Bednarek, Ruth, 91, of Emerson, NJ, passed away peacefully on October 14th. Born in Pompton Lakes to Aurelia and John Bednarek, Ruth was raised and lived in Pompton Lakes until the last few months of her life when she moved to Emerson. Ruth worked for Owens-Illinois for many years and always had good memories of her time working there. She is survived by her twin sister, Eleanor Finke, and many nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her sister and brother-in-law, Olga and Allan Knies, and brother-in-law, Bob Finke. Visitation will take place on Thursday, October 20th, from 10-11 a.m. at Richards Funeral Home in Riverdale, NJ, followed by a graveside funeral at Pompton Reformed Church in Pompton Lakes, NJ
Byrne, Roseleen M. (McLarnon), 90, of Pompton Lakes, NJ. passed away peacefully on Wednesday, October 5, 2022. Preceded in death by her loving husband James P. Byrne. Born in Englewood, NJ, she was the daughter of Francis and Margaret McLarnon. Beloved mother to son Billy Byrne of Pompton Lakes and daughter Kathleen Byrne Nish and son-in-law Vincent of Canal Fulton, OH. Loving grandmother to James and his wife Jessica, Daniel and his wife Vanessa, Janelle, Kelliann and her husband Trevor, Cole and Chase; and great-grandmother to Kileigh, Tucker, Everett, Levi, Dawson, Gannon and Wesley; and cherished sister of Doreen Hawthorne and preceded in death by sisters Mary Wolfe, Patricia Beers, Eileen McAnanly and Cynthia Gauff. She will also be missed by many nieces and nephews. Roseleen loved the beach, nature, and spending time with her family. Friends may call at Richards Funeral Home, 4 Newark Pompton Turnpike, Riverdale on Friday, October, 14th from 10-1 PM. Interment to follow at Reformed Church Cemetery, Pompton Lakes, NJ.
Hepp, Frank E. was only nine years old when he was shoved into the cattle car with his mother and father. They had to leave everything behind in their small village in Hungary. The house that his great-grandfather had built, the animals and the farm. Sixty kilos of belongings was the limit for the entire family. He didn’t know where he was going and when he missed out on a meal one evening, because there was no food left, he knew this was not a good sign of what was to come. He found himself in Germany after the Second World War living with his family in a minister’s house. Each German home had to give up a room and take in these Austrian-Hungarian refugees who were forced to leave their homes in Hungary. His Dad worked for the American soldiers and his Mom washed their clothes. They traded whatever they earned for food. Life was so difficult that they quickly accepted sponsorship to the United States from a relative in Pennsylvania. But no relative was there to meet them in New York when they arrived. It was the Red Cross that gave them some blankets to sleep on the cold ship and a chocolate candy bar that Frank remembered for years to come. Times were tough in Pennsylvania. Frank had to quickly learn English to stop the bullying and became the spokesperson for the family. A move to Passaic, New Jersey was facilitated by his Aunt who found a cold water flat for the family to live in. Frank often slept on the fire escape in the summers to escape the heat and when he wanted to go to the movies, he would shine shoes on the street corner to earn the price of admission. So how did Frank become the fun-loving, successful, entrepreneurial, family man everyone knew him to be? “The Mayor” as his family lovingly called him because he always had a smile and a joke and would chat with everyone. They might start out as strangers but quickly became friends. And, you would always laugh whenever you were around him. Maybe his 61 year marriage to his loving wife, Doris, and the family they created together, Michael in 1962 and Richard in 1964, had a lot to do with it. And the grandchildren, Amanda, Christopher, Meagan and Tyler who “PopPop” loved so much and who loved him right back. Frank and Doris spent so many wonderful years down the Jersey shore with their family. And, they traveled extensively – 28 cruises for example. At the end of the day and if you only had one phrase to describe Frank (or Frankee as he liked to be called) it would probably be that “he was a devoted family man.” His family meant everything to him. And, he means and will always mean everything to his family. Frank was 83 when he passed on Thursday, October 6. He had only been in the hospital for four days. His wife, two sons and sister were with him – he was not alone. Beloved husband of Doris (Van Putten Vink) Hepp. Born in Hercegfalva, Hungary, to the late Frank and Mary (Edl) Hepp. A resident of Ringwood for the past 54 years, Frank was employed by PSE&G in Paramus and was a member of the Butler Masonic Lodge. Surviving are his sons, Michael and Richard, daughter-in-law Maureen (Dulski) Hepp, sister, Marie Claire Hepp and four grandchildren, Amanda, Christopher, Meagan and Tyler. A life well lived - to be sure. A man to be admired - absolutely. A person to be remembered – forever. Visitation will be on Tuesday, October 11 from 4-8 PM at Richards Funeral Home, 1440 Union Valley Road, West Milford, NJ. The funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 AM on Wednesday, October 12 at St Catherine of Bologna Church, 112 Erskine Road, Ringwood, NJ. Entombment will follow at Calvary Cemetery, 58 McLean Boulevard, Paterson, NJ. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Pl, Memphis, TN 38105 or at www.stjude.org
Mewes, Gerda, 96 of West Milford, passed away on Sunday October 30 at The Chelsea at Bald Eagle Assisted Living facility. Gerda was born in Königsburg, East Prussia, where her happy childhood was forever scarred by the horrors of the second world war. She, her parents and sister survived and resettled temporarily in Halberstadt, Germany, where she met and fell in love with Hans W. Mewes. They married in 1951 and eventually immigrated to the United States in 1954. They lived with relatives in Jersey City, and worked hard and eventually moved to Carlstadt. Gerda and her husband were active in the German Club there, with Gerda a member of the chorus where she sang and danced to her beloved German music. They began a family, and moved to a home in East Rutherford. The family was there for several years until they finally settled into their cherished home in Shady Lake in West Milford. Gerda was known for her love of family, home and community. In addition to being a devoted mother and home maker, Gerda worked for many years at the Butler Bowl in charge of the daycare, so that mothers could enjoy their bowling leagues, and their children could enjoy playing and singing with Miss Gerda. After her husband Hans passed away in 1998, Gerda remained in her home in Shady Lake, visiting with her neighbors, telling her stories, and lounging by her beloved pool. Gerda is predeceased by her husband Hans, and survived by her son Hans P. and his wife, Cathy, daughter Barbara Buske and her husband David, granddaughter Allison, and great grandchildren Lily and LJ. Visitation will be Wednesday, November 2 from 4 - 7 pm at Richards Funeral Home, 1440 Union Valley Road, West Milford, NJ. Funeral services will be at the Richards Funeral Home on Thursday, November 3 at 10 am, with burial shortly thereafter. The family appreciates any expression of love and affection for Gerda, and in lieu of flowers, asks for donations to the West Milford First Aid Squad.
Schenko, Vera, 67, of Roseland NJ passed on October 12, 2022. Born in Belgium she emigrated to the United States with her family in 1956. Beloved mother to Paul Purcell and his wife Catrina Purcell, Nickolas Lichtenberger and his fiancé Emily Bassil and Alexander Lichtenberger. She was also grandmother to AJ Purcell. She also leaves behind her beloved cat Bella. Vera was an employee of First Jersey Title for 15 plus years and was looking forward to her retirement. She enjoyed being with her family in Pennsylvania, shopping and going out to eat. She also was an avid karaoke singer and loved to read and going out with her high school friends at Grande Saloon. Vera is predeceased by her mother Halyna Shramenko, father Peter Holowaschenko and sister Nadia Maracek. The visitation will take place Wednesday October 19th 4-8 pm with a funeral service at 7:30 at Richards Funeral Home 4 Newark-Pompton Turnpike, Riverdale, NJ 07457
Schweitzer, Elsie A. (Stewart). 90 of West Milford, NJ passed away on Thursday, October 27, 2022. Born in Paterson, NJ, she was the beloved wife of Donald Schweitzer. Elsie was employed by Preakness Hospital, Wayne, as a licensed practical nurse, a volunteer at Chilton Hospital for 21 years, a member of the West Milford Golden Agers and its Secretary for 10 years. Surviving are a son, Larry of SC, two daughters, Donna Jean Macfie of Wantage, NJ and Lorraine Barbara Church of West Milford, NJ. Eight grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren also survive. Predeceased by a brother, Richard Stewart. Friends may call at Richards Funeral Home, 1440 Union Valley Road, West Milford, NJ 07480 on Monday, October, 31 from 3 to 5 PM. Private disposition will follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to New Life Children’s Home PO Box 6462 Lake Worth, FL 33466 in Elsie’s name.
Stonaker, Donald, 67, of West Milford left for his new residence on October 12. As he did with life Donald dealt with his illness under his own terms. Donald was born in Glen Ridge NJ to Donald and Esther Stonaker. The family moved to West Milford in 1958. Donald, known as Donnie was a veteran of the US Navy. Following in his father’s footsteps Donnie became a plumber. Donnie, known for his sense of humor and silly mannerisms could make even a sour puss laugh. He was not shy about sharing his faith: from people he knew to complete strangers. He loved being dressed in one of his many flashy outfits which included one of his many hats. He loved nostalgia, old movies and Elvis. He was a gifted woodworker and loved to challenge authority. He had two sons: Eric and Donald of Ohio and was predeceased by his third son Christopher in 2018. He leaves behind Eric and Donald, grandchildren, his sister Susan Lynch of West Milford and brother Gary Stonaker of Soldotna Alaska. A celebration of life was held on October 22 at Echo Lake Church 1355 Macopin Road West Milford. There will be a private burial at Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside NJ. Memorial service from October 22 can be viewed on YouTube under Echo Lake Church West Milford.
Taggart Jr., Thomas I., 56, passed away October 13, 2022. Born in Pequannock to the late Thomas and Nancy (DeNike) Taggart, Thomas resided in Florham Park. He is survived by his sister Sharon Macari and husband Mauro of West Milford, two nieces Lisa Macari of Hewitt and Stephanie McDowell and husband Bryan and great-nephew James of Halethorpe, MD. He will be greatly missed by his family and the wonderful and caring staff and caregivers of Universal Institute of Livingston and Spectrum Care Management and Counseling Services of Mahwah. Services are private under the direction of Richards Funeral Home, Riverdale.
Welch-Sanders, Joyce Janet was a beloved mother and wife who went to be with our Lord Jesus Christ on October 1, 2022. She passed away in her home in West Milford at the age of 87. She was predeceased by her husband Edward Sanders Jr., sons Todd Sanders and Terry Sanders, daughter Tami Sanders, and granddaughter Casey Cass-Sanders. She is survived by her sons Tab Sanders and Tracy Sanders of West Milford; grandchildren Faith, Sheena, Shane, Cori, and Stephanie; and great grandchildren, Destiny, Bella, Rylee, Brianna, Mia, and Ember. She not only raised her own children but also her grandchildren. Their parents had to work and she almost never said no; her love was immense! She took care of others before herself. She never drank or smoked. She was always helping her husband in the kitchen. She loved cooking, cleaning and running her own Sanders Farm Stand. She supported her husband to the utmost and her children were blessed to be able to have a stay at home mom! Family suppers were always important to her. Specifically, her steak and French fry nights in the front yard at the picnic table. She was a visiting homemaker for a little while, just part time, and as her children grew older she took care of Aunt Violet and family friend Hannah who was like a third grandmother to all of her children and grandchildren. In the end, they passed away in her home under her loving care with pure love, compassion and support! She was truly an amazing woman. She will be deeply and fondly missed by many. She told her son before her passing that she will be OK and Jesus will take care of her! Family and friends are invited to a 7 PM memorial gathering Tuesday, October 18, 2022 at the Echo Lake Church in West Milford.