Obituaries for 1 May 2024

Amandio Mandy Rodrigues

Amandio “Mandy” Rodrigues, born May 29, 1950 to Domingoes and Mathilda Rodrigues, died Saturday, April 27, 2024, after a life cut short by glioblastoma.

A funeral service took place at Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave., Harrison.

If you would like to read his complete obituary, please visit

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the Brain Tumor Lab Support Fund at Penn Medicine. Credit card donations may be made at  Please note “In memory of Amandio ‘Mandy’ Rodrigues.” For checks, please make payable to “Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania,” noting “in memory of Amandio ‘Mandy’ Rodrigues,” and mail to Penn Medicine Development, Attn: Sheryl Garton, 3535 Market St., Ste. 750, Philadelphia, Pa. 19104.

 Mary Hayes McGrath

Mary Hayes McGrath of Belleville died Friday, April 26, 2024.

She was 84.

The funeral will be conducted from the Mulligan Funeral Home, 331 Cleveland Ave., Harrison, on Wednesday, May 1, 2024 at 9:15 a.m. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Mary’s Church, Nutley, at 10:30 a.m.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at

Born and raised in Jersey City, Mary moved to Harrison in 1976 and then moved to Belleville, where she had lived for the last 25 years. She worked as a teacher in the Jersey City school system for over 30 years, retiring in 1999. She was a past president and member of the Harrison Cancer League, as well as being on the board of the West Hudson Hospital Auxiliary. Her favorite thing was spending time with her family and grandchildren.

Mary received a master’s degree as a reading specialist from Jersey City State College, Jersey City, and an undergraduate degree in education from Notre Dame College, Staten Island.

Mary is survived by her loving children Nora and her husband, Alan Lennox and Sean McGrath and his wife, Tracy, cherished grandchildren Meghan, Alan, Kerry (Sal), Kaitlyn, Kimberly, Ryan, Erin; nephew David Hayes and niece Vanessa LaPlante.

Mary was predeceased by her parents Mortimer and Gertrude Hayes, her sister Marie Hayes and brothers Francis Hayes, Mortimer T. Hayes Jr. and Joseph Hayes.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1999, Memphis Tenn. 38101 in loving memory of Mary. 

Elmer ‘JR’ Straub Jr.

Elmer “JR” Straub Jr. died on April 17, 2024.

He was 82.

Private arrangements were handled by the Armitage & Wiggins Funeral Home. Kearny.

Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Elmer lived many years in Kearny before moving to Piscataway in 2012.

He was the beloved husband of Dee (nee Femiano) and loving father of Peter Straub (Leslie) and Jay Straub (Bernadette). Brother of Maryann Piazza and the-late Catherine McCarthy, Jeanette Walsh and Roy Straub, also surviving are his grandchildren Madison, Daniel and Vincent.

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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.