Obituaries for March 8, 2023

Margaret Peg Manning

Margaret “Peg” Manning, (nee Laird), 87, died peacefully Thursday, March 2, 2023, at home in Kearny.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Memorial Service on Monday, March 13, at noon at the First Presbyterian Church of Arlington, 663 Kearny Ave., Kearny.

Born in Jersey City, Mrs. Manning was a life-long resident of Kearny.

She earned her B.A. and M.A. in education from Montclair State University.

Margaret was a school teacher for the Kearny Board of Education for 35 years before retiring July 1, 1992. She began her career in Emerson School, and then taught at Franklin School and then Lincoln School before finishing at Kearny High School.

Mrs. Manning was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Arlington in Kearny where she served on the Canterbury Guild, sang in the Chancel Choir and served as an Elder. She was a former volunteer at West Hudson Hospital in Kearny as well as a Literacy Volunteer and a member of Alpha Delta Kappa. She was also a member of the Order of Eastern Star and R.N.J.E.A.

She is survived by her son Dr. Donald Manning and his wife, Debra, four grandchildren, Christopher, Tyler and Harry Manning and Schuyler Brach and one son-in-law Brian Brach.

Margaret was predeceased by her husband, Donald Manning, in 1994 and her daughter, Susan Brach in 2022.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Thiele-Reid Family Funeral Home, Kearny. Condolences and memories may be shared at

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the First Presbyterian Church of Arlington, 663 Kearny Ave., Kearny, N.J. 07032. In the memo please write “Peg Manning Fund.”

John Skorupa

John (Big John, Hollywood) Skorupa lived an amazing life.

Raised in Harrison, John played one year of professional football with the AFL’s Newark Bears and worked as a lifeguard on the Jersey Shore, where he met the beautiful Grace O’Connor.

He and Grace moved to Amsterdam where they lived for over 10 years, traveled Europe and had their daughter, Nathasja. There, John started a chain of high-end shops, Wild Leather Pie, frequented by the likes of Johnny Cash, Keith Richards and more.

On one occasion, the big guy even worked as a body guard for Muhammad Ali. After coming back to the States, John worked as proud union member of Teamsters Local 641. In both the US and Europe, John also had a successful career as a model, actor and stuntman.

He starred in dozens of television shows, commercials, music videos and movies, working with the world-renowned Shah Rhuk Kahn, Majic Johnson and Arlo Guthrie and Jewel.  John was also a proud member of the Polish National Home and spoke of The Polish Falcons often.

After retiring in Fort Lauderdale, he continued to work taking advantage of that charming smile and full head of hair with the duck-tail continuing to work in showbiz — his daughter said he’d become the king of infomercials. Soon, everyone in Fort Lauderdale came to know the entertaining Hollywood.

Throughout all of his life, John was a world traveler, devoted friend and loving family member. John was larger than life. To meet him once was to remember him forever. Several have referred to him as a legend. He was a truly devoted and loving father to his daughter.

John is survived by Nathasja Skorupa (daughter),  Solomon Bey (son-in-law),Louise Mastrangelo (sister), Renato Mastrangelo,(brother-in-law), Basha Skorupa (aunt), and Stefano, Roberto and Enrico Mastrangelo (nephews) and Chiara, Matteo and Elena (great-nieces and nephew), aunt Josephine, cousins Tammy Serdio Battisti, Gregory Marchuck and many more.

Anthony J. Tretola

Anthony J. Tretola, 68, of Beach Lake, Pennsylvania, died Feb. 26, 2023.

Visitation for Anthony was at the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, Kearny. A funeral service was celebrated in the funeral home. Interment was in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington0000.

Born in Newark, Anthony lived in the Ironbound Section until moving to Keansburg. He enjoyed residing in Beach Lake for the past 20 years. Anthony owned and operated April Showers Carwash in Newark, and later Just Tires.

He was also a mechanic in the trucking industry for many years.

Anthony had a passion for racing cars, and was a talented painter and handyman. Above all, Anthony treasured time spent with his friends and family, and was never afraid to celebrate life by having a drink or two.

The son of the late Rose Tretola, Anthony was predeceased by his wife Debbie. He is survived by his loving children Anthony Tretola, Lisa Tretola-Slegel and Daniel Hayes. He was the dear brother of Carol Carfagna (late Angelo) and Carmella Sanchez (Jesus), and devoted grandfather of Anthony, Nick, Lily, Griffin and Nathan. He is also survived by many loving nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

Learn more about the writer ...

Editor & Broadcaster at 

Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, an organization he has served 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 social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and X, 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 Kearny to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.