Alex Peña, 56


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Alex Peña, age 56 of Verona, passed away on Thursday, September 5, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

There will be visitations in the Prout Funeral Home, at 370 Bloomfield Avenue in Verona on Monday, September 9, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. A funeral mass will be offered in St. Aloysius Church in Caldwell on Tuesday at 9 a.m.

Alex was born and raised in the Bronx, where he attended St. Thomas Aquinas School and St. Raymond’s High School for Boys. The Bronx always remained a special place in his heart, as he credits his hard work ethic and sense of community to the neighborhoods where he grew up. This is also where he met the love of his life, Kelly, in 1985. Alex and Kelly moved to Verona 29 years ago. Alex earned a bachelor of science degree from NJIT, and was vice president of operations at Kleinknecht Electric Company in New York City. He was also a member of IBEW Local 3 in New York City.

His greatest treasure in life was his family, and the life he and Kelly built for them. Alex’s strongest motivation was supporting his family and ensuring that they were happy, healthy, and successful. In the early 2000s, Alex constructed an addition onto their house in Verona largely by himself, from the architecture, to the foundation, the electricity, and the plumbing. It is in this home that Alex and Kelly were able to create a place of love, growth, and learning for their three kids, and a place of gathering for family near and far. Alex had so much love and pride for his family.

While hard work and determination were strong values of Alex’s, fun and joy were always part of the equation as well. Alex always sported a smile that could warm any heart, and had a way with words (and a joke or two) that could charm anyone, from midtown Manhattan, to rural Virginia, and across the pond in Paris, France. He wore many hats, ranging from coach, vice president, mentor, colleague, and neighbor, though his favorites were definitely being a son, brother, husband, a dad, a nephew, an uncle, a cousin, and a friend. These are hats that he will continue to wear forever in our hearts and our minds.

Alex was predeceased by his mother, Alba, and father, Manuel Peña. He is survived by his loving wife, Kelly (nee McDaniel) Peña, three children, Jasmin, Olivia, and Julian Peña, and his sister, Mayra Mendez. He is the nephew of Carmen Hernandez, Sunilda Diaz, Liliana Peña, Anaiberca Ovalles, uncle of Naomi Mendez, Johnathan Mendez, Brittany Lakeman, Steven George Lakeman, Victoria Lakeman, and Stanley McDaniel Jr., and brother-in-law of Steven Lakeman, Stanley McDaniel Sr., and Edwin Mendez, and a host of extended family and friends. We would be remiss to not also mention Winter and his other puppy, Remy, who although he is almost seven years old, will always be Dad’s puppy.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations in memory of Alex Pena to support Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Checks made payable to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, should be mailed to:

Attn: Elliott Pollock
Memorial Sloan Kettering Office of Development
PO Box 27106
New York, NY 10087

Please indicate on the check that the gift is in memory of Alex Pena.

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