Obituaries

by -
0 570

Joseph Ralph Hoerger

Joseph Ralph Hoerger, of Langhorne, Pennsylvania, and formerly of Port Jefferson, passed away peacefully Oct. 4. He was 92.

He was born in Patchogue but lived most of his life in Port Jefferson where he met his beautiful wife, Ella, who preceded him in death in 2015 after 65 years of marriage. 

Serving with the Coast Guard during World War II, he was also a member of American Legion Post 432. He was a local carpenter who built many houses in Port Jefferson, and in later years owned a flower nursery as well as working for the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Co. He also served as scoutmaster for Troop 45 for many years. 

He is survived by his sons Jeffrey (Michelle) of Holland, Pennsylvania, and Brian of Port Jefferson; three grandchildren, Christopher (Meghan), Ashley (Chris) and Tommy; as well as four great-grandchildren, Jamie, Tia, Andrew and Cora.

The family kindly requests that donations be made to The Honor Flight Network at www.honorflight.org, a charity near and dear to his heart.

A graveside service with military honors is planned for Nov. 12 at Washington’s Crossing National Cemetery in Newtown, Pennsylvania.

Jane Gombieski

Jane S. Gombieski of Stony Brook died Sept. 29. She was 82.

She was born in Middletown Connecticut, in 1937 and moved to Stony Brook in 1969, proudly living in the same house in the Strathmore “H” section for 50 years. She was an active civic leader, serving as president of the Three Village Civic Association and the Affiliated Brookhaven Civic Association, which she originally helped to create.

In 1987, Gombieski was named the Village Times Woman of the Year in Civic Affairs. The Village Times noted, “Gombieski’s passionate identification with the Three Villages, her belief in honest and open government make her a formidable gadfly for local interest … Gombieski is an eloquent spokesperson for the idea of neighborhood integrity, for the principle that decisions that have a direct impact on where people live or how their dollars are spent should be subject to ongoing public review and consent.”

She was a talented writer, and in addition to being a frequent “letter to the editor” contributor, she was a freelance writer, with pieces appearing in many publications, including the Village Times, Three Village Herald, and the LI Historical Journal. She was an expert on local historical issues including women’s suffrage, baseball, the KKK in Suffolk County and the operations of the German American settlement in Yaphank.

Jane was fiercely independent, with a quick wit and was highly intelligent — she could read ancient Greek and complete the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle in pen in just five minutes. She loved reading about Ancient Egypt, watching classic movies and gardening, and took great joy in spending time with her children and grandchildren. 

She is survived by her children Kim Brandeau (Mark) of Setauket, Donna DeMarco (Rob) of Sound Beach, Edward Gombieski (Adria) of Bangor, Maine, and Laura Price and her husband Howard of East Norwich. In addition, she was a loving grandmother to Kyle, Sarah, Julie, Robbie, Spring and Summer and is further survived by her brothers Leo and Eddie. She was preceded in death by her beloved sisters Helen, Ann and MaryAnn.

Visitation was held on Oct. 1 at Moloney Family Funeral Home in Port Jefferson Station and interment followed at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Port Jefferson.

Adele Jasiewicz

Adele H. Jasiewicz, of East Setauket, died Aug. 30. She was 90.

She was born April 7, 1929, in the Bronx, and was the daughter of Blanche and Louis Rucki.

She was a retired executive administrative assistant for Good Samaritan Hospital.

Left to cherish her memory are her daughters Diane and Karen (Thomas); her son, Ronald; five grandchildren and other family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Clarence.

Services were held at the St. James R.C. Church Sept. 3. Interment was at St. John’s Cemetery in Middle Village.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of East Setauket. People can visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the
online guest book.

Anne Dundon

Anne E. Dundon, of Stony Brook, died Aug. 26. She was 86.

She was born Jan. 1, 1933, in Brooklyn and was the daughter of Frances and James Harvey.

Dundon was a homemaker, a member of the Stony Brook Yacht Club, St. George’s Country Club and St. James Rosary Altar Society. She also enjoyed reading and playing bridge.

Left to cherish her memory are her daughters Anne, Elizabeth, Ellen, Jean and Kathleen; her sons James, Gerard, Robert and Thomas; 12 grandchildren; her brothers Kenneth and Stephen; along with many other family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Gerard; her brother, Bob; and sister, Barbara.

Services were held at the St. James R.C. Church Aug. 30. Interment followed at the St. James R.C. Churchyard Cemetery

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of East Setauket. People can visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the
online guest book.

Contributions made to the St. James Pantry or the Catholic Relief Services in her memory would be appreciated.

Jane Mueller

Jane F. Mueller, of Coram, died Sept. 7. She was 70.

She was born Jan. 23, 1949, in Queens, and was the daughter of Jean and Thomas Geraghty.

Mueller was a customer service representative for Allstate and in her free time she enjoyed reading, gardening, knitting, playing Candy Crush, doing crosswords, family vacations in Montauk and most of all her faithful dog Ferguson.

Left to cherish her memory is her husband, Bernard “Bernie”; her daughter, Alison; sons Chris and BJ; five grandchildren; sisters Claire and Sheila; brother, Tommy; along with other family and friends.

Services were held at the Infant Jesus R.C. Church in Port Jefferson Sept. 12. Interment was at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of East Setauket. People can visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the
online guest book.

Contributions made to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, www.mskcc.org, in her memory would be appreciated.

Mario Mignone

Mario B. Mignone, 79, of Stony Brook, died suddenly Sept. 9.

He emigrated to the U.S. in 1960 from Benevento, Italy, with his parents, Palmina and Robert, and seven siblings. He graduated from The City College of New York with a bachelor’s degree and received master’s and doctoral degrees from Rutgers University.

The professor joined Stony Brook University in 1970 where he rose to be a SUNY distinguished service professor, director of the Center for Italian Studies and professor of Italian and Italian American Studies. Within his department, he served as chair, director of graduate and undergraduate studies and director of SBU’s summer program in Rome. In 1985, he founded the Center for Italian Studies to establish a cultural bridge between the university and the community and created the first endowed chair in the SBU College of Arts and Sciences.

An accomplished writer and scholar, he authored 15 books and more than 50 scholarly articles on modern Italian literature, culture and emigration. He received national and international recognition and honors including the Cavaliere Ufficiale al Merito della Repubblica by the president of the Italian Republic.

He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Lois, and daughters Pamela Salzman (Daniel), Cristina Armato (Philip) and Elizabeth Jakic (Ante) and was the doting Nonno to his eight grandchildren. Known for his prolific vegetable garden, Mario enjoyed sharing produce with friends.

Services were held at Sts. Philip and James R.C. Church in St. James Sept. 12. Interment followed at the St. James R.C. Churchyard Cemetery.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of East Setauket.
Visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guest book. 

Donations can be made to the Center for Italian Studies at Stony Brook University in his memory.

Angela Ganzenmuller

Angela Ganzenmuller, of Glendale, died Aug. 10. She was 84.

She was born Oct. 16, 1934, in Ridgewood, Queens, and was the daughter of Emma and Antonio Minardi.

Ganzenmuller, aka “Mom, Gram, Ang and Auntie Gel,” was a retired secretary who loved sitting on the couch with daughter Laurie watching her favorite shows including “Law and Order,” “Dr. Phil” and “Golden Girls.” She enjoyed her phone calls with her son, Chuck. In life, she gave her children words of encouragement, wisdom and comfort that kept them in line, taught them the “school of hard knocks,” which gave them something to pass down to their children. She was known for not holding back her opinion and her knack for telling it like it was. She was famous for her tossed salad with her homemade Italian dressing, and she loved being surrounded by grandkids and family for any occasion. All these things and many more great qualities made up our “Angela.” She left us beautiful memories — her love is still our guide — and although we cannot see her, she’s always at our side.

She will be sorely missed by her daughter, Laurie, and son, Charles (Carole); grandsons Anthony, Adam, Charles (Angela) and Christopher; granddaughter, Sara (Chris); seven great-grandchildren; and many other family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband/best friend, Charlie aka “Hun,” and her sisters Carmela and Marie.

Services were held at Sacred Heart R.C. Church Aug. 14. Interment followed in St. John’s Cemetery in Middle Village.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of East Setauket.

by -
0 278

Dorothy Trump

Dorothy D. Trump, passed away Sept. 3 at Jefferson’s Ferry Retirement Community in Centereach. She was 98. 

She was born in Brinkhaven, Ohio, Sept. 19, 1920, to Franklin J. and Mable Denman, and grew up in Orrville, Ohio. She attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, graduating in 1942 as summa cum laude with a degree in business administration.

She was the first female secretary to the president of the National Cash Register Company, located in Dayton, Ohio. She worked in the Department of Home Economics at the University of Maryland. From 1963 to 1988 she worked at SUNY as administrative assistant to the chairman of the Department of Electrical Sciences and in Engineering and Astronomy.

Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband, James, a World War II veteran who flew B-26s in the European theater. He worked as a human factors scientist in the lunar module program at Grumman. She is survived by her children James (Nancy) and Susan (John Fenimore); and grandchildren Matthew (Wylie Hunt) and David (Michele). She was also much loved by her nieces and nephews and their families.

A celebration of her life was held at the Setauket Presbyterian Church Sept. 15. Donations in memory of Dorothy may be made to the Helen Keller Services or the Setauket Presbyterian Church.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of East Setauket. People can visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guest book.

William Deegan

William J. Deegan, of Ridge, died Sept. 23.

He was a proud veteran of the United States Army and the beloved husband of Monda. 

Deegan was the loving father of Maryanne (James) Cadwell, George (Mary) Fox, Claude (Patricia) Fox, Brian (Linda) Fox and the late Charles Fox. In addition, he is survived by his 14 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, his five great-great-grandchildren and his many other family members and friends.

A Funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Anthony of Padua R.C. Church in Rocky Point.

Interment followed at Washington Memorial Park in Mount Sinai with military honors.           

Arrangements were entrusted to the Branch Funeral Home of Miller Place.

An online guest book is available at www.branchfh.com.

Tessie Reveliotis

Tessie Reveliotis, of Port Jefferson, passed Sept. 23. She was 49.

She was the beloved wife of George and the cherished mother of Thomas, Michael and Nicholas.

In addition, she was the loving daughter of Mike (the late Loula) Kelarakos, the dear sister of Christine (Sam) Stavropoulos, Nicholas (Helen) Kelarakos and Michelle (Harry) Kelarakos.

She is also survived by her father-in-law Anastasios (the late Efthimia) Reveliotis, sister-in-law Maria (Matthew) Mecchi and many other family members and friends.

Religious service and cremation were privately held.

Arrangements were entrusted to the  Branch Funeral Home of Miller Place.

An online guest book is available at www.branchfh.com.

John Stamoulis

John Stamoulis, of Sound Beach, died Sept. 20. He was 84.  

He was the beloved husband of Christine Constantino; the cherished stepfather of Victoria (Richard) Rodriguez, Wendy (Octavio) Mendez, Christopher (Kristy) Constantino and Nicholas Constantino; and the loving grandfather of Richard, Keyana, Mason, Jordan, Faith and Tristen.

He is also survived by many other family members and friends.

Religious services was celebrated at the Greek Church of the Assumption in Port Jefferson. Interment followed at Cedar Hill Cemetery.

Arrangements entrusted to the of Branch Funeral Home of Miller Place.

An online guest book is available at www.branchfh.com.

David Bayles Minuse

David Bayles Minuse, 81, died Sept. 8.

He was born at John T. Mather Memorial Hospital, Port Jefferson, April 4, 1938, to Elinore Dickerson Minuse and Thomas Bayles Minuse.

David graduated from Cheshire Academy. After attending Nichols College, he became a partner in the family hardware-houseware business, D.T. Bayles & Son, in Stony Brook.

D.T. Bayles & Son evolved from a shipbuilding business established in 1843. The business expanded to include a lumber yard, supplied with timber from family-owned land in the upper Northwest. The business continued to expand and later included the retail sales of lumber, hardware and eventually housewares. Throughout the 1900s, and more particularly under Dave’s ownership, it became the early morning gathering spot for local people to share their news of the day prior to everyone going to their own place of business. Stony Brook is rooted in the history of the Bayles family and today the name continues in future generations.

It was not long after becoming a partner in the family business that Dave purchased a fuel oil company, which he named Three Village Fuel Oil, and it served the local communities of Stony Brook, Setauket and Old Field as well as the surrounding areas of St. James, Head of the Harbor, Poquott and Port Jefferson.

Dave believed in the good of his community and contributed greatly to it. He was a longtime member of the Rotary Club having served as president. He also served as the head of the Stony Brook Business Association and was a member of the board of directors of John T. Mather Memorial Hospital. He also enjoyed membership at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in East Setauket and the Old Field Club.

It was always Dave’s wish to live in Florida, and after his children completed their general education in New York, he relocated with his family to Vero Beach where he lived for over 30 years. Eager to engage in his new community he soon went to work part time for Sewall’s Hardware in Vero Beach, where he met more lifelong friends.

Dave married his Honey in 1963, and they shared 56 years with each other, raising children, working, and in retirement enjoying extensive travels where they made and enjoyed the company of lifelong friends.

David is survived by his wife Priscilla (known as Honey); his son Peter Bayles Minuse and his wife Jill of Melbourne, Florida; his son Paavo Bayles Minuse and his wife Suzann, of Vero Beach, Florida; and his daughter Robin Elo Minuse and her longtime partner Jonas Beauregard of Melbourne, Florida. Paavo and Sue blessed him with two grandchildren, Brianna Rose Minuse and Jonathan Bayles Minuse. He is also survived by his sister Cynthia Murphy of Stony Brook as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Dave was very proud of his grandchildren and their participation in the Vero Beach High School music programs.

Dave is remembered for his beautiful spirit, generous nature and kind heart. He never met a stranger, he only made lifelong friends and was proud to serve the community he loved.

A Celebration of Life service was held Sept. 21 after the family had a private inurnment at Crestlawn Cemetery in Vero Beach.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations in David Minuse’s name to The Fighting Indians Band Boosters as follows: Vero Beach High School FIBB, P.O. Box 5124, Vero Beach, FL 32961.

Ady Fenton

Ady Fenton formerly of New York City, New Suffolk and St. James died Sept. 17.

She was 90 years old and resided at an assisted living facility in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. Ady’s husband, Joe Fenton, predeceased her in January of 2015, after a marriage of 68 years.

Ady began her career as a teacher and speech therapist but gave up working outside the home in order to raise her three children, Ivy, Martin and Nina. Ady was born and raised in Brooklyn and spent the majority of her life in Manhattan, New Suffolk and St. James adding an apartment in Philadelphia in her later years.

She loved to cook, sew, travel and entertain. Most of all she loved her family. In addition to her children, she is survived by five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Her zest for life never faded. She passed on what would have been her 72nd wedding anniversary, clearly a sign they are together again.

A Celebration of Life will be held in late October. For more information please call 516-443-5084.

Vivianne S. Bicknese 

Vivianne S. Bicknese of East Northport died on Sept. 20 at 55 years of age. Beloved wife of Gary; loving daughter of Sheila Lieu and the late Ralph Lieu and his wife Chandra; dear sister of Virginia (Francis) Farnum, Elizabeth Lieu, and Sabrina (Kelvin) Lieu; fond aunt of Francis, Kimberly, Sean, and David; dear daughter-in-law of Richard and Jeanette Bicknese. Visitation was held Aug. 25 at the Nolan Funeral Home, Northport. Funeral Mass was celebrated Sept. 26 at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church, Centerport. Interment followed at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Huntington. 

by -
0 254

Sister Veronica McCormack

Sr. Veronica McCormack, born in Brooklyn and of the Daughters of Wisdom convent in Sound Beach passed Aug. 28. She was 86.

Services were held at Moloney’s Port Jefferson Station Funeral Home, while a funeral Mass was held at St. Louis De Montfort R.C. Church in Sound Beach. She was interred at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram.

Claire Chetuck

Claire Anne Chetuck, of Mount Sinai, passed July 31. She was 93.

Born in Carle Place in the Town of Hempstead, she was the beloved wife of the late Leon. She was the devoted mother of Leon, Philip, Peter, Claire and the late Maria.

Services were held at Moloney’s Port Jefferson Station Funeral Home, with funeral Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel R.C. Church in North Patchogue. A cremation ceremony was privately held at Nassau Suffolk Crematory in Lake Ronkonkoma.

Eileen F. Dresch 

Eileen F. Dresch of Greenlawn died Sept. 9 at 74 years of age. Devoted wife of John; loving mother of Christina Kiernan and her husband Chris and Katie Joseph and her husband Jon; cherished grandma of Abby and Charlotte Joseph; fond sister of the late Tommy (Helen) Zorovich; also loved by her many nieces and nephews. Visitation was held at the Nolan Funeral Home, 5 Laurel Ave., Northport, Sept. 12. Funeral Mass was celebrated Sept. 13 at St. Philip Neri Church in Northport. Entombment was at St. Charles Cemetery. Donations in Eileen’s memory to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (www.stjude.org) are appreciated. 

Evelyn ‘Lyn’ Mugnola 

Evelyn “Lyn” Mugnola of East Northport died Sept. 9 at 92 years of age. Beloved wife of the late Nick; loving mother of Lynn Lindstadt (Doody), Janet Swager (Ed) and Frank Mugnola (Janna); cherished grandmother of Francine, Robert, Madison, Lexi and Renee; adoring great-grandmother of Stephanie (C.J.), Kristina and Kimberly; dear great-great-grandmother of Mia. Visitation will be held at Nolan Funeral Home, 5 Laurel Ave., Northport, Friday, Sept. 20, 2 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Funeral Mass will be celebrated Saturday, Sept. 21, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Philip Neri Church in Northport. Burial to follow at parish cemetery. In Lyn’s memory donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (www.stjude.org) or Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (www.cff.org) would be appreciated. 

Robert J. Rieth

Robert J. Rieth, a 62-year resident of Northport, died Sept. 10 at the age of 90. He was a retired aerospace technician, who worked at Kollsman Instruments in Syosset, where he proudly helped build the guidance system for the Apollo Space Program. Rieth was a proud U.S. Army veteran and 60-year member of the Northport American Legion Post 694; loving husband for over 58 years to the late Lorraine Rieth; devoted father of Janet (Peter) Carbajal, Linda Farrell, Susan Rieth, Robert (Lisa) Rieth and Teresa (Robert) Robbins; beloved grandfather of Christa, Jennifer, Robert, Nicholas, Tyler, Thomas, Maxwell and Emily; cherished by his 10 great-grandchildren. Reposing was held Sept. 12 and 13 at Nolan Funeral Home, 5 Laurel Ave., Northport. Funeral Mass was celebrated Sept. 14 at St. Anthony of Padua Church, East Northport. Interment, with U.S. Army military honors, was held at St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale. 

Denise Peters

Denise Mary Peters, 69, of Alamo, California, died Sept. 4.

Denise graduated from Christ the King High School in Middle Village in 1967 and then attended Katharine Gibbs Secretarial School, graduating early and with honors. She could type 140-plus words per minute and was a skilled wordsmith. Denise was a former lead reporter and managing editor for The Port Times and The Village Beacon in the early ’90s.

Denise stayed in contact with friends from grade school in Middle Village where she attended St. Margaret’s School along with her five brothers. She moved out to California in 1996 where she married her beloved husband, C. Larry Peters, June 19, 1999. She was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Denise was an avid reader, an extraordinarily talented writer, a connoisseur of music, a fanatic pet protector and the most caring person you could ever meet. She was always thinking and worrying about others and never about herself.  If you called her and needed help for any reason, she would drop everything she was doing to be there with you.

Denise was a true angel.  She never met a person who didn’t become a devoted friend, whether she knew it or not. Her stories and enthusiasm were endless, and so were the laughs.  Denise always found herself in the funniest of situations.  Whether she was traveling around the country or traveling around the block, she would come back with the most unbelievable stories. Denise had a gift of making everyone feel like they were the most important person in the world.  She had a heart as big as Texas. She is missed beyond words and will never be forgotten.

Denise was preceded in death by her parents, Thomas Francis McDonnell and Mary Collette McDonnell, and her brother, James Charles McDonnell. She is survived by her loving husband, C. Larry Peters, 75, of Alamo, California; her son, Vincent Thomas Alfieri, 43; and his wife, Jordana of Hastings-on-Hudson; her daughter, Maria Lynn Alfieri-Vongphakdy, 40, and her husband, Boualay, of Danville, California; her brothers, John McDonnell, 58, and his wife, Patty of Lyndhurst; Thomas McDonnell, 63, and his wife, Janice of Elmhurst; Daniel McDonnell, 65, and his wife, Marcia of Tolland, Connecticut; Kevin McDonnell, 71, of Lakewood, Colorado; and her aunt, Katherine McCauley, of St. James. She is also survived by her sons, Marc Peters and his wife, Liz; Sean Peters and his wife, Julie; and Jonathan Peters; her grandchildren Covin, Sage, Jordan, Peyton, Hayden, Allyson, Kelsey K, Connor, Cole and Claire; dozens of cousins and scores of nieces and nephews from all over the country.

Visit www.oakparkhillschapel.com for the online guest book.

Marilyn Tunney

By Elizabeth Tunney

Marilyn Tunney, 86, a longtime resident of Setauket died peacefully Sept. 2.

Marilyn Tunney

Marilyn was born to the late Helen Ekenberg and Joseph Talbot Nov. 13, 1932. She and her late brother John Talbot were raised in Cedarhurst. Marilyn attended St. Joseph’s boarding school in Brentwood where her faith, Christian spirit and the friendships she made would last her a lifetime.

She met her beloved husband, John Tunney, in 1949, and in 1956 they married and spent the next 60 years together calling Setauket their home. Marilyn was a devoted and selfless mother to John (Mimosa), Beth (Charlie), Peter (Amy) and David (Christine). She was also the proud and loving grandmother of Olivia, David Jr., John IV, Duke, Arthur and Sonnet.

Family was everything to her and she devoted herself entirely to their happiness.

Marilyn spent 25 years working at The Village Times newspaper in the classifieds department where she found great joy in her work but more importantly cherished her friendships.

The family is very grateful for all the loving and thoughtful care of all those at Jefferson’s Ferry who cared for her over the past few years. She led her life with grace, thoughtfulness and honesty and was loved by all that knew her sweet soul. 

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. James R.C. Church in Setauket Sept. 13 at 10:45 a.m. 

by -
0 525

Marilyn Marelli 

Marilyn Marelli, of Port Jefferson, died July 1. She was 83. She was born Dec. 1, 1935, in Bay Ridge and was the daughter of Isabel and Edward Dearborn.

Marilyn was a homemaker and she enjoyed watching the Yankees and golf.

Left to cherish her memory is her husband, Robert; son, Lawrence; grandchildren, Brian, Jessica, Cody and Shane; great-grandchild, Riley, along with other family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her son, Charles; and daughter, Lisa Ann.

Services were held at Bryant Funeral Home July 5 and interment followed at the Cedar Hill Cemetery in Port Jefferson.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of East Setauket. People can visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guest book.

Pauline Pollard

Pauline Pollard, of Port Jefferson Station, died June 30. She was 81.

She was born Jan. 29, 1938, in New York and was the daughter of Concetta and Louis Nolfo.

Pollard was a retired seamstress.

Left to cherish her memory is her daughter, Denise; son, Laurie Jr.; three grandchildren; six great-grandchildren, along with many other family and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Laurie T. Sr.

Services were held at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery Chapel in Coram July 8 with interment following.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of East Setauket. People can visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guest book. 

Veronica Mellusi

Veronica Mellusi, of Port Jefferson Station, died July 20. She was 67.

She was born Oct. 10, 1951, in Brooklyn and was the daughter of Gloria and John Janso.

Mellusi was a chief operating officer for North Shore Hematology. She enjoyed the beach, Irish music, horror movies and being around people.

Left to cherish her memory is her son, Brandon, along with other family and friends.

Services were held at the Bryant Funeral Home July 25 with entombment following at Washington Memorial Park Cemetery in Mount Sinai.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of East Setauket. People can visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guest book.

John O’Reilly

John C. O’Reilly, a longtime community resident, died July 17. He was 81.

He was born May 15, 1938, in New York and was the son of Mary and Charles O’Reilly.

John was a retired mechanical HVAC contractor. He enjoyed his job, traveling, being near the water and spending time with the family.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Arlene; daughters, Susan, Alice and Karen; son, Kevin; 10 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren, along with many other family and friends.

Services were held at St. Charles Cemetery  in Farmingdale on July 27 with entombment following.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of East Setauket. People can visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guest book.

Ernest Reinke

Ernest Reinke, a longtime community resident, died Aug. 2. He was 91. He was born March 5, 1928, in Durham, Germany, and was the son of Elsie and Ernest Reinke

He was an Army veteran of World War II. After the war he worked as a businessman and entrepreneur throughout his life. Initially he started with a newspaper delivery service, soda and candy shop owner, co-owner of Renken’s Diner in Brooklyn, North Shore Telephone Answering Service in Port Jeff, Red Top Dairy in Setauket and Miller Place, Port Echo Awning, Port Taxi Service and ultimately flipping homes in this area and Tennessee.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Robin; daughter, Ada (Rich) Beresford; son, Carl (Linda); five grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his nephew, Peter Reinke and wife Susan; nieces Betty Reinke, Linda Hudson and Tina Brazier, along with many other family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his son, Ernest.

Services were held at Bryant Funeral Home Aug. 9. Reinke was afforded full military honors at Cedar Hill Cemetery. Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of East Setauket. People can visit www.bryantfh.com to sign the online guest book.

Elizabeth M. Dolci

Elizabeth M. Dolci of Northport died on Aug. 27 at 87 years of age. Beloved wife of the late Sonny; loving mother of Carolyn Dolci-LoCascio, Susan Dolci-Hertzberg and Steven Dolci; dear grandmother of Jessica, Jason and Jeffrey Hertzberg, also Julia and Nicole LoCascio; fond sister of Warren Millard and the late James Millard. Visitation was held Nolan Funeral Home Aug. 30. Funeral Mass was held Aug. 31 at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs R.C. Church, Centerport. Burial followed at St. Philip Neri Cemetery, East Northport. 

Kathleen Schmiedecke

Kathleen Ryan Schmiedecke of Northport died on Aug. 26. Loving mother of Meghan Schmiedecke, Christy Affrunti (Joe), and Jacqueline Miata (Matthew); cherished Gram of Logan; fond sister of Rosemary Ryan; also loved by her many friends. Kathy worked with the South Huntington school district for 41 years, where she endeared many colleagues and inspired many students. Visitation was held at Nolan Funeral Home on Aug. 28. Funeral Mass was held on Aug. 29 at St. Philip Neri Church, Northport. Burial followed at Northport Rural Cemetery.

Sharon L. Barton

Sharon L. Barton of East Northport died on Aug. 23 at 63 years of age. Loving mother of Melanie Trnka; beloved grandmother of Phillip Trnka, the late Nicholas Trnka, Theodore Trnka, Taylor Trnka and Tia Trnka; dear great grandmother of the late Grayson Trnka; fond sister of the late Richard Barton, the late Valerie Barton and Doreen (Robert) Dunn; cherished companion of David L. VanDyke and his daughter Shannon VanDyke. Visitation was held at the Nolan Funeral Home Aug. 29 followed by a prayer service
taking place. A private cremation followed.

Elizabeth M. Kutny

Elizabeth “Betty” M. Kutny of Huntington Station died suddenly on Aug. 28 at 89 years of age. Loving wife of the late Bron Kutny; beloved mother of Deborah (Bob) Splaine and Donna (James) Gurtowski; cherished grandmother of James, Elizabeth, Michael and Stephen; longtime teacher’s aide at Washington Primary School in Huntington Station. Visitation was held at Nolan Funeral Home in Northport Aug. 30. A funeral Mass was held Aug. 30 at St. Philip Neri Church in Northport. Interment followed at St. Patrick Cemetery in Huntington.

Alexander J. Memole

Alexander J. Memole of Northport, formerly of Kings Park and Baldwin, died on Sept. 3 at 100 years of age. Beloved husband of the late Jean; loving father of Marianne Inkelis and her husband Sidney, Robert Memole and his wife Kerry; cherished grandfather of Emily, Eric and Daniel Inkelis and Ross and Brenna Memole. Visitation was held Sept. 4 at Nolan Funeral Home in Northport. A funeral Mass was held Sept. 5 at St. Philip Neri Church in Northport. Burial followed at St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale.

by -
0 1093
Father Daniel Bitsko

Father Daniel Bitsko, a former pastor of the Byzantine Catholic Church of the Resurrection in Smithtown, died Sept. 4 at the age of 82. Originally from New Britain, Pennsylvania, Father Dan served the church for 30 years. He was also a 50-year member and chief chaplain for the Smithtown Fire Department and chaplain for the New York Islanders Hockey Team.

His legacy includes launching the once popular Byzantine Bazaar, an ethnic festival hosted every other year over the Labor Day holiday weekend at the Smithtown church.

“Ten of thousands of people attended the festival,” said the church’s current pastor Father Tyler Strand in a telephone interview. “It was a big deal that included a nightclub, restaurants.  It was a very important part of life here.”

An Aug. 25, 1991, The New York Times article noted that the bazaar as “one of the biggest food festivals on Long Island is staged by one of its smallest churches…”

Strand said that the church had to stop hosting the festival because it just got too big. The tradition, however, lives on, on a smaller scale, but is still the church’s largest fundraiser.  On the first Saturday of November, the church hosts the annual Slavic Dinner that includes live entertainment, raffles and two seatings for dinner that includes traditional foods of Eastern Europe-like stuffed cabbage, pierogies and poppyseed rolls. This year’s event is scheduled for Nov. 2.

The Smithtown Fire Department announced Father Dan’s passing on Facebook.

“The longtime pastor of the Byzantine Catholic Church of the Resurrection in Smithtown, Father Dan was appointed to the Smithtown FD in April 1969 and quickly became an integral part of our family,” the chief’s office stated. “Throughout the years he mentored, counseled, comforted, educated, laughed and prayed with us all.”

Born in Coaldale, Pennsylvania, Bitsko was the son of the late Frank and Helen (Zelinka) Bitsko. He was a graduate of the former Coaldale High School and was a graduate of Duquesne University. He then joined the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Pittsburgh, where he fulfilled his vocation of becoming a Byzantine Catholic priest. Father Dan had also served as the pastor at St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church in New York City, St. Andrew’s Byzantine Catholic Church in Westbury, and last served at the Byzantine Catholic Church of the Resurrection in Smithtown.

Father Dan was a member of the New York State Chaplains Association and also served as the chaplain for Nascar Races at the Pocono Raceway.

Father Dan was very active in the local community. He was a member of the Smithtown Rotary, the Smithtown Historical Society, Suffolk County Volunteer Fireman’s Association in New York, the Southern New York Fireman’s Association and the Knights of Columbus, Henry Baker Council 2711.

Surviving is a sister, Helen Kochaba and her husband John of Camden, Delaware; brother, Nicholas Bitsko and his wife Ruth of New Britain, Pennsylvania; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a sister, Mary Cortese; brothers, Michael, Frank, Andrew, John and Stephen.

Funeral Service with Divine Liturgy will be held Monday, Sept. 9 at 11 a.m. at St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church, 104 E. Bertsch St., Lansford, Pennsylvania with the Most Reverend Kurt Burnette officiating. Interment will follow at St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery, Summit Hill. Visitation will be held Monday from 9-11 a.m. at the church, which is where he first served as pastor.

Contributions, in Father Dan’s memory, may be made to St. John the Baptist/St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Parishes, the Byzantine Catholic Church of the Resurrection or to the charity of one’s choice. Online condolences may be expressed at www.nalesnikfh.com. Funeral services and arrangements are being handled by the Bruce A. Nalesnik Funeral Home, 57 W. Center St., Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania.

The Byzantine church in Smithtown is planning a celebration of Father Dan’s life at a still undetermined date in October that will later be announced.

by -
0 319

Marie Anne Keane Van Wagner Peshenka, of Middle Island, died Aug. 16 in Riverhead. She was 85.

Born July 2, 1934 in New York City, Marie was the daughter of Francis Keane and Barbara Reidy Keane. Marie — often known by her childhood nickname Rianne — grew up in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan and graduated with a nursing degree from the Columbia University School of Nursing in 1955. While pursuing her degree, Marie met Paul Van Wagner and they were married in February 1956, shortly after her graduation. 

Marie and Paul raised four children in Port Jefferson and were active members of the Infant Jesus R.C. parish. Marie worked as a registered nurse for a number of local hospitals and schools, including the Nesaquake Middle School in Smithtown school district. 

After Marie and Paul retired, they moved to Green Valley, Arizona, in 1991. When Paul died in 1999, Marie moved to Prescott Valley, Arizona. There, Marie met and married Andrew Peshenka. Andrew died in 2013. 

Over the years, Marie was most in her element welcoming family and friends into her home, visiting others for social gatherings and traveling. Marie was always “a good sport,” and was willing to play any dice or card game, to join any chorus, and to get up and dance to any new song. While married to Peshenka, Marie even took on the role of navigator for his road rally races. 

In her later years, Marie also was an active parishioner and served as a Eucharistic minister at St. Germaine R.C. parish in Prescott Valley. 

Marie is survived by her daughters Elizabeth Gibson, Jane Whitelock (Craig) and Ellen Harrington (Kevin); her son David Van Wagner (Lisa); her grandchildren Daniel Kohlmeyer (Marissa), Andrew Kohlmeyer (April), Matthew Whitelock, Diana Van Wagner, Erika Whitelock, Claire Van Wagner, Colin Harrington, Christopher Whitelock, Stephen Whitelock, Brian Whitelock, Jarrod Odom and Thomas Harrington; her great-grandchildren Angelina Kohlmeyer, Cameron Garcia, Blake Garcia, Madison Kohlmeyer, Liam Kohlmeyer, Declan Whitelock and Evalina Kohlmeyer; her sister Joyce O’Loughlin (Kenneth); and many nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, Marie was preceded in death, as stated, by her husbands Paul Van Wagner and Andrew Peshenka. 

A Mass of celebration will be held Sept. 21, 12:30 p.m. at the St. Charles Chapel, 200 Belle Terre Road, Port Jefferson. A reception will follow at approximately 2 p.m. at Miller Place Inn, located at 195 North Country Road in Miller Place. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Germaine R.C. Church, Prescott Valley, Arizona, or a charity of one’s choice.

Selden residents lay out candles to spell Jenna’s name on the Newfield High School football field. Photo by Kyle Barr

On the green turf football field at Newfield High School, the Selden community, also swaddled in different shades of green, laid out candles in the grass. The crowd came together like a tide. As they stepped back, the candles spelled out the name “Jenna.” Underneath her name, the flickering yellow and green electric candles and tealights also framed a heart.

Community members hold candles at the Aug. 31 vigil. Photo by Kyle Barr

Jenna Perez, 17, a Selden resident who worked at the Five Guys in Port Jefferson Station was killed Aug. 24 while crossing Route 347 southbound at around 9:25 p.m. She crossed around 300 feet west of Terryville Road, police said. The driver who hit her sped off, and police said they are still searching for that person.

“She was one incredible kid from the day I met her,” said Scott Graviano, the Newfield High School principal. “A very quiet spirit, but always with a smile on her face, always saying hello. And with that sweet, soft quiet personality, she gained the love of support and respect of this entire community.”

For the hundreds of community members looking for ways to heal, remembering Perez as the loving and outgoing high schooler was the best way to deal with their pain. Wearing green, Perez’s favorite color, friends, family, faculty and more from the community held glowing electric candles while the sky slowly darkened Aug. 31. Several friends spoke for her, talking and remembering her fun-loving personality.

“She lived a short life but clearly left a significant imprint,” said Asia Austin to the crowd gathered at the vigil. “As someone who has been grieving recently, I want those to understand that we should not follow down that road in thinking we have no purpose … with support from family and friends, you will find yourself and you will be OK.”

Community members hold candles at the Aug. 31 vigil. Photo by Kyle Barr

Donna Austin was her guardian for the past three years, taking care of Perez and her twin sister Janell in Selden. She had met the twins in 2008 when they were 8 years old living in the Bronx as she went there to take care of one of their relatives. Austin would eventually run a community center out of the building where the Perez family lived, and the twins would always be there to decorate her offices for whatever holiday came up. When their grandmother died, she took both sisters in to live with her back in her hometown of Selden.

“Jenna’s face would have lit up, and she would have been smiling, looking at all of her friends who had come to her like this,” Austin said.

Their caretaker said Jenna thrived in Selden, making innumerable friends and rising higher at Five Guys. She was set to take up her first supervisor training sessions at Five Guys on her birthday Sept. 6. Austin said she had been extremely excited and proud. 

Naziyah Dash, one of Perez’s high school friends, said she has been heartbroken since she learned of her friends death.

“Your story will always be cherished,” she said. “I will keep you alive in my heart.” 

The community is helping monetarily with three separate GoFundMe pages that have been set up in  Perez’s name. The first, which is donating funds to twin sister Janell, has reached close to $9,500. The other two GoFundMe pages are for funeral expenses.

Newfield High School Principal Scott Graviano speaks at the Aug. 31 vigil. Photo by Kyle Barr

“The Newfield community is an amazing place — deep rooted, full of love and support, and that’s evident here tonight,” said the principal. “Janell, we love you very much as a community, I hope you know that. We will continue to love and support you.”

An additional memorial service will be held Sept. 14 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Church on the Sound, 335 Oxhead Road in Stony Brook.

A funeral for Perez will be held at Ortiz Funeral Home, 524 Southern Blvd. in the Bronx Sept. 11 from 4 to 9 p.m. Burial will be at St. Raymond’s Cemetery in the Bronx Sept. 12 with a time still to be determined.

by -
0 136

Richard F. Murphy Sr.

Richard F. Murphy Sr. of Brockton, Massachusetts, formerly of Riverhead and Sanibel Island, Florida, died Aug. 15 at Blue Hills Health and Rehabilitation Center at the age of 88. Richard was the husband of the late Gail (McLoughlin) Murphy. 

Born in Manhattan and raised and educated in Elmont, he was the son of the late William and Anna (Hughes) Murphy. Richard served with the Marines during the Korean conflict. He had been employed as an electrical engineer for 20 years by Con Edison and retired after 25 years from the New York City Board of Education. 

Richard was the father of Robert Murphy of Long Beach, Barbara Murphy and Donna Jones (Dean) also from Brockton, the late Richard Murphy Jr., Suzanne Savino (Mark), Barbara Amoruso (Paul) and Jayme Hubbs (Jamie) all of Huntington. He was the grandfather of Emily and Brian Jones; Abigail Murphy; Nikolai, Stefan and Mimi Mazut; Olivia, Julia, Elle and Ben Amarouso; and Lily Hubbs. He was the brother of the late Margaret Silveri. He is survived by his brother William Murphy Jr. of Northport. 

Visitation was held at Nolan Funeral Home in Northport on Aug. 23. Funeral services were held at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Centerport on Aug. 24. Graveside services will be held at a later date in Pine Hill Cemetery, West Bridgewater. 

Michael A. Leddy

Michael A. Leddy of Northport died on Aug. 8. He was the beloved father of Meghan (Nester) Chamale and Michael Leddy; loving grandfather of Anthony, Victoria, Manny and Emma Chamale; dear brother of John Leddy, Mary Ann Lanigan, Christopher Leddy, Mark (Patty) Leddy and the late Brian (Sandy) Leddy. Services were held Aug. 9 at Nolan Funeral Home. A funeral Mass was celebrated Aug. 10 at St. Anthony of Padua Church, East Northport. Interment followed at St. Philip Neri Cemetery, East Northport.

James Patrick O’Connor Jr. 

James Patrick “Butch” O’Connor Jr. of Northport died on Aug. 1. O’Connor was a retired police officer with the Suffolk County Police Department. He was the loving husband of Cynthia; beloved father of Brian (Katie) O’Connor and Kari (Michael) Callahan; cherished grandfather of Lauren O’Connor, Michael Hankey, James O’Connor, Ashley Callahan and Alexandra Callahan; dear brother of Joseph (Judi) O’Connor, the late John (Linda) O’Connor and the late Dolores (the late Anthony) Turano;  and devoted cousin of Nicholas (the late Patricia) Apriceno. Funeral services held Aug. 6 at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Northport. Cremation was private. 

Myrna Fannin

Myrna Fannin of East Northport died on Aug. 19 at 86 years of age. She was the beloved wife of the late Wayne Fannin; loving mother of Barbara, Dwight (Teresa), Kathy and Debbie Adair Fannin; and dear grandmother of Evan Goodwin and Shaun Fannin. Services were held at Nolan Funeral Home. Prayer services were held at the funeral home on Aug. 23 followed by burial at Calverton National Cemetery.