Veronans We Lost, 2021


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Verona lost quite a bit of its history in 2021, particularly its business history. We lost John Alati, who created our summer concert series, Jerry Amadeo, who owned Miele’s restaurant for three decades, and Carol Bukwich, who with her husband George, got Verona back to good health at Center Drugs for almost 50 years.

Ben Leuzzi kept Verona fully stocked in cleats, mitts, balls, bats and, most importantly, hockey skates and sticks, from Verona Sports Center. We mourned the passing of Pat Filoso, Sr.,, who kept Verona green and beautiful with the plants he sold at Hillcrest Farms & Greenhouse, long his family’s business. (The tag line on his Verona High School 1960 yearbook photo reads, “Dad, when do I get paid?”) Dr. Arthur Fost wasn’t a Verona resident, but he kept many of our allergies in check from his office opposite Everett Field. Allergy Consultants remains a Verona family business, as does Miele’s.

The Veronans who passed away in 2021 served our community in many ways, in capacities official and unofficial; some for decades and others for far too short a time. Take a moment to reflect again on the lives they lived:

Robert P. Akersten, 78

John M. Alati, 72

Vincent “Jimmy” Alvino, Jogged Daily In Verona Park

Jerry Amadeo, Owned Miele’s

Gerard M. Barone, Sr., 81

Sr. Mary Bertrand Austin, OP

Janet B. Boeck, 90

Velera Brady, Former Resident

Carol Anne Bukwich, Co-Owned Center Drugs

Judith Anne Burd, 80

Edward F. Butler Jr., Former Verona Lawyer

Francisco Camacho, 32

Yolanda Casale, 95

Dante A. Cataldo, 93

Louise E. Collins, 89

Michael S. Conte, Retired Educator & Basketball Coach

Paul V. Coppola, 84

Joyce Coyne, Former Resident

Catherine A. Dahl, 80

Joan H. Davis, 85

Frank A. DeMaio, Jr., 73

Ralph Carlo DiMaio, 78

Marilyn M. Dodge, 77

Helen M. Dougherty, 82

Clare Esser, 84

Katheryn S. “Kitty” Festa, 88

Patrick A. Filoso, Sr., 79

Denise Fink, 52

Dr. Arthur Fost, Prominent Allergist

Deborah Coffey Franklin, VHS ’68

Patricia M. Galligan, 92

Michael S. Gallo, 82

Richard Garszczal, 72

Gary R. Grasso, 63

Douglas C. Greene Sr., Former Resident

Barbara Z. Hassert, 96

Kathleen Frances Haughney, 82

Patrick B. Haughney, 85

David G. Hill, Sr., Former Verona Police Officer & First Responder

Pedro Huaman, 53

Walter O. Johnson, 79

Santina Fernanda Kazanfer, 93

Ben Leuzzi, Owned Verona Sports Center

Joseph Licitra, 95

Frederick R. Mahn, 83

Ann Mann, Former Nurse

Joseph P. McCann, Sr. , Former Resident

John “Jack” McDermott, Former OLL Pastor

Paul McDevitt, Former Verona Schools Employee

Joyce E. McEvoy, Longtime Resident

Michelina “Mickey” Mercuro, 91

Peter T. Mercuro, Dec. 20, 1933 – Aug. 18, 2021

Lillian J. Molinaro, 97

Beverly Mortenson, Former Resident

James R Murphy Sr., 82

Richard P. Nicolette Sr., 66

John T. O’Donnell, 90

Henry Orenstein, Brought Transformers To U.S., Then Transformed Poker

Charles T. “Chap” Ostrander, 70

Shirley A. Peterson, 91

Lydia Fiori Piacentini, 56

Michael A. Pierro, 63

John J. Puleo, 82

Patricia Roma, 82

Lawrence Rosenberg, 81

Emma Saks, 99

Michael John Sisler, VHS ’88

John “Jack” Smith, 70

Raymond C. Smith, 78

Anna Marie Smykowski, 100

William J. Staranka, 63

Louise C. Stewart, 90

Geraldine “Gerry” Marie Tobia, 94

Elizabeth Ann Watkins, 70

Lester Hadley Williams, Sr., OLL Parishioner

Judith Zichelli, 83, Former OLL Nurse

MyVeronaNJ publishes, at no charge, obituaries of current and former Verona residents submitted by families and funeral directors. They can be emailed to [email protected] .

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].


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