Obituaries for Aug. 16, 2023

Barbara Bobbi Cifelli Sherry

Barbara “Bobbi” Cifelli Sherry died peacefully and suddenly at home on Aug. 12, 2023.

She was 80.

Visiting was Tuesday, Aug. 15, at the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home. Mass will be celebrated Wednesday morning, Aug. 16, at 10 a.m. at St. Stephen’s Church in Kearny. Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.

“Bobbi” was the beloved wife of the late Dennis Sherry and devoted daughter of the late Albert and Vera Cifelli. She was the loving mother to Lori Ann Castaneda (her husband Lucho), Timothy Sherry, Kimberly Barone, Coleen Rossi (her husband Dean), Dana Miley, David Kyak (his wife Tanny), Keith Kyak (his wife Susan), Nari Clark (her husband Jason) and Isabella Kyak. She was the loving sister of Albert Cifelli (his wife Joan). Also surviving are her cherished 15 grandchildren, eight great grandchildren and “one on the way.”

Barbara was an avid “NJ” Giants Football Fan. For many years, she was an elected Councilwoman, elected Board of Education member and Police Commissioner all in the Town of Kearny. She was a positive force and lovely person inside and out. She cherished her working days in the family Restaurant, Cifelli’s in Harrison and loved being with and conversing with the loyal patrons. She considered them her extended family.

In lieu of flowers kindly consider a donation to the Food Pantry at the First Presbyterian Church, across from St. Stephen’s, St. Jude Children’s Hospital or the Covenant House in her memory.

Eleanor M. Johnstone

Eleanor M. Johnstone, 82, of Kearny, formerly of Lyndhurst, died Aug. 9, 2023. The beloved wife of almost 60 years to Ronald Johnstone, she was the devoted mother of Ronald Johnstone and his spouse Heather, and Joseph Johnstone and his spouse Patricia. Loving grandmother of Brianna, Andrew, Tyler, Jessica and Lindsey, she was dear sister of Joseph Seeber and his spouse Janet.

Family and friends are welcome to visit on Sunday, 1-5pm in Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, 596 Belgrove Drive, Kearny.

A funeral service took place from the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home in Kearny. Mass was celebrated at St. Stephen’s Church, Kearny. Interment was in Arlington Cemetery, Kearny.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to St. Jude Children’s Hospital in her memory.

Iwona Obrycki

Iwona Obrycki died Aug. 8, 2023.

She was 55

Visiting was at the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home, Kearny. Mass was celebrated Aug. 12 at Our Lady of Czestochowa Church in Harrison. Burial was in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.

Iwona was the daughter of the late Dominik and Krystyna Frankowski. Beloved wife of Zdzslaw Frankowska and loving mother of Ashley and Nicole, she is also survived by her brother Zbigniew Frankowska (his wife Bozena) and sister Halina Czochanska (her husband Eugeniusz) along with many dear nieces and nephews.

Iwona was born in Zambrow, Poland, and immigrated to the United States in 1980.

Living in Harrison, she was a 1987 graduate of Harrison High School. She also lived in North Arlington before moving to Parlin five years ago. Iwona worked as a customer service representative for General Glass International.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to the Lymphoma Leukemia Society in her memory.

Douglas Winston Edwards

Douglas Winston Edwards, a self-made man who enjoyed a successful career as a senior manager for several Ford car dealerships, rising to the level of vice president, died on Aug. 7, 2023 in New York City.

He was 82.

Family and friends are welcome to visit Thursday, Aug. 17, from 10 a.m. to noon at First Presbyterian Church of Arlington, 663 Kearny Ave., Kearny. A funeral service will immediately follow. Interment will be private.

Doug is survived by his wife, Marilyn (nee Kriete), his son Richard Douglas and daughter-in-law Carol, his son Douglas John and his wife Cora, five grandchildren Allie, Julie, Katrina, Sophia and Tyler Douglas and his sisters, Lois Lyons, Phyllis Silvia and Patricia Cirz. He was predeceased by his father John Edwards, mother Helen Delaney (nee Felter) sister Winifred Wisniewski and brother John Edwards.

Born in Jersey City, Doug lived in Kearny for most of his life. He lost his father when he was a boy, and overcame many hardships.

As a young man, he developed an interest in cars and learned to be a mechanic, eventually earning a master automobile technician certification. After several years, he went into management, where he increased sales revenue, won numerous company awards, built strong relationships with many longtime customers and became a mentor for countless young mechanics.

In 2003, Doug relocated to live full-time in his vacation home in Lanoka Harbor to enjoy the Jersey shore. There, he and Marilyn spoiled their grandchildren with a long list of fun things to do — boat rides, crabbing, fishing, trips to the beach, rides on the boardwalk and much more.

At Poppy’s, the kids always knew the water in the pool would be sparkling and the freezer would be full of ice pops. Over the years, he also devoted much of his free time to helping family members, including being a primary caretaker for Winifred, who suffered from a serious longtime illness.

Well known for his sharp mechanical mind, Doug loved building, repairing and tinkering with things around the house. He could fix anything. When he found time to relax, he liked being on the high seas, taking dozens of cruises.

Doug will be long and fondly remembered for his strength, hard work, tenacity, kindness, love, endless emotional and financial support … and for his oft repeated phrase, “Life Is Good!”

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the food pantry at First Presbyterian Church.

Ralph P. Varano

Ralph P. Varano of Harrison died peacefully at Clara Maass Medical Center, Belleville, on Saturday, Aug. 12, 2023.

He was 76.

A funeral Service will take place at the Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave., Harrison, on Friday, Aug. 18 during viewing hours at 4:30 p.m. Friends and relatives may visit from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. His final disposition will be private.

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

Ralph is survived by his loving companion Joanne Santamassino; beloved sons Ralph, Vincent and Christian; siblings Patrick (Anna), Maryanne Kuczynski (Jo Jo), Debra Varano and Donna Van Buskirk (Everett) and was beloved “Pop Pop” to Vincent, Dominic and Sophia Varano and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. He is also survived by his beloved Goddaughters Maggie Kuczynski and Nicole Renzulli and close friends and former co-workers, Darren Raefski and Jimmy McDonough. He was predeceased by his parents, Pasquale and Madeline Varano and his brother Robert.

Born in Newark, he was a lifelong resident of Harrison. He served his cCountry during the Vietnam War in the United States Army. He was a sergeant with the Harrison Police Department for many years.   He was also a member of the Fraternal Order of Police.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in care of the funeral home to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in loving memory of Ralph.

Joyce Lynn Poochie Hinchcliffe

Joyce Lynn “Poochie” Hinchcliffe of Kearny, formerly of Harrison, died at Clara Maas Medical Center, Belleville, after a short illness surrounded by her loved ones on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023.

She was 63.

Funeral services were under the direction of Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave. Harrison. A funeral Mass was celebrated at Our Lady of Czestochowa Church, Harrison. Her interment took place in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.

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

Born in Margaret Hague Hospital in Jersey City, Joyce was raised in Harrison. Most recently, she lived in Kearny. She worked for the US Postal Service at the Dominick V. Daniels Processing & Distribution Center in Kearny for many years. A faithful Roman Catholic, Joyce attended many of the local Roman Catholic Churches, although St. Lucy’s Church in Newark was her favorite.

She is survived by her beloved companion, Theodore “Teddy” Hadum, loving siblings, Patricia Pettigrew and her husband Arthur, Charles “Chachie” Hinchcliffe, III and his wife Ann, Anne Marie Leopaldi and her husband Anthony, Carol Malefsky, Janice Lindsay, Elizabeth Landau and her husband, George, Joan Dzialo and her husband Gerard, Robert Hinchcliffe, Debbie Rodrigues and her husband Manny, David Hinchcliffe and his wife Carla, Jennifer Francoise and Michael Hinchcliffe.  She is also survived by many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.























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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.