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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 (, American Jewish World Service ( or

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

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

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 

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

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

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  

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   

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

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Dieter Lund

Dieter Lund, of Port Jefferson, died May 10. He was 79.

He was born Oct. 24, 1939 in Germany, and was the son of Jenny and Albert Lund.

Dieter was the owner of Seven Seas Construction in Port Jefferson and was a member of L.I. Antique Power Association, Fohrer & Amrumer (German Club), Cold Spring Power Museum and Rough and Tumble Engineers Museum. He enjoyed skiing, fishing, traveling, machinery and especially family.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Amy; daughter, Jenny; son, Thomas; sister, Christa; brother, Helmut; along with many other family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Services were held at Bryant Funeral Home May 18, and interment followed at St. Ann’s Episcopal Cemetery in Sayville.

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

Kenneth Larsen

Kenneth T. Larsen Sr., a longtime community resident, died April 9. He was 89.

He was born Nov. 26, 1929 in Hicksville, and was the son of Adina and Oscar Larsen.

Larsen was a retired roofer for Larsen Roofing Company and was a member of the Stony Brook Yacht Club and Sons of Norway. He enjoyed boating, fishing and spending time with family.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Mildred; sons, Kenneth Jr., John and Jeffrey; two grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; along with many other family and friends

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers Conrad and Lawrence.

Services were held at Bryant Funeral Home April 12. Interment followed at the Cedar Hill Cemetery in Port Jefferson.

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

Barbara Barkley

Barbara R. Barkley, of East Setauket, died April 12. She was 80.

She was born Nov. 29, 1939 in Bokoshe, Oklahoma, and was the daughter of Neoma and Haden Barkley.

Barkley was a retired financial underwriter, and she enjoyed old and mystery movies.

Left to cherish her memory is her daughter, Analisa; son, Guy; four grandchildren; and the rest of her family and friends.

Services were held at the Bryant Funeral Home April 15. Entombment followed in the Pinelawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Farmingdale.

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

Contributions in her memory can be made to Good Shepherd Hospice in Port Jefferson.

Florence Caramihas

Florence Caramihas, a longtime community resident, died April 4. She was 96.

She was born Feb. 17, 1923 in Brockton, Massachusetts, and was the daughter of Kaleroe and John Pechilis.

Caramihas worked at Camp Myles Standish in Taunton, Massachusetts, during and after WWII, and after that worked at her father’s store in Brockton until she married her husband Andrew on Nov. 16, 1952. 

Left to cherish her memory is her daughter, Candace (Donald) Foust; son, John; grandson, Andrew Foust; and her other family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband Andrew and son Thomas.

Services were held at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption in Port Jefferson April 9. Interment followed in the Seaview Cemetery in Mount Sinai.

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

Thelma Hall

Thelma Hall, of Setauket, died May 7. She was 85.

She was born June 11, 1933, in Medford, Massachusetts, and was the daughter of Gladys and Stanley Whitman Sr.

Hall was a retired nurse at Stony Brook University Hospital and a member of the Caroline Church. She enjoyed singing and gardening and spending time with her grandchildren.

Left to cherish her memory are her husband, William; daughters, Susan, Carol and Joan; son, Edward; 11 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Services were held at the Caroline Church May 14. Committal services were held in private.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Bryant Funeral Home of Setauket.

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Peter Sammarco

By Christine Zammarco

It started with a hoarse voice that seemed like part of a lingering cold that wouldn’t go away. Then one morning, Peter Sammarco, then 48-years-old, was shaving when he coughed up blood and right away knew something was wrong. After meeting with the doctors, Sammarco was diagnosed; it was throat cancer. Yet, rather than being concerned about what lay ahead, the Plainview history teacher, Rocky Point resident, father and husband met the challenge head on.

Peter Sammarco

“I was pretty hopeful,” he recalled at the age of 81, and speaking by projecting air through his diaphragm.

He was more upset about retiring from his job than he was about losing his voice or even the risk of dying, but Sammarco is from tough stock and from a generation which knew how to work hard and how to fight. He was born in 1930 during the Great Depression. He remembers the absence of his older brothers away serving in the military as he grew up. His Father, Petero, was a tailor and able to trade making suits in exchange for doctor and dentist visits or other services for the family.

As a boy, Sammarco would go to the tailor shop during his lunch breaks in grammar school and enjoyed conversations with two part time Jewish men who worked there — one of whom would become his mentor. The worker would give him history lessons and talk about Hitler and what life was like in Germany, where he immigrated from.

Between the knowledge Sammarco picked up from the workers and the letters he received from his brothers stationed overseas in different parts of the world, he was always learning about current events going on in the world. His teacher would often ask the young man, “how’d you know that?” The teacher even asked him to report current events to the class.

When his brother, Bob, whom Sammarco hadn’t seen in five years, came back from serving in the military, one of the first things he did was grab his younger brother by his collar and take him to St. Ann’s Academy school to enroll. It was an all-boys private school with a cost of $12 a month, which was a lot of money back then, but Bob and his father paid for it. Sammarco was always an above average student with good grades across the board. He graduated in 1948 and planned to go into the military, but again Bob had other plans for him, and took him to Queens College to enroll. He was only the second person in the whole neighborhood to go to college.

“I graduated Sunday, and the Monday after I graduated [the next day] I was sworn into the military,” said Sammarco.

He was in charge of communications in Korea for 17 months. The highlight of his time in Korea was helping the local orphaned children who had no food, clothes, or even underwear. He used his leadership to get the troops stationed there to build an orphanage. He went from tent to tent collecting money. Three days later, a truckload of clothes arrived.

“That was one of the best times of my life because they knew I was responsible for it,” said Sammarco.

The children were amazed by how fast the buildings went up, and Sammarco felt good to leave something of himself behind.

“I came home from Korea in 1954 on military discharge and I said, what am I going to do now?” Sammarco recalled.

Bob guided him and told him about a job at an insurance company. He did very well financially, but working sales wasn’t for him.

“I loved teaching. I always loved teaching,” said Sammarco.

He went back to college at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus. He was only there a week when he was called to the office.

Peter Sammarco

“I asked, ‘was there a problem with my check?’ And they said, ‘no’ and offered me a job teaching,” Sammarco recalled. “I said, “but I’ve only been going to school here a week.” The new job was at an all-girls school, namely William Maxwell Commercial High School in Brooklyn.

He went in for the interview not knowing much about the position. Amazingly, they hired him on the spot.

“They didn’t ask me any questions, they said, here you go, room 401.”

He was in a class with 52 female students where Sammarco taught history for three years, but eventually it came time to settle down in the suburbs, and the commute to the city became too much. A friend helped him get a job at Plainview High School teaching history. He was there for 19 years. He spent his free time teaching at a Jewish community center and homeschooling sick children at a mental institution.

“The parents said he was such a wonder to their kids,” said his wife, Janet Sammarco.

One year, the journalist Geraldo Rivera ran a feature story about wanting to raise money for schools with special needs. Sammarco decided to throw a carnival at the high school and get his senior students involved. They raised $9,000 dollars.

“Some parents in Plainview say it was the best thing that ever happened to Plainview… that all the kids did something good,” said Sammarco.

But it was not just one single event that stands out to him. “The whole experience was rewarding,” he said. “Seeing kids grow. I had the same kids for a year so I could see the difference between when they started and the end. Plainview had really good students. Oh, they were bright. It was a good feeling, if you don’t get that feeling. Don’t teach.”

Sammarco still remembers receiving the news of his cancer and how the idea of having to resign pained him, as he would no longer be able to teach without a voice. The students all walked him out to his car on that last day.

“All the girls were crying,” Sammarco recalled. “That was a bad day, let me tell you… I loved teaching… that was very sad. I drive out of the parking lot and they were all waving.”

He had surgery shortly after, and the whole school waited for news. Someone made an announcement on the loud speaker, saying “Mr. Sammarco made it through the surgery, he is okay.”

They could have taken only one vocal cord and left him with a voice, because the tumor was only on one vocal cord, but it was large and if even meniscal traces were on the second one the cancer would have spread further. The operation saved his life. With speech therapy he started with a method using burping up air, one he learned to laugh about. His more recent pattern of projecting air became more natural, allowing him to verbally communicate.

“People would be scared and feel bad if they couldn’t understand what he was saying,“ said Janet Sammarco. “I think we were closer. He needed me more than ever before.”

It also brought the community together and showed him how many people cared. People came to him and prayed for him.

“Losing my voice didn’t affect the quality of my life. I can’t complain about my life. I was good to my country, I helped people grow, I’m very positive about my life,” said Sammarco.

The radiation from chemotherapy led to blood and kidney cancer years later. He believed the water he drank while in Korea that had been contaminated with gasoline also contributed. Drinking that water and smoking socially are his only regrets in life, but he says he wouldn’t have changed anything.

“Did I appreciated what I had? Not really. I do now. We take things for granted… after the third cancer I was like, O.K God, I get it,” He laughed lightheartedly with a big warm smirk.

Still a young man after the surgery, Sammarco still needed to work. Sammarco went on to be the groundskeeper at his local church, St. Anthony of Padua R.C Church in Rocky Point after resigning from teaching.

Sammarco passed away June 24. He was 88, and is survived by his wife of 60 years, Janet; his children, Peter and Jennifer; two granddaughters, Jennifer and Christine; two great-grandsons, Connor and Bryce; and his only surviving brother, Richard.

He was preceded in death by his son Robert.

“I enjoyed the 19 years working at the church and planting trees… it wasn’t that bad,” Sammarco said. “The trees will outlive me, and people will look at them and remember me driving around on the tractor.”

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Charles Petrie

Charles McKenna Petrie of Ridge died June 13. He was 81.

He was the beloved husband of Marie Gallo-Petrie; cherished father of Daniel Petrie, Heather (John) DeTommaso, Maura (Peter) Cavassa and Meaghan (Donald) Lang; and he was loving grandfather of 14.

He is survived by many other family members and friends.

Funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Mark’s R.C. Church following a private cremation.

Arrangements were entrusted to the care of Branch Funeral Home of Miller Place. An online guest book is available at

Peter Sammarco

Peter Sammarco, a Rocky Point resident and longtime educator at Plainview-Old Bethpage High School, passed away June 24. He was 88. 

Born during the Great Depression, he was a young member of the Greatest Generation. He was one of five brothers, whose ages spanned 25 years apart from youngest to oldest, to serve in the military during wartime. Sammarco was a veteran of the Korean War while his older three brothers, Joseph, Robert and Daniel, served in WWII, and Richard served in Vietnam.

Peter graduated from Queens College in 1953 and worked as a high school social studies and economics teacher at Plainview-Old Bethpage High School for 19 years. He also spent 20 years beautifying St. Anthony of Padua R.C. Church in Rocky Point.

Peter loved American history, in particular, studying the Civil War. He also loved gardening, reading and doing New York Times crossword puzzles.   

Sammarco is survived by his wife of 60 years, Janet; his children, Peter and Jennifer; two granddaughters, Jennifer and Christine; two great-grandsons, Connor and Bryce; and his only surviving brother, Richard.  

He was preceded in death by his son Robert. 

A wake was held Wednesday, June 26 at O.B. Davis funeral home in Miller Place. A funeral is to be held at St. Anthony of Padua R.C. Church in Rocky Point at 9:30 a.m., Thursday, June 27.

Robert Smith

Robert J. Smith of Belle Terre and the founder of Buttercup’s Dairy Store in Port Jefferson Station, passed away peacefully June 21 with his family by his side. He
was 87.

Smith was born in Brooklyn and was raised in Queens. He moved to Long Island as a young man where he met the farmer’s daughter from Buttercup Farms and fell in love. They were married July 8, 1951

Together they continued the dairy farm and milk business. 

They founded Buttercup’s Dairy Store together in 1971 as a drive thru dairy and converted an old cow barn in 1975 to make the first walk-in store. Throughout the years countless family members, friends and neighbors kept the business running through the present day. Lines of present and former employees and customers visited the funeral home to pay respects.

He was the loving father of Linda, Robert Jr., Sharon and Richard; the grandfather of 12; and great-grandfather of 10.  

Services were held June 25 at Washington Memorial Park. Grandchildren from across the country flew in to pay their respects.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Bryant Funeral Home of East Setauket.

Lauro Alcala

Lauro Macinas Alcala of Port Jefferson Station passed June 1. He was 88.

He was the beloved husband of Lourdes Alcala; cherished father of Eduvie (Ramon) Noblejas, Ceceila (James) Komosinski, and Neil (Tine) Alcala; loving grandfather of Olivia, Angelique, Gianna, Jonah and Zachaeus and is survived by many other family members and friends.

Funeral Mass was celebrated at Infant Jesus R.C. Church in Port Jefferson with interment following at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Port Jeff.

Arrangements were entrusted to the care of Branch Funeral Home of Miller Place and the Vigliante family. An online guest book is available at

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Paul Edmund Keyes

Paul Edmund Keyes of East Northport died on June 1 at the age of 61. He was the loving brother of Marguerite “Peggy” Capobianco, Ann Brusca (the late Salvatore), John, Thomas (Amy) and Kathy Pileggi (Charles). A funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday June 28 at 11 a.m. at St. Philip Neri Church in Northport followed by burial of his ashes at Northport Rural Cemetery.

Audrey J. Blackman

Audrey J. Blackman of Huntington Station died on June 2 at 82 years of age. She was a proud registered nurse for many years; loving wife of the late William R.; beloved mother of William (Yael) Jr., Susan (Murray) Walters and Jill; cherished grandmother of Jenna, Cassidy, Fletcher, Catie, Taylor and Kyra. Visiting hours were held at Nolan Funeral Home, 5 Laurel Ave, Northport. A funeral service was held June 7 at Trinity Episcopal Church, Northport. Cremation was private.

Todd A. Hunter

Todd A. Hunter of East Northport died on June 8 at age 52. He was caring father of Abigail; loving son of Barbara Oestel (George) and Glenn Hunter Sr. (Kathy); beloved brother of Glenn Hunter Jr. (Cheryl); devoted uncle of Tori, Kate and Madelyn; dear nephew of George Dunn III (Sandra), Robert Dunn (Doreen), Kevin Dunn, Alex Hunter III (Jeanne), Jeff Hunter (Seaneen) and the late April Hunter. He is also survived by his step-brother John and his step-sister Kim. Visiting hours were held June 10 at Nolan Funeral Home. Funeral service was held June 11 with interment following at Northport Rural Cemetery.

Richard F. Siebach

Richard F. Siebach, longtime resident of Northport, died on June 4 at 87 years of age. He was the beloved husband of the late Cameron “Camy”; loving father of Robin, Richard Jr, Tracy Kazic and special daughter Sherylan Mathews; cherished grandfather of Chelsea, Marley Jade, Brianna, the late Rick III, Danica, Alexis, Alexander, Haley and Whitney; and dear great-grandfather of Rikki. 

Rick served his country with the U.S. Navy from 1949 to 1955. He belonged to the Northport Fire Department Hook & Ladder Co. from 1969 to 2006. During his tenure with the fire department, he served as captain for the rescue squad from 1976 to 1978 and also as captain of the fire police from 2002 to 2004. Rick also belonged to the Northport Yacht Club for many years and was a past commander of the Northport Yacht Club Power Squadron. Memorial was on June 15 at Nolan Funeral Home with Firematic services.

Charles J. Eder

Charles J. Eder of East Northport died on June 6. He was the beloved husband for 75 years of Helen; loving father of Charles (Tracey) and Helen (John) Johnson; cherished grandfather of Lauren (Josh Kovner) Betz-Kovner, Jimmy (Christen) Betz, Charles (Eliza) Betz, Gerald, Charles and Patricia. A memorial was held June 15 at Nolan Funeral Home. Donations to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital,, in his memory, would be appreciated.

Ryan Walsh

Ryan M. Walsh died May 29 at the age of 30. He was the beloved son of Michael and Debbie; cherished brother of Eric (Julianne) and David (Jeanette). Visiting services were held June 3 at Nolan Funeral Home in Northport. Family and friends gathered at the funeral home June 4 for a funeral service led by Msgr. Steven R. Camp. Burial followed at Northport Rural Cemetery.

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Robert Hlavaty

Robert Costello Hlavaty, a beloved youngest brother of the Hlavaty family, passed away peacefully in Stony Brook surrounded by his loving family and close friends May 6 after a brief illness. He was 63.

Hlavaty was born Oct. 27, 1955, and spent his early years in Manhattan and Stony Brook and later on in upstate New York. He was a graduate of Ward Melville High School in Setauket and the Houston Marine Institute. Robert worked as a seaman and ship’s captain and then as a carpenter and project manager with his brother Neil G. Hlavaty, now deceased. Robert was also preceded in death by his parents, John and Katherine Hlavaty of Stony Brook.

He is survived by his children Scott Hlavaty (Jolene), Kerry Hlavaty (Jamie) and Carly Hlavaty; his sisters Katherine Delehaunty (James), Laurette Berry (Jonathan) and his brother John Hlavaty (Laurie Sandiford); his niece Elisabeth Delehaunty (Peter Cleary); nephews, David Berry, Peter Berry and Alexander Hlavaty Glazebrook (Bethany Reddy); and his grandchildren, Reece, Grace and Oliver.

Family said they will miss his friendly smile, his sense of humor and his easygoing ways. Rest in peace, Robert.

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

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Shirley Weiner

Shirley Weiner, a resident of Port Jefferson for 44 years, passed away May 13 and was laid to rest at Calverton National Cemetery May 16. She was 87.

Weiner was born in Brooklyn in 1931 and lived in many different places before settling in Port Jefferson, including Brazil and the Azores Islands in Portugal where her husband served as a diplomat.

After raising four children, she went back to school to earn her master’s degree in social work at Stony Brook University. She worked as a social worker at Stony Brook University Hospital for 16 years before retiring. In her retirement, Weiner was able to develop her passion for watercolor painting and had several local shows of her artwork. She was also an avid reader and active member of the Emma S. Clark Memorial Library book club.

She is survived by her husband, Harry Weiner; her sons Robert, Daniel and Alex; her daughter Joan; their spouses; and 11 grandchildren.  

She will be greatly missed.

Nick Boba

Nick Boba, of Centerport, died May 6. He was 59. He was the beloved husband of Maggie, loving father of Jared and Justin and the dear brother of Stacey (Wayne) Kneussle. Visitation was held at Nolan Funeral Home in Northport.

In Nick’s memory donations are appreciated to the Center for Developmental Disabilities, 72 South Woods Road, Woodbury, NY 11797 or one can donate online at

James Regan

James Nolan Regan, of East Northport, died May 10 at the age of 76.

He was the beloved husband of Peggy Ann (nee O’Brien); loving father of Peggy Ann (Michael) Gallagher, James (Kamala) Regan, Eileen (Russell) Murphy, Thomas (Marie) Regan and Jeanne (Christopher) Kozlowsky; the dear brother of Florence Keutmann and Dennis Regan and the late Thomas Regan, the late John Regan and the late Margaret Cahill; and cherished grandfather of Katherine, Michael, Emily and Ryan Gallagher; Claire, Molly, Kelly and Maggie Regan; Reilly, Brigid and Liam Murphy; Matthew, Brendan and Kaitlin Regan and Regan and Adelyn Kozlowsky.

Regan and his wife Peggy Ann were married for 55 years and were christened together 76 years ago. Jim retired as a lieutenant with the New York Police Department with his last assignment at the 81st precinct.

A funeral Mass was celebrated May 15 at St. Anthony of Padua Church in East Northport, followed with a  burial at Commack Cemetery.

People donating in his name can do so at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Clorinda Oates

Clorinda A. Oates, of Huntington, died May 15. She was 92. 

She was the loving mother of Susan (D.J. Young) Oates, Joseph Oates and Linda Jean (Gordon) Brown; beloved grandmother of Joe III, Gregory Oates, Melissa Oates and Derek and Robert Brown; and cherished great- grandmother of Colton and dear sister-in-law of Vera Carminati. 

She was reposed at Nolan Funeral Home, in Northport with a funeral Mass at St. Philip Neri Church in Northport. Interment followed at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Huntington.

John Henesy

John K. Henesy, of Hauppauge, died May 6. He was 92. 

Henesy was the beloved husband of the late Catherine; the loving father of Kevin (Joanna), and Barbara Ann Etkin; the cherished grandfather of Nicole Henesy (Jason Stewart), Angela Henesy, Benjamin Etkin and William Etkin; and dear great-grandfather of Jayden. 

Visitation was held at Calvary Chapel Island of Grace in Holbrook. Funeral services were held at the church and he was buried beside his wife with military honors at Calverton National Cemetery. Arrangements were handled by Nolan Funeral Home of Northport.

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This summer a private gathering in New York City will be held to remember a former local newspaper owner.

Pat Cowles, former owner of The Three Village Herald. Photo from The Sag Harbor Express

Gardner “Pat” Cowles III died Jan. 25 in Naples, Florida, at the age of 82. A throat cancer survivor, Cowles was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer six weeks before his death.

Cowles owned The Three Village Herald for decades before he sold it to Robert Hendriks. The latter owned it for a short time before selling it in 2001 to The Village Times owner and publisher Leah Dunaief. The merger of the publications created The Village Times Herald as it is known today.

The Three Village Herald office was once attached to the Carriage Museum on Route 25A in Stony Brook, and Cowles also ran a printing business from the office.

Gloria Rocchio, president of the Ward Melville Heritage Organization, remembered Cowles and said he contributed to the restoration at the Brewster House in East Setauket.

“The one thing I remember about Pat Cowles is he was rarely sitting behind a desk,” she said. “You would find him in the press room tinkering with the typesetting or printing press. The years he spent in Stony Brook are still evident in the business community and the historic properties he helped support.”

Cowles was also the former owner of The Sag Harbor Express. Bryan Boyhan, publisher emeritus of the Express, said that Cowles bought the East End paper in 1988. At that point, it had been owned by only two families since it was founded in 1859. When Cowles purchased the business, the owner, Victoria Gardner, was bedridden. Boyhan said she would lay out the paper on a lap board with a can of rubber cement and scissors. At the time, the paper’s staff was small, and content was sparse.

Boyhan said Gardner believed that Sag Harbor should have a paper or its own.

“She was determined until she found somebody that she felt comfortable turning the paper over and that was Pat Cowles,” he said. “They met a number of times and negotiated the purchase, and she thought the world of him.”

Cowles turned the paper around, and it went on to win numerous awards from the New York Press Association. In 2000 Boyhan became publisher and part owner when he said Cowles “wanted to step back a bit from his role at the paper.” In 2012, Boyhan became full owner. Despite moving to Florida, Cowles would come to The Sag Harbor Express office every day when he was in town.

“He enjoyed being around people in the business,” Boyhan said.

Born in Des Moines, Iowa, March 6, 1936, Cowles was born into a publishing family. His father, Gardner “Mike” Cowles II was a newspaper publisher and the founder and publisher of Look magazine. When his family business Cowles Communication created the Suffolk Sun, a six-day-a-week daily, on Long Island in the mid-1960s, Cowles was made publisher.

During his career, Cowles also owned the Riverhead News-Review and the Shelter Island Reporter. He was a trustee of The Cowles Charitable Trust, which was established by his father to promote education, social justice, health and the arts. Among the organizations he contributed to was Fighting Chance, a free cancer counseling center on the East End of Long Island.

Cowles is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; step-daughter, Bonnie Hoye; sisters Katie Nichols and Virgina Cowles and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

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Adam Michael Smiles of Dedham, Massachusetts passed away May 12 after a 10-month battle with glioblastoma. He was 45.

He was the son of Peter and Bonni Smiles, and stepson of Janet Smiles, all of Port Jefferson. He was a graduate of Earl L. Vandermeulen High School, class of 1992, and went on to get his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at SUNY Geneseo in 1996 and his master’s degree in pathology from the University of Vermont in 1998. For 19 years, Smiles worked as a senior data manager for the Joslin Diabetes Center of Boston. 

He was the beloved husband of Rebecca and devoted father to Brenna.

Smiles is survived by his brothers Joshua and Jacob Smiles of Durango and Denver, Colorado and his stepbrothers Eric and Michael Pashkow. He was preceded in death by his mother Bonni Smiles.

A memorial service and tribute was held in Dedham May 16.

Donations in Adam Smiles’ name may be made to, to Joslin Diabetes Center of Boston or to the National Brain Tumor Society.

The above post has been amended May 24 to reflect the death of Bonni Smiles. We regret the error.

Ashley Massaro of Smithtown died on May 16 at the age of 39. Massaro is survived by her daughter Alexa. 

The former pro-wrestler, Playboy cover model and television actress, who competed on the popular CBS television show “Survivor,” most recently hosted a Saturday evening radio program called “Shark After Dark” for 94.3 The Shark station. 

Suffolk County Police 4th Precinct officers responded at approximately 5:20 a.m. May 16 to a report of a sick or injured person in Smithtown. Massaro was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead. Homicide detectives determined the death was noncriminal.

“We are saddened to learn of the tragic death of former WWE superstar Ashley Massaro,” World Wrestling Entertainment said in a statement. “WWE offers its condolences to Ashley’s family and friends.” 

Massaro, originally from Babylon, graduated from Elwood-John H. Glenn High School in the Town of Huntington and The State University of New York at Albany. At the age 25, she was chosen by WWE after its nationwide search for a female performer. Massaro performed for WWE wrestling circuit from 2005 to 2008 and posed for Playboy in 2007. In the same year, Massaro, then an East Northport resident, became a contestant on the television show “Survivor.”

The day before she died, Massaro announced on Twitter, “Just answered a ton of fan mail so you guys should be receiving them soon! Love ya punx.” 

Massaro was preparing to return to the ring, according to her March 20 Twitter post: “Gonna be bumping around the ring starting next week at @NYWCWRESTLING super pumped n ready to see what I got left in these ole boots of mine!”

Services were held Sunday, May 19, at the Branch Funeral Home in Smithtown.