Obituaries

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Joyce Bloom

Joyce Susan Bloom, of Coram, died Aug. 8. 

She was the beloved wife of Ronald Bloom; the loving mother of Michael (Jill) Forst, Jeffrey (Laura) Bloom and Faith (Christopher) Kit; the cherished grandmother of Christopher, Jessica, Josh, Jordan, Jamie, Kirsten, CJ, Katie, Justin and Sean; the adored sister of Wally (Judy) Siegel; and is survived by many other family members and friends.

Interment was held at New Montefiore Cemetery in Farmingdale. Arrangements were entrusted to Branch Funeral Home of Miller Place. An online guest book is available at www.branchfh.com.

Robyne McGough

Robyne McGough, a Port Jeff native and graduate of Port Jefferson high school, passed June 15. 

McGough had worked at the Port Jefferson to Bridgeport ferry company for several years and later worked as a paralegal in Port Jefferson Station.

She was the daughter of Maryanne and the late Thomas McGough; the loving sister of Richard, Sharon, Kelly, Timothy, Joseph and Joanne; the beloved aunt to Monica Treutle; the friend of Dorthy, Nikki and Colleen; loved niece to James and the late Helen Knox and Richard Knox.

Our love and prayers be with you always.

Doris M. LaTurno (Beaumont)

Doris M. LaTurno (Beaumont), 83, died in Naples, Florida, Feb. 20. She was predeceased by her
husband Joseph Peter LaTurno.

She grew up in a large family of 10 sisters and three brothers. She lived in Suffolk County until relocating with her husband to Florida in 2016. Doris is survived by her sons Walter Chad Beaumont and Gary Roy Beaumont; four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Her and her husband’s remains will be put to rest at Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale.

Joseph Peter LaTurno

Joseph Peter LaTurno, 91, died in Naples, Florida, Dec. 27, 2017.

Born in Mineola, he attended Hempstead High School. In the spring of 1944, when he was 18 years old, he enlisted in the Navy and served on LST 537/755 in the South Pacific until the spring of 1946. Between 1946 and 1950, he worked at Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp., in Bethpage. With the outbreak of the Korean War, he returned to active duty and was assigned to the USS LSMR-527 as a radio operator. Following a one-year tour he returned to Grumman where he retired after 40 years.

For the next 25 or so years, he and his wife Doris enjoyed traveling and their lovely home in Lake Grove. They relocated to Florida in July 2016. Their remains will be put to rest at Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale.

Frank Ohman

Frank Ohman, former New York City Ballet soloist, founder and artistic director of the New York Dance Theatre and the Ohman School of Ballet on Long Island and internationally known dance professional died suddenly on July 22 at home in Centerport. He was 80 years old. 

Ohman began his critically acclaimed dance career with the San Francisco Ballet in 1959, moving quickly through the ranks while also serving in the U.S. Army Reserves. He joined the New York City Ballet in 1962, where he was a soloist for 22 years. During his distinguished performing career, Ohman studied professionally with icons of the American ballet world including George Balanchine, Lew and Harold Christensen, Ernest Belcher, David Lichine, André Eglevsky and John Taras. He appeared in leading and soloist roles in ballets of Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Frederic Ashton, Antony Tudor and Jacques d’Amboise among others. He partnered many of the world’s leading ballerinas including Maria Tallchief, Suzanne Farrell, Allegra Kent, Patricia McBride, Gelsey Kirkland, Kay Mazzo and Suki Schorer. Ohman performed with the New York City Ballet at the New York State Theater, Kennedy Center, Marinsky Theater, Bolshoi Theater, the White House and Jacob’s Pillow. 

With the blessing of his mentor George Balanchine, Frank Ohman established New York Dance Theatre Inc. in 1974 on Long Island to bring classical ballet to a broader audience. Five years later, the Ohman School of Ballet was founded as a training ground for young dancers, teaching the art of classical ballet in the style of Balanchine. Ohman’s commitment to the Balanchine legacy extended to his company’s annual production of “The Nutcracker,” Long Island’s largest and an annual tradition for families throughout the region. A prolific choreographer, Ohman created more than 200 original ballets, performed by his New York Dance Theatre, Boston Ballet, Edmonton Ballet, Syracuse Ballet (where he was director), the Cassandra Ballet of Toledo, the Long Island Philharmonic, the Long Island Lyric Opera, the School of American Ballet workshop performance and American Movie Classics, among others. Still actively teaching at his eponymous classical ballet school in Commack until his death, Ohman’s teaching career also included stints at prestigious programs including the School of American Ballet, the Boston Ballet, the St. Louis Ballet, the National Dance Institute and as guest Ballet Master at Ballet Philippines. 

Beyond his career as a dancer, choreographer and teacher, Ohman was a gifted fine artist whose paintings have been featured in art shows at libraries throughout Long Island and Queens. Ohman encouraged his students to be well-rounded students of the arts. In his 2014 memoir “Balanchine’s Dancing Cowboy,” Ohman wrote, “To be a great artist, one must care deeply and completely about something, and to work devotedly to contribute that artistry to the world.” Ohman is survived by his son, Johan (Soumala), and grandson, Luke, as well as his ballet family of students and colleagues who carry on his legacy. A private funeral service is being held for immediate family. A public memorial service is planned for late summer. Details to be announced at www.ohmanballet.org.

Rose Messina

Rose Messina of Hauppauge died on Aug. 10 at the age of 97. She was one of six children and is survived by two sisters Nellie and Lena, ages 93 and 94; six children, Linda D’Amico, Frank, Christopher, Mickey, Diane Cazzetta and Ramona Bisono; 21 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren with three more on the way.

Born in Retsof and raised in Huntington, Messina attended Huntington High School. At 4 feet 9 inches, she was nicknamed “the peanut.” She was a four-year varsity letter winner in field hockey, basketball and softball and four-time outstanding female athlete at Huntington in grades 9 thru 12. Messina played semi-pro baseball, while working for Grumman during World War II. She gave up a baseball contract to marry Dominick Messina in 1946. She joined the Red Cross to help in the war effort in the 1940s. The family lived in Huntington and moved to Hauppauge in 1960.  Messina was a class mother to every one of her six children for over 20 years and an active lifetime columbiette member for 75 years. She was one of the original founders of the “Hauppauge Sideliners Club” and member for over 25 years, and also a member of the St. Thomas More church “Young at Heart” organization for over 30 years. She was a team mom, seamstress and cook for every sport her six children played from little league, football, wrestling, baseball, field hockey, eaglettes, cheerleading, volleyball, track, to dance and theater plays in the school.

As a seamstress, she made many of the costumes for the school’s musicals and plays, costumes that her children and grandchildren performed in. 

Messina started cooking for the Hauppauge wrestling team in 1969 and continued organizing dinners for many sport teams which evolved into an end-of-the-year awards banquet, a tradition still enjoyed by sport teams in Hauppauge today.

Messina was inducted into the Hauppauge Hall of Fame in 2011 as an honorary member and in 2018 with her entire family. Messina’s lifelong dream was to become a physical education teacher, which was fulfilled by seeing five of her children become teachers, two physical education, industrial arts and biology teachers and one an engineer.

Her compassion, beside for her entire family, was for the Hauppauge wrestling team. She spent 40 years supporting the team. 

Services were held at Moloney’s Hauppauge Funeral Home on Aug. 12 and 13 and a funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Thomas More R.C. Church in Hauppauge on Aug. 14. 

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully asks that tax-deductible donations be made to the Rose Messina scholarship foundation. Please make checks payable to: The Hauppauge Wrestling Club, which is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and include “The Rose Messina scholarship foundation” in the memo. All money collected will be distributed to a Hauppauge wrestler and/or student in the upcoming years.

Belleau was a faithful parishioner at Saint James R.C. Church in East Setauket where he was an eucharistic minister, member of the parish finance committee as well as a be member and Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus. Photo from Bryant Funeral Home

Thomas F. Belleau, 76, of Setauket, died Aug. 4.

He was born March 27, 1943, in Adams, Massachusetts and was the son of Clare and Donald Belleau.

Tom attended Saint Joseph’s Catholic High School in North Adams and the University of Notre Dame where he graduated from the class of 1965. He was an avid Fighting Irish fan and supporter. He attended graduate school in finance at New York University where he earned his CPA and MBA degree. He worked as an accountant and chief financial officer in Melville.

Tom was a faithful parishioner at Saint James R.C. Church in East Setauket where he was an eucharistic minister, member of the parish finance committee and member and Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus. 

Tom was an active member of St George’s Golf Club and the Old Field Club. He was a devoted community servant and was actively involved and had been a board member of the Three Village Community Trust, the Three Village Historical Society and the Cornell Cooperative Extension.

The Three Village Community Trust informed their members in an email of his passing and described the past treasurer of the trust as “a valued pillar of the community” who was responsible for digitizing the trust’s financial records during his tenure.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Olga; daughters Maria and Renee; son-in-law John and grandchildren Peter, Michael, Hannah, Jacob and Zachary.

Services were held at St. James R.C. Church Aug. 8. Interment followed at the St. James R.C. Churchyard Cemetery.

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

The family has designated the University of Notre Dame and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for memorial contributions.

Memorial contributions may be made to the University of Notre Dame online at www.giving.nd.edu, by phone at 574-631-5150 or by mail: University of Notre Dame, Department of Development, 1100 Grace Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556.

Memorial contributions to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center may be made at www.giving.mskcc.org.

 

Barbara, 86, and Bruce, 85, were married for 64 years, they were residents of Setauket from 1960 to 2005. Photo from the McNaughton Family

By Donald McNaughton

Barbara and Bruce McNaughton, formerly of Setauket, died in Fort Myers, Florida, July 2 and July 24, respectively.

Barbara was 86 and Bruce was 85. Married for 64 years, they were residents of Setauket from 1960 to 2005, raising their three sons Cameron, Donald and Andrew there and contributing to the community they so loved. They will be laid to rest at the Setauket Presbyterian Church under a headstone simply marked “Home.”

Bruce Angus McNaughton

Bruce, an only child, was born in Brooklyn Jan. 14, 1934. His father was a broadcasting executive who specialized in turning around failing radio stations. This took Bruce at a young age to Ohio, West Virginia and Wisconsin, before he graduated from Ossining High School in Ossining, New York. He then attended the University of Illinois.

He met Barbara when they each had their first jobs after college at the McCann-Erickson advertising agency in New York City. After a stint writing for The New York Times, Bruce found his calling in the magazine business, selling advertising space. Following stops at Business Week, Look and McCall’s, he was hired by Time Incorporated in the mid-’60s to work for Life Magazine during its last years as a weekly publication. When Life ceased as a weekly in 1972, he moved to Time Inc.’s Fortune magazine, where he spent twenty years. At Fortune, he oversaw a new category, imported car advertising, growing it to be a source of significant revenue for the magazine. All in all, before retiring in 1994, Bruce spent more than 30 years at Time Inc. during its heyday as the leading magazine publisher in the United States, relishing the work, his colleagues, New York City and his place in the publishing world.

Bruce was nothing if not passionate about his many community involvements and his various pastimes. He helped to restore the sanctuary and steeple of the Setauket Presbyterian Church and worked on the committee to place the church on the National Register of Historic Places. He put his publishing experience to work to help establish a weekly newspaper in the Three Villages, The Village Times, now known as The Village Times Herald. He served on the board of the Stony Brook Community Fund, now the Ward Melville Heritage Organization. And he was a longtime board member of the Frank Melville Memorial Park, serving as its president and overseeing major renovations to the park’s buildings and grounds.

Bruce was an ardent lacrosse fan, voracious reader, Civil War history buff and lover of English cars, Winston Churchill, trains and all things Scotland. He was never more alive than when in the ocean surf or playing golf at St. George’s Country Club, where he and Barbara were members for 25 years.

Barbara Ann Hill McNaughton

Barbara, the eldest of four, was born in Queens March 4, 1933. Her father worked for New York State, helping to resettle returning World War II veterans.  This took the Hill family to Washington, D.C., during part of her childhood, but she mostly grew up in the New York area. She attended William Smith College in Geneva, New York, and graduated from the University of Vermont.

After meeting and marrying Bruce in New York City, Barbara gave birth to Cameron, the first of their three boys, in 1955. With the arrival in 1959 of their second, Donald, the young family moved east from New York City to Setauket, where Barbara’s parents kept a summer cottage on West Meadow Beach. The couple added a third child, Andrew, in 1963.

During these childrearing years, Barbara received her master’s degree from Stony Brook University and later worked in the library there for many years. She served as president of the  Play Groups School in Old Field and was an elder and longtime choir member of the Setauket Presbyterian Church.

Barbara was a boundless reader, enjoyed The New York Times crossword puzzle and loved sitting at the Brookhaven Beach Club with her friends. She was a fan of many sports, played tennis and golf and enjoyed watching baseball, Derek Jeter and Tiger Woods in her later years. She drove a stick well, and loved to watch her sons play lacrosse. Above all else, she was a devoted mother.

Upon leaving Setauket in 2005, Barbara and Bruce moved to Shell Point, a retirement community outside of Fort Myers where they quite happily spent their remaining years. 

In addition to their three sons, Barbara and Bruce leave behind two daughters-in-law, Karen Walsh McNaughton and Alison Pyne McNaughton, and five grandchildren: William Walsh McNaughton, Robert Cameron McNaughton, Alexander Gilchrist McNaughton, Holloway Elise McNaughton and Katherine Ann McNaughton. They were thrilled to live to see the birth of twin great- grandchildren, Charlotte Reilly McNaughton and Cameron Walsh McNaughton. Barbara is also survived by a sister, Jane Hill Burr, and a brother, David C. Hill.

A private family interment will be held this fall. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Shell Point for the benefit of the Waterside Health Center.

 

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Robert A. Moore

Robert A. Moore, formerly of Stony Brook, died July 29 at East Neck Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in West Babylon.

Born in Brooklyn, Robert was the son of the late Charles and Marianne (Meier) Moore. He was a proud member of the Mt. St. Mary’s University doctorate alumni family and the Stony Brook Fire Department, and will be remembered as a Ward Melville High School soccer and lacrosse fan where his children played.

He was the big brother to the late Kathleen Leddy and William Moore, as well as Judy Button and Janet Ruquet. In addition to his siblings, he is survived by his children, Katie Martin (Matt) of Medford, Massachusetts; Terry Moore (Fatima) of Lindenhurst; and Ryan (Aparna) of Baltimore, Maryland; as well as his grandchildren, Gabriela, Daniela, Jackson, Aidan, Quinn and Kailash.

A memorial service will be held at Hawkins and Davis Funeral Home, located at 17 Manor Road in Smithtown, at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, August 10. Relatives and friends are invited to attend and may visit with the family at the funeral home from 2 to 6 p.m. Following the service, a celebration of his life will be held at the Ward Melville Educational and Cultural Center at 97 Main Street, Stony Brook and all are invited to join. Interment will be private.

Doris M. LaTurno (Beaumont)

Doris M. LaTurno (Beaumont), 83, died in Naples, Florida, Feb. 20. She was predeceased by her husband Joseph Peter LaTurno.

She grew up in a large family of 10 sisters and three brothers. She lived in Suffolk County until relocating with her husband to Florida in 2016. Doris is survived by her sons Walter Chad Beaumont and Gary Roy Beaumont; four grandchildren and six great- grandchildren.

Her (and her husband’s) remains will be put to rest at Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale.

Joseph Peter LaTurno

Joseph Peter LaTurno, 91, died in Naples, Florida, Dec. 27, 2017.

Born in Mineola, he attended Hempstead High School. In the spring of 1944, when he was 18 years old, he enlisted in the Navy and served on LST 537/755 in the South Pacific until the spring of 1946. Between 1946 and 1950, he worked at Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp, in Bethpage. With the outbreak of the Korean War, he returned to active duty and was assigned to the USS LSMR-527 as a radio operator. Following a one-year tour he returned to Grumman where he retired after 40 years.

For the next 25 or so years, he and his wife Doris enjoyed travelling and their lovely home in Lake Grove. They relocated to Florida in July 2016. Their remains will be put to rest at Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale.

Winthrop Taylor Hall

Winthrop Taylor Hall of Lake Ronkonkoma died on Monday, May 13, at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown after suffering a heart attack at the age of 64. Several family members were by his side.

Hall attended Harbor Country Day School in St. James, East Woods School in Oyster Bay, The Rectory School in Pomfret, Connecticut, and graduated in 1974 from The Stony Brook School in Stony Brook.

He grew up in the Village of Nissequogue with three brothers and a sister and enjoyed tennis, golf and paddle tennis as well as volunteering in the Nissequogue Fire Department and monitoring emergency communications for the Suffolk County REACT Program. He was a seaman in the U.S. Navy from 1981 until 1983 and served in the active reserves upon discharge from active duty.

In the late 1990s, Hall was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and became a longtime participant in programs at the Clubhouse of Suffolk County, which later merged with Suffolk County United Veterans and the Mental Health Association in Suffolk to form today’s Association for Mental Health and Wellness.

One of Hall’s greatest pleasures was to participate in periodic trips to Albany for NYAPRS (New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services) conferences, where he made presentations to state legislators to advocate for mental health awareness and program funding for those with mental disabilities. He was a valued member of the Clubhouse/MHAW team at these conferences and made significant contributions to their activities through the sharing of his knowledge of public policy and personal experiences with public programs.

He is survived by his mother, Louise of South Setauket; two brothers, Frederick of Bellport and Stuart (Robin) of Durham, New Hampshire; a sister, Lisa H. Reed (Keith) of Three Forks, Montana; a nephew, five nieces, a great-nephew and three great-nieces. His father, Gordon, and brother, Bruce, predeceased him. He will be fondly remembered by family and friends for his exceptional memory, his love of trivia and his eagerness to converse with others. 

A memorial service has been planned for Saturday, Sept. 7 at 9:30 a.m. at St. James Episcopal Church,  490 Route 25A, St. James.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Association for Mental Health and Wellness, 939 Johnson Ave., Ronkonkoma, NY 11779.

Amelia E. Stegmaier 

Amelia E. Stegmaier of Northport died on July 17 at 87 years of age. Beloved wife of the late Kenneth; loving mother of Marlene McDonnell, William Stegmaier (Maggie), Annette Fiumano and Tara Brooks (Russell); cherished grandmother of Evan McDonnell, Heather Vergara (Lincoyan), Adam Fiumano, Amanda Fiumano (Daniel), Wyatt Brooks and Kirsten Brooks; adoring great -grandmother of Coy Gilchrist and Christian Vergara; dear sister of Wilhelmina Shoob; fond sister in-law of Claire Dorr. Memorial visiting was held on July 26 at the funeral home with Rev. Harry Schenkel officiating funeral services. Burial of her ashes followed at Northport Rural Cemetery. 

Anthony “Tony” Damulewicz

Anthony Damulewicz of Northport died on July 4. Beloved husband of Rose; loving father of Robert, Thomas and Laura; devoted grandfather of Maximilion, Cole and Alexandria; dear brother of Irene (the late Dory) Pendzick. Tony was the owner of All Appliance Repair. He served in the U.S. Navy and was a veteran of the Korean War and active member of Northport American Legion Post 694. Religious service held at the Nolan funeral home on July 7 and 8. Interment, with U.S. Navy military honors, was held at Philip Neri Cemetery on July 9. Donations to the Parkinson’s Foundation, www.parkinson.org, in his memory, would be appreciated.

Susan Martorella 

Susan Martorella of East Northport died on July 12 at 92 years of age. Beloved wife of the late Joseph J. and the late Arthur Soper; loving mother of Anita Taylor (Kevin), Melanie Soper – McGroarty (John), Andrew (Maureen) and Lucille; also loved by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Visitation was held at Nolan Funeral Home, 5 Laurel Avenue, Northport on July 15. A funeral mass was celebrated on July 16 at St. Anthony of Padua Church, East Northport with interment at St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Huntington.

Charlie Beck

Charlie Beck of Northport died on July 14 at the age of 81. Recipient of the St. Agnes Medal of Service from St. Philip Neri for his devotion to teaching his religion to the children of the parish. Proud veteran of the U.S. Air Force in which he served for six years. Beloved husband of Barbara Beck and beloved by his predeceased wife Joan Norwood Beck; adored by Gretchen Boyles, Anastasia Beck, Kelly Boyles, Leslie Boyles, Miah Charlee Boyles, Matty Boyles and Matthew Boyles; cherished brother of Rosemarie (Robert) Scheibe and Margaret Oliva; also cared for by Jeanne (Richard) McPartland; precious uncle to his many nieces and nephews; dear cousin of many; loyal companion to two dogs, four cats (especially Gracie) and many other animals; dearly devoted to and loved by his many faithful friends. Memorial visitations were held at Nolan Funeral Home, 5 Laurel Avenue, Northport on July 19. A memorial mass was celebrated at St. Philip Neri Church on July 20 with Msgr. Peter Dooley officiating. Interment of ashes with U.S. Air Force military honors followed at Northport Rural Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to any of the following charities in Charlie’s memory.

-St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, www.stjude.org

-St. Philip Neri Religious Education, 344 Main Street, Northport, NY 11768

-North Shore Animal League, 25 Davis Avenue, Port Washington, NY 11050, www.animalleague.org

 

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August LaRuffa

August J. LaRuffa Jr., a longtime community resident, died June 8. He was 87.

August was born March 26, 1932, in Brooklyn and was the son of Concetta and August LaRuffa.

He was an Air Force veteran of the Korean War but later became an engineer, since retired. He was known as a smart man, a master of the trade who worked on the Apollo moon mission. He also enjoyed doing crosswords.

Left to cherish his memory are his daughter Gina, son Dr. August LaRuffa, four grandchildren and many other family and friends.

Services were held at Bryant Funeral Home June 12. He was afforded full military honors at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

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

Katherine Dzurney

Katherine Dzurney, a longtime community resident, died June 11. She was 98.

Katherine was born Oct. 12, 1920, in
Perryopolis, PA, and was the daughter of Eva and Michael Zehall.

Katherine was a homemaker, and she enjoyed knitting, sewing, growing a vegetable garden and cooking.

Left to cherish her memory are her son Ray, her grandchild and other family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband Stanley.

Services were held at Bryant Funeral Home June 13, and interment followed in the Calverton National Cemetery.

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

Frank Russo

Frank A. Russo, of Port Jefferson Station, died May 20. He was 59 years old.

Frank was born May 27, 1959, in Mineola and was the son of Marie and Frank P. Russo.

He was a 23-year veteran school teacher for the Three Village school district, and those that knew him said his qualities included a great spirit, kindness and generosity. Frank’s bright smile and natural warmth made his students, colleagues and friends always feel acknowledged and special. He dedicated his career to working with children and delighted in their successes and accomplishments. He was a bright light and his beautiful singing voice resonates in our memories and hearts. He left an indelible message of caring, joy and compassion, which will forever remain with us.

Left to cherish his memory are his parents Marie and Frank, brother Anthony (Susan) and  other family, friends, colleagues and students.

Services were held at St. Gerard Majella R.C. Church in Port Jefferson Station May 23, and interment followed at St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale.

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

Majael Gelston

Majael (Mickey) Gelston, of Port Jefferson Station, died May 21. She was 82.

Majael was born May 8, 1937, in Sand Springs, OK, and was the daughter of Florence and Allen Baker.

Majael was a retired executive secretary, and she enjoyed baking, gardening, knitting and sewing.

Left to cherish her memory are her husband Stephen; daughters Kathleen, Jacqueline, Stephanie and Denise; son Kevin; seven grandchildren and many other family and friends.

Services were held at the Bryant Funeral Home May 25, while committal services were held in private.

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

Edward Kettell

Edward E. Kettell, of East Setauket, died May 10. He was 90.

Edward was born Dec. 28, 1928, in Brooklyn and was the son of Janet and Joseph Kettell.

He was a retired captain in the New York City Fire Department, and people who knew him described him as family-oriented, hardworking, protective, smart and very generous. He loved the farm in Pennsylvania where the family would go to snowmobile, and he also enjoyed building and fixing computers.

Left to cherish his memory are daughter Janet, sons Edward and Robert, two grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, brother Richard and many other family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife Marilyn and his brother Joseph.

Services were held at St. Gerard Majella R.C. Church in Port Jefferson Station May 29, while interment followed at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram.

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

Diana Spetta

Diana Spetta, of Stony Brook, died June 15. She was 86.

Diana was born April 13, 1933, in Queens and was the daughter of Lillian and Paul Duttge.

Diana was a retired executive secretary for Stony Brook University, and she was a member of the community garden club. She also enjoyed the piano, traveling, gardening and being with family.

Left to cherish her memory are her sons Glenn and Robert, five grandchildren and other family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband Donald and brother Paul.

Services were held at the Bryant Funeral Home June 19, while committal services were held in private.

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

Mary Lewis

Mary Jane “Maisie” Lewis, of Port Jefferson, died June 14. She was 101.

Mary was born Sept. 27, 1917, in Northern Ireland and was the daughter of Sarah and Samuel Stevenson.

Mary was a retired bookkeeper, and she loved to read, garden and spend time with family.

Left to cherish her memory are her sons Michael and Harry, two grandchildren, three great- grandchildren and many other family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband  Harry.

Services were held at the First Presbyterian Church in Port Jefferson June 20. Interment followed in the Calverton National Cemetery.

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

Eleanor Kra

By Leah S. Dunaief

Leah Dunaief

This week’s column is dedicated to courage, the particular courage of one person. That person was one of my closest friends, and she died last week. Even though she suffered for five years with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, and we all knew that the end was coming, it is hard to imagine life without her.

And isn’t that the height of selfishness, to think of her death as my loss? What about her loss? Never again on Earth to hug and kiss her husband, her children and grandchildren, to cheer when they enjoy victories and to commiserate when things don’t work out as they had hoped. Never again to join friends for an evening at the opera. Never again to enjoy cooking delicious dinner for those lucky enough to be her guests. Never again to exchange insights about the political turmoil through which we are living. Never again to share a deep belly laugh. For her, it has ended.

We met as freshmen at college. She was impressive for her strongly held viewpoints during classroom discussions of world affairs, asserting that the Cold War was not just about two superpowers but also included a third bloc of underdeveloped and uncommitted nations. She was also delightfully funny, laughing at the incongruities of life. When we were both assigned dorm rooms on the same floor of the same dorm, I got to know that she was born in Poland in the Warsaw ghetto in 1941, hardly a choice time and place, that she had escaped from the ghetto with her mother and another woman and child thanks to her father’s resourcefulness, and that she had lived out World War II in Warsaw with false papers, both mothers being under extreme duress.

My friend went on to be elected editor in chief of the college newspaper, and she sometimes wrote about my actions as class president. We laughed about how it was a microcosm of the fourth estate, that is the public press, commenting on the executive branch. We served on the student council together and became close friends.

After graduation, when my husband and I were looking to settle somewhere in the New York area, it was she who I called from Wichita Falls in northern Texas to ask if Stony Brook, where her husband was a mathematics professor, was a good place to live. Little did I know that this one night she and her husband had decided uncharacteristically to retire early to bed, and with the one-hour time difference between Texas and the East Coast, I would wake them up with my question. But she waved me on. “It’s home,” she responded in her usual direct fashion, telling me all I needed to know. That is how we happened to move to the North Shore of Long Island.

After my husband died and my children all left for college, she stepped in with a surprising offer: How about joining them with an opera subscription? “Where?” I asked. “Why at the Metropolitan Opera, where else?” she smiled. “We would drive into NYC each time?” I responded disbelievingly. “Yes, and have dinner beforehand,” she said with a gleam in her eye. And that is how I discovered one of my great passions.

But before she died, here is her most important gift to us. She was the embodiment of courage. Even as the quality of her life deteriorated, she fought to maintain normalcy, for her sake and the sake of those around her. She went from a cane to a walker, accompanied by her husband, then to a wheelchair, then to a scooter wheelchair that she drove at breakneck speed down Broadway from their West End apartment to Lincoln Center for her subscription performances and more. And as her muscular ability to verbalize diminished, she used the internet and her computer keyboard to stay connected to the rest of us as long as she could control her hands.

Watching her struggle was a gut-wrenching anguish. It was also an inspiration. She was not going into that dark night easily. She fought for every inch of the life her parents had saved and she and her husband had made together, and in so doing she showed us not only how to die with valor but especially how to live life to the max.

Principal Robert Grable speaks at the 2019 high school graduation. Photo by Bob Savage

Mount Sinai High School Principal Robert Grable passed July 19. He was 49.

Mount Sinai High School Principal Robert Grable addresses the graduating class of 2015. Photo by Erika Karp

Grable joined the school district in 1998, teaching fourth, fifth and sixth grade before moving up to assistant middle school principal and in 2005 to middle school principal. He would become high school principal in 2010, during a reshuffling of staff where TBR News Media reported at that time he was there to help facilitate a “diversity of staff.”

In his earlier years, before he entered into education, Grable played Major League Baseball for the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies. He can be found in the Suffolk sports hall of fame. He was a lifelong resident of Connetquot and father of three girls.

“The community, school district and its teachers, administrators and staff are devastated by his untimely loss,” the school district said in a statement.

But if his true calling was education, it showed, according to both those who worked with him and those students he guided.

Lynn Jordan, a Mount Sinai resident who had been on the board of education since 2007 until this year, said the high school is where he truly thrived.

“That was his building — that was where he belonged,” she said, only a few hours after learning of his passing.

The high school principal would be instrumental in several programs that saw the high school thrive, Jordan said, including a “collegial observation process” that had teachers sit in on other’s instructors classes, having them learn from each other. While the program met with some initial resistance, it soon became an important part of teachers mentoring each other, especially for those just coming into the district.

“Teachers are very funny about having other people in their classrooms while they’re teaching,” she said. “It grew tremendously, I think about every teacher was participating in the collegial rounds eventually.”

Scott Reh, the district’s athletic director, knew Grable for nearly 20 years, having been one of his closest comrades. He said the principal cared about the students like they were his own children.

“He had a vision — he was a presence in the high school,” Reh said. “If you look at the Mount Sinai high school, rob created that, he made it.”

Vincent Ammirato, who taught and coached alongside Grable, would later work under him as principal. He said he remembered joking, saying Grable once worked for him, and he was now his boss. Even with him moving up in the district, Ammirato said the principal never lost that personal connection to his students.

“The kids loved him, the parents loved him, the teachers loved him,” he said. “It’s very rare that you find that in education or any walk of live to be loved by so many people.”

Students who took spent years with the principal, both in the middle and high schools, would come to see him as more than just an administrator.

Daria Martorana, a Mount Sinai native who graduated in 2014, said she had travelled the road from middle to high school with Grable, adding he was magnanimous to her and the other students.

“To say Mr. Grable was a passionate and dedicated educator is an understatement,” she said. “He has always been the one who his students could go to for a laugh when we were down, guidance when we were lost, and help when we were confused… he would even escort us to class so we didn’t get in trouble for not having a late pass.”

To those who paid attention to his methods, Grable took a look at teaching like a coach would on the baseball field, seeing how each individual student has strengths that had to be pushed and nurtured. He was adamant that students just looking to coast through easy courses should challenge themselves.

“They mentored them all through the year, making sure they were really getting what they needed,” Jordan said. “He worked with kids, he tried to make the final outcome better.”

“That was his building — that was where he belonged.”

— Lynn Jordan

Grable spoke at the 2019 senior commencement ceremony just last month, June 28. Jordan said that, even though he had spent nearly 19 years in the district and could have moved up higher in administration, he considered the high school his home.

“Robert Grable was so much more than a principal,” said Gabriella Conceicao, a 2014 Mount Sinai graduate who would later become a teacher in the district. “There are few educators who take the time to get to know their students on a personal level and he was one of them. He built relationships that would last far beyond high school and he touched the lives of countless students and faculty members… I feel so lucky to have known him as a principal, friend, mentor, and coworker.”

Community reaction to the news on Facebook was swift in its condolences, with one resident calling him “one of the most compassionate educators Mount Sinai has ever had.”

The school district announced it would be closed at 3 p.m. Friday, July 19 until Monday July 22 in observance of Grable’s passing.

“There are no words to show the impact Mr. Grable has had on each and every one of his students,” Martorana said. “We are so lucky to have had him as a mentor and teacher but more importantly as a friend.”

*This post was updated July 19 with additional information and quotes.

** This post was updated July 22 with additional quotes

Michael McDermott

A popular Kings Park middle school gym teacher Michael McDermott died tragically on Sunday, July 14, at age 37. He was jogging on the shoulder of the southbound lane of Lake Avenue in St. James, north of Oak Street, when he was struck and killed by a southbound car at 12:21 p.m. 

The driver, Keith Clancy, age 32 of Mattituck, fled the scene in a Nissan sedan and was located and arrested about 30 minutes later, according to police reports, near exit 69 on the Long Island Expressway heading east with a smashed windshield. He was charge with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. 

End of the 2019 season Kings Park JV Baseball game

McDermott served as physical education teacher and coach for 14 years at the William T. Rogers Middle School, where he touched many lives with his enthusiasm, kindness and wonderful sense of humor.

“He was a dedicated JV baseball and middle school boys soccer coach, who inspired those around him,” said Superintendent Timothy Eagen in a prepared statement on behalf of the Kings Park school district. “Our hearts are broken after the tremendous loss of this truly dedicated educator, professional, husband and father. Our thoughts are with the McDermott family at this time.”

Students gathered in the dugout at the school’s baseball field on Monday afternoon for an impromptu tribute that grew that evening into a candlelight vigil, where students, teachers, counselors and the community joined in to mourn the loss. 

John Mueller, age 15, a ninth-grade pitcher for 2019 Kings Park JV baseball team said he will always remember Coach McDermott and wants to be like him.

“Coach made me the person I am today,” John said. “He knows right from wrong, and what is good. He was a great coach, gym teacher and person.”

Community members Camille Cardoza and Barbara Mueller, mother of John admired the coach’s positive attitude and the values he instilled such as family first, school second, then baseball. 

Students inscribe tribute to Coach McDermott in dugout.

Memorial services were held Wednesday July 17 at the Branch Funeral Home. A funeral Mass was due to be held Thursday, July 18, at 10 a.m. at Sts. Philip & James R.C. in St. James. 

McDermott is survived by wife Lorraine, and three children Leila, Ryan and Sienna.

 

Photos from Branch Funeral Home, Barbara Mueller, Camille Cardoza and Patrick Moser

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Eleanor Kra

Eleanor Kra, 77, died at Mount Sinai West hospital in Manhattan of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS and Lou Gehrig’s disease, July 9. In the last weeks of her life, she was surrounded by her devoted husband, children, grandchildren, her sister and countless friends.

Eleanor was born in the Warsaw Ghetto Oct.1, 1941, and was smuggled out of the ghetto by her mother early the following year. Eleanor, her mother, Rochelle, and her best friend Mary Shidlovski survived the Holocaust in Warsaw while living on false papers, and Eleanor did not know she was Jewish until after the war had ended.

She moved with her family from Poland to Germany, eventually arriving in the United States in 1949. Eleanor graduated from William H. Taft High School in New York in 1958 and from Barnard College at Columbia University in New York June 5, 1962.

At Barnard she met the love of her life, Irwin Kra, and they were wed Dec. 23, 1961. Irwin and Eleanor were married for over 57 years and lived happily in New York and Boston before settling on Long Island in 1968, where they resided for the next 46 years. In 2014 they returned to New York City.

Eleanor received a master’s degree in American history from Stony Brook University in 1971 and later was employed at the same university. For many years, she worked in the health sciences, and she retired as the assistant dean at the School of Health Technology and Management in 2008.

Eleanor devoted much time and energy to volunteer activities, even more so after she retired. She served as chair of the Center for Human Justice and Social Understanding featuring the Holocaust Collection at Suffolk County Community College. She was also a fierce activist and champion of a variety of Jewish and social justice causes, recently commenting that if you weren’t angry you weren’t paying enough attention.

Eleanor’s first language was Polish, but before and after the war, her family spoke Yiddish. She had a lifelong love for the language and was active with the YIVO Institute for Jewish Learning in Manhattan. A Yiddish language interview of her about her life can be found online at the Yiddish Language Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project.

Eleanor loved laughter, food, wine, music, friends and family. She was a warm and devoted mother, wife and friend and hosted numerous wayward guests and visitors every year on Thanksgiving, Pesach and any other holiday where someone needed a temporary home and a delicious meal. Eleanor was an accomplished cook and invitations to her table were always welcome, both for the food and for the conversation. She was always ready with a quick joke or a sharp retort, as circumstances warranted.

Eleanor adored the opera and held season subscriptions first to the New York City Opera and then to the Metropolitan Opera. She also loved travel and adventure, returning repeatedly to Israel, along with visits to dozens of other countries.

Eleanor enjoyed her final years surrounded by friends and family, enjoying all that New York had to offer. She is survived by her husband, Irwin; her sister, Rosely; her children Douglas, Bryna and Gabriel; their spouses Lisa, Brian and Julie; and her eight beloved grandchildren Stephanie, Danielle, Jacob, Elie, Calla, Jonas, Jasper and Nola.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her honor to the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (www.hias.org), American Jewish World Service (www.ajws.org) or www.ALS.org.

Arlene Pearce

Arlene A. Pearce, of Port Jefferson, died July 5, 2019.  

She was the beloved wife of W. Donald Pearce; devoted mother of Donald G. Pearce (Janine), Debbie Grimaldi (Pat) and Cindy Parry (Bill); the cherished nana of Donald C., Michael, Patrick, Stephanie, Danielle, Matthew and Katelyn; the loving sister of Carol Wickel (Joe); and dear sister in law of Peggy Butscher.  

The family will received friends July 7 at the O.B. Davis Funeral Homes in Port Jefferson Station, while a Mass of Christian Burial took place July 7 at the Infant Jesus R.C. Church in Port Jefferson followed by a private cremation.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations in memory of Arlene be made to: Hope House Ministries – The Ministry for Hope Inc. 501 (c) (3) E.I.N. 11-2667800 d.b.a. Hope House Ministries 1 High St. / P.O. Box 358 Port Jefferson, NY 11777

Donald Kane

Donald John Kane, of Wilmington NC, formerly of Mount Sinai passed away July 8 at the New Hanover Regional Medical Center in North Carolina. He was 87.

The youngest of eight sons, Donald was born in Brooklyn Jan. 27, 1932, to Henry Vincent Kane and Anna Donahue Kane.

Don was a career Marine serving his country all over the world as a Comms Chief. He was a veteran of both the Korean War and the Vietnam War and was a Purple Heart recipient. He retired from the Marine Corps after 22 and a half years of faithful service in 1971. He held true to the Marine Corps motto Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful), attending the Drill Instructor reunion and Marine Corps Ball every year with his wife Robin. Upon retirement from the U.S. Marine Corps, Don pursued a career with the U.S. Post Office in Mount Sinai York, where he retired after a 20-year commitment in 1994.

Don’s zest for life was contagious, and he was always the life of the party. He was known as “Uncle Don” in Mount Sinai, and as “The Godfather” of his neighborhood. Don was happiest tending his garden and spending time with his family and friends. Don was renowned for his storytelling. Family said his big heart encompassed everyone he met, and he always made you feel loved, no matter what.

In addition to his wife Robin, he is survived by his four daughters, Donna (Jonathan) Seely of Murfreesboro, TN, Dorine (Joe) Gallo of Wildwood, MO, Gloria (Jonathan) Deitsch of Marysville, MI, and Kasey (Bryan) Scanlon of Hubert, NC; daughter in law Nina Kane of San Antonio, TX; twelve grandchildren, Aimee Seely Hull, Christopher Sauer Seely, Stephanie Kane, Joseph Gallo, Elisa Gallo, Jordyn Deitsch, Taylor Deitsch, Jack Donald Deitsch, Bradyn Deitsch, Kaydince Scanlon, Brody Scanlon, Karter Scanlon; and his great grandchild, Kate Hull.

Don was preceded in death by his son, Timothy J. Kane of San Antonio, TX.

Family and friends are invited to a viewing on July 28 from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. at the O.B. Davis Funeral Home in Port Jefferson Station. A Celebration of Life and funeral service will be held July 29 at 10 a.m. at the same funeral home.

Don will be laid to rest at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Port Jefferson.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks people to support his fellow Marines with contributions to the Semper Fi Fund at:

The Semper Fi Fund

825 College Blvd. Suite 102, PMB 609

Oceanside, CA 92057

 

Joan Aird Kremens

Joan Aird Kremens, 81, died June 7.

Born Feb. 11, 1938, in Maspeth, Joan was the second of two daughters to Mary and Joseph Aird. She spent her childhood in Maspeth and summers in Oakdale, where she excelled as a champion swimmer and runner.

In 1956 Joan married her high school sweetheart Chester Kremens and moved to Bay Shore. They were married for 63 years and had three sons. In 1964 she and Chester started a construction supply company, which came to be known as Sure-Set Fasteners Inc. The company grew from their deep commitment to customer service and their willingness to go above and beyond for their clients. It remains a thriving family business to this day.

The family of five were avid boaters, boating on Long Island Sound, around Shelter Island and in the Bahamas, where they vacationed.

Joan had a keen mind and was an avid reader, delving into history, medical science, current events and anything else that caught her eye. She stayed engaged politically and was a committed Democrat.

In their retirement, Joan and Chet bought an RV. After spending a few years crisscrossing the country, the couple settled into winters in Miami and became solid members of an RV community there.

Joan was a doting grandmother to seven grandchildren April, Stephen, Chris, Paul, Riley, Charlie and Annabelle; and four great-grandchildren Olivia and Ayrdrie van Bemmelen, and Penelope and Parker Kremens. In addition to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she is survived by her loving husband and her children Chester Jr. (Val), Russell (Karen) and Jim (Laura) as well as her sister Marion Aird and her nieces Jeanine Lobell and Adrienne Amundsen.

A memorial service will be held Aug. 31 from 1 to 5 p.m. in Port Jefferson. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to Emily’s List. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to St. James Funeral Home.

Elizabeth M. Fitzpatrick

Elizabeth M. “Betty” Fitzpatrick of Nesconset passed away June 14 at the age of 86. Born in Manhattan, she was the beloved wife of Philip, and devoted mother of Ann, Philip and Paul. Services were held at Moloney’s Lake Funeral Home and Cremation Center, Lake Ronkonkoma. A funeral Mass was held at Holy Cross R. C. Church in Nesconset with interment at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram.

Dorothy Marie Miller

Dorothy Marie Miller of Hauppauge passed away June 26 at age 78. Born in Islip, she was the beloved wife of the late Myron, devoted mother of Myron and the late Pamela. Services were held at Moloney’s Hauppauge Funeral Home, Hauppauge with a private cremation at Nassau Suffolk Crematory, Lake Ronkonkoma.

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Louise Wasilevitch

Louise Wasilevitch died June 12. She was 107. For nine years she lived with her daughter and son-in-law, Alice and Charles Anderson of Stony Brook. She also traveled to their home in New Hampshire, where the whole family often gathered. 

Born in New Jersey in 1911 as Louise Zaitz, she led a full life, marrying Julius Wasilevitch in 1937, with whom she had two daughters, Susan Bergman (deceased) and Alice. She worked as a secretary on Wall Street, but was let go when she married. Later, her husband started an engineering firm, Euclid Equipment Inc., and she headed the office. Business allowed them to travel around the world together.

She sang in her younger days, at social clubs and in the First Presbyterian Church choir in Greenlawn, where she lived for most of her married life. Julius died in 1995.

She was also a Girl Scout leader, a part of the Greenlawn Beach and Swim Club and a member of two senior clubs. In addition to playing violin, she enjoyed many crafts, including counted cross stitch, which she did even after she was 100. 

Louise is survived by her daughter Alice Anderson and her husband; three granddaughters, Heather Anderson and her friend Steve Kennedy of North Carolina, Jennifer Irwin and her husband Tobin of Evergreen, Colorado,  and Emily Rietzel and her husband Robert of Coventry, Rhode Island; and eight great-grandchildren. She is missed by her loving family.

Services were held June 17 at A. L. Jacobsen Funeral Home in Huntington Station, followed by cremation.

Michael R. Campbell

Michael Roy Campbell of Northport died on June 27. He was 71. He was a retired business teacher, golf coach and work study coordinator at Northport High School and served in the United States Army, 101st Airborne, during the Vietnam War.

Michael is survived by his wife, Colleen; children Michael William, William Roy, Colleen Jill, Bonnie Michelle and Kathleen Mary; and his granddaughter Violet Aurora. Funeral services were held at Nolan Funeral Home in Northport on July 1 followed by interment, with U.S. Army Military Honors, at Calverton National Cemetery.

Diva Cherbavaz

Diva Cherbavaz, of Ridge, died May 4. She was age 94.

Diva was born April 3, 1925 in Pirano, Italy, and was the daughter of the late William and the late Carmela (Gladi) Contento.  

She was predeceased by her husband, Duilio Cherbavaz, and her son, Dennis Cherbavaz.  

She is survived by three loving daughters, Dorothy Cherbavaz-Tigliapietra, Diana Cherbavaz and Joy Ellen DiGiorgio and  two cherished grandsons, Ambrose DiGiorgio and Isidore DiGiorgio.  

Family and friends gathered at the funeral home on May 10 for closing prayers. Burial followed in St. Michael’s Cemetery in East Elmhurst. An online guest book is available at www.rockypointfuneralhome.com.

Donald Lowe

Donald Edward Lowe, of Frederick, Maryland, formerly of Ridge, died May 7. He was 76.

Donald was born Feb. 4, 1943 in Teaneck, New Jersey, and was the son of the late August and the late Ruth (Speiser) Lowe.  

He was a proud army veteran serving during the Vietnam war and was later an administrator in the Sayville school district. 

He is survived by two loving daughters, Jessica C. Smith of Frederick, Maryland and Jennifer A. Elia of Glen Allen, Virginia; one brother, August H. Lowe of Virginia and five cherished grandchildren.  

Private burial with military honors was held May 13 at Calverton National Cemetery.  

All arrangements were entrusted to the Rocky Point Funeral Home. An online guest book is available at www.rockypointfuneralhome.com.

Albert Reichle

Albert “AJ” Joseph Reichle, of Rocky Point, died May 15. He was 24.

AJ was born in Stony Brook and was the son of Albert J. and Lorraine (Timpone) Reichle.  

He was employed by YAI in Farmingdale as a counselor.  

He is survived by his beloved parents, Albert J. and Lorraine (Timpone) Reichle; his loving sister, Ava Reichle; his cherished grandparents Albert and Joan Reichle of Rocky Point and his grandmother Laura Timpone of Ronkonkoma.

A celebration of the Mass of Christian Burial was offered May 20 at St. Anthony of Padua R.C. Church with a burial following in Washington Memorial Park in Mount Sinai. An online guest book is available at www.rockypointfuneralhome.com. 

Diane Cummings

Diane V. Cummings, of Ridge, died May 19. She was 73.

Diane was born Feb. 7, 1946 in Brooklyn. She was the daughter of the late Gerard and the late Katherine (Krewer) Rice.

She was employed by Kings Park State Hospital as a therapy aid. 

She is survived by her husband, Richard J. Cummings; two daughters, Kelly Crean of Saint James and Shannon Cummings of Ridge; two sons, Michael Cummings of Shoreham and Sean Cummings of Setauket; three sisters, Kathy Christie of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Janet Doyle of Lake Panamoka and Suzanne Romaine of Coram; three brothers, Greg Rice of Toms River, New Jersey, Thomas Rice of Mount Sinai and Jerry Rice of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.  

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Anthony of Padua R.C. Church in Rocky Point with a burial following at Calverton National Cemetery. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Rocky Point Funeral Home.  An online guest book is available at www.rockypointfuneralhome.com.

Ryan Delena

Ryan J. Delena, of Ridge, died May 21. He was 33.

Ryan was born Jan. 23, 1986 in Smithtown. 

He is survived by his father William Delena and his mother Debra (Mohr) Delena. In addition, he was the cherished father of Scarlette Rose Delena and the loving brother of Heather Franco. Delena was privately cremated. 

All arrangements were entrusted to the Rocky Point Funeral Home.  An online guest book can be found at www.rockypointfuneralhome.com.

Linda Ladensack

Linda Ladensack, of East Islip, died May 22. She was 65.

Linda was born Feb. 21, 1954 in the Bronx. She was the daughter of the late Robert and the late Mary (Gydosh) Ladensack. She was employed by the West Islip School District as a teacher.  

She is survived by two loving sisters, Donna Stiene of Arizona and Karen Ladensack of New York.  

Burial was held in the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram May 30.   

All arrangements were entrusted to the Rocky Point Funeral Home.  An online guest book can be found at www.rockypointfuneralhome.com.  

Martha Martocci

Martha Martocci, of Ridge, died May 22. She was 90.

Martha was born July 9, 1928 in the Bronx and was the daughter of the late Ladislaw and the late Agnes (Fritch) Patterson.  

She was employed by Northport School District as a clerk.  

She is survived by one daughter, Mary (Joseph) Taussi of Arizona; two sons, Peter (Renee) Martocci of Sayville and Robert (Kathy) Martocci of Ridge and her  three cherished grandchildren and five great- grandchildren.  

Celebration of the Mass of Christian Burial was held May 28 at St. Anthony of Padua R.C. Church in Rocky Point with burial following at Calverton National Cemetery.  

All arrangements were entrusted to the Rocky Point Funeral Home. An online guest book is available at www.rockypointfuneralhome.com.   

Albano Melo

Albano Melo, of Miller Place, died June 30. He was 92.

He was the beloved husband of Maria Natalia Melo; the devoted father of Joseph (Aeyung) Melo, Isabel (Kenneth) Melo-Kay and Julia (Frank) Melo-Orlik; the loving grandfather of Andrew, William and Briana (Brian) and is survived by many other family members and friends.

Funeral mass was celebrated at St. Louis de Montfort R.C. Church in Sound Beach and interment followed at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram. Arrangements were entrusted to the Branch Funeral Home of Miller Place and Vigliante family. An online guest book is available at www.branchfh.com.