearny. A funeral service took place in the Holy Cross Cemetery Chapel Mausoleum in North Arlington. His cremation was private.

Rich was a retired technician from PSE&G in Harrison.

He was the brother of Elizabeth Elsmore, Margaret Bianchi, Jack Elsmore and the late Joseph Elsmore, Jeanette Harris, Winifred Garofalo and William Elsmore. He was the brother-in-law of Glenda Elsmore, Muriel Elsmore and the late Frank Bianchi. Also surviving are many nieces, nephews and their families.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to the charity of your own choice in Richard’s memory.

Robert J. Haff

Robert J. Haff, 81, died Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023, in Brightview Senior Living, Wayne.

The funeral was from the Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home, Kearny. A funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Stephen’s Church, Kearny. Interment was in Arlington Cemetery, Kearny.

Bob was born in Kearny and raised in North Arlington. He later lived in Kearny for many years before moving to Wayne in 1988.

 Shortly after graduating from North Arlington High School’s Class of 1960, he entered the United States Navy and studied electricity while serving as an electrician’s mate aboard several U.S. submarines. After being honorably discharged in 1964, he returned to North Arlington and worked as a milkman for Forest Dairy.

Mr. Haff later was an electrician for Myles Electric in Kearny then Corsi Electric in North Arlington. He later joined I.B.E.W. Local Union No. 164, where he worked from 1969 until 1978. It was during this time he passed the Electrical Contractors License Exam.

In 1978, he began his own electrical contracting company known as Haff Electric in North Arlington. He would serve as its president for the next 30 years until he retired.

Mr. Haff was a member of the North Arlington Lions Club, Kearny Optimist Club “Friend of Youth” where he was a past president and former lieutenant governor, a member of the Y.M.C.A. Board of West Hudson, a Volunteer Probation Officer for Hudson County Youth Division, a member of the National Electrical Contractors Association, a member of the West Hudson/South Bergen Chamber of Commerce and a member of the West Hudson Hospital Board of Governors and Past Chairman of the Board.

He also loved to ski and thoroughly enjoyed the many ski trips he took with his friends from the Optimist Club.

Robert is survived by his children, Robert J. Haff Jr. (Tara), Debra Doughty (Fred), Sean Haff and John Haff. He was the grandfather of Robert Haff III and Casey Haff and A.J. Doughty. He was predeceased by his wife, Barbara (Sabol) Haff, on October 7, 2022.

Gracinda Ferreira Porto

Gracinda Ferreira Porto, beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, died Feb. 21, 2023, at the Spring Grove Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center.

She was born June 16, 1930, in Valença, Portugal, migrated to the US in 1974 and retired from Marshall Clark in 1992.

Gracinda will be remembered as a lively storyteller who loved people, animals and music.

Kearny was home until the passing of her husband, Filipe, in 2001.

She is survived by her daughter, Phyllis and spouse Frank Vagueiro Sr., and their sons Victor (m. Mariana) and Frank Jr. (m. Michele); daughter Rose Novotny and spouse Richard, and son Ryan; son Fernando and Miciel Porto, and their children Stephanie (m. Josh), Alexandra (m. Daro), Michael, Roenna, Scott and Daniel, as well as six great-grandchildren — Brenden, Jayden, Kennedy, Victoria, Maria and Kara.

At her request, there will not be funeral services. Mom’s wish to donate her body to science with the Rutgers Anatomical Association has been granted. Immediate family will have a celebration of life at a later date.

Carl Sciortino  

Carl Sciortino   “ Butch, Smokey “, 83, a lifelong North Arlington resident died Saturday, February 25, 2023 after a brief battle with cancer.

He worked in District 6  Maintenance for the N.J. Turnpike Authority for 30 years before retiring in 2003.

Carl was a decorated member of the North Arlington Volunteer Fire Dept., Schuyler Engine Co. # 2 , for over 25 years and was a lifetime member of the N.J. Exempt Fireman’s Association.

He was a parishioner and former usher at Queen of Peace Church, North Arlington.

He proudly served in the United States Army during the Berlin Crisis in West Germany alongside Sgt. Elvis Presley.

Carl was an avid fan of the N.Y. Giants, San Francisco Giants, and NASCAR. He was a Lionel train enthusiast.

Carl was the beloved husband for 57 years of Barbara ( nee Wisniewski ); the devoted father of James Sciortino, and Lori Sciancalepore  and her husband Louis; the proud  grandfather of Samantha and Paul Sciancalepore; the adored son of the late Carlo and Josephine ( nee Mastrolio ) Sciortino; the loving  brother of Angie Robertson , and the late Anthony Sciortino, Gloria Russomanno and her husband Jimmy, Murph Sciortino and his wife Dorothy, Josephine Shea and her husband Ed, and Francis Costa ; the dear brother–in-law of Michael Costa, Claire Wisniewski, Kathy Dunn and her husband John, and the late Donald Robertson and Joseph Wisniewski; and the cherished uncle of many nieces and nephews.

Funeral from the Parow Funeral Home 185 Ridge Rd., North Arlington on Thursday, March 2nd at 10 a.m. thence to Queen of Peace Church, North Arlington for the Funeral Mass at 11 a.m. Interment Holy C ross Cemetery, North Arlington. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, March 1st from 4-8p.m. at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate donations made in Carl’s memory to the North Arlington Volunteer Fire Dept. Engine Co. # 2 ,550 Schuyler Ave., North Arlington, N.J. 07031 or Autism Speaks 1060 State Rd., Second Floor, Princeton, N.J. 08540 .

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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.