February 2019 Issue Obituaries

KEEN — Aase Keen (nee Berge), 97, formerly of Alloway, NJ passed away peacefully at Woodbury Mews Nursing Home on Dec. 5, 2018.

Aase is survived by her sister Aaste Tefre in Norway, daughter Harriet (David) Aiken in Idaho and granddaughters Kate Wagner in Idaho and Meredith (Dan Lazaro) Harris in New Jersey. She was pre-deceased by her daughter Deborah Harris, grandson James Aiken and her beloved husband Harry Keen.

Aase was born and lived in Norway until her early 20s when she met a handsome young American soldier named Harry in 1945. Soon after, Aase came to the U.S. and they were married. Aase was a devoted life-long Lutheran and she and Harry attended Friesburg Emanuel Lutheran Church for many years while living in the log cabin they built in Alloway, NJ.

Aase and Harry loved to travel, driving cross country with their cat Susan nearly every year to visit Harriet and David at their farm in Troy, Idaho. Aase and Harry were married for 67 years before Harry’s passing in 2012.

Arrangements were handled by the Cheega Funeral Home, Swedesboro.

PURTELL — Danette Purtell (Nee Futia), 74, of Swedesboro, passed away Dec. 22, 2018. She was the beloved wife of the late Walter Purtell, loving mother of Kandy Klehamer (Dave) and the late Debbie Purtell. Devoted and adored Grandma of Daniel (Lindsay) and Jeffrey.

Family and friends were the center of Danette’s life. She loved spending time with the boys and the dogs at our home in Brigantine Beach and walking the boards in Ocean City with Bruce, never missing a step to get a slice of Mack and Manko’s. A very talented and gifted creative artist, her body of work included handmade dolls, beautiful ceramic pieces, custom designed jewelry and over the years, decorate an entire Christmas tree adorned with all handmade ornaments.

From a very young age, Danette instilled a love for all animals, big and small, in her children and everyone she met. It did not matter if it was a feral cat, wild bunny rabbit or domesticated pets…she loved them all the same.

It was this love for animals that inspired her to establish “Dante Chows” Chow Chow Rescue in the early 1980’s.  “Dante Chows became her passion in adult life. Danette was well known and respected in the chow dog circles, known by many people across the country for her love and activism for the breed, rescuing 33 chow dogs and giving them the most loving home, any “child” could imagine. These dogs were truly her beloved children. She was so selflessly dedicated, Danette would not go on vacation or even leave them over night. She adored her critters.

Aside from the chows, her real pride and joy were her grandsons, Dan and Jeff. A constant source of happiness and jubilation, They had a beautiful relationship full of unconditional love. As a mother, she was truly the best mentor, best friend and #1 fan any daughter could ever imagine.

Always a source of strength, with a fearless, unapologetic passion for living life her way, she walked the walk and talked the talk every day without regret. Words cannot describe how much she will be missed by her family and friends, but we all know she is at peace with Jesus and happily strolling the “Rainbow Bridge” with Walt and all her critters. Life will never be the same without her – nor should it be… Rest in Peace – A life well lived.

In lieu of flowers we ask that you spend some quiet time with the Lord every day and think of her; forgive someone that did not treat you nice and think of her; perform a deed or buy a meal for someone less fortunate and think of her; keep Christ first in your life. Arrangements were handled by the Cheega Funeral Home, Swedesboro.

HIGGERSON — Grace Daesener Higgerson of Mullica Hill. Blessed were those who knew her love and caring these last 104 years: most knew her as Amazing Grace. What’s the secret to such a long life? Grace would just shrug her shoulders in response, but the answer is probably just being pleasant.

She was a native of Bellingham WA. Her parents owned a bottling company where she worked until she became a mother. As a home maker she was a brilliant seamstress: cooking maybe not so much. But the bright side is that it did inspire her daughter to teach home economics where she emphasized cooking.

And as a mom, Grace also stressed being frugal: she was a child of the depression. From time to time Grace would offer a gentle correction: “My dad would say…” Her free time was usually spent in her community. Grace was that 10 percent that does 90 percent of the work, especially when it came to the disabled.

When her husband died, Grace came to Mullica Hill to help with her granddaughter, taking frequent trips back to Washington to visit family, her cat always by her side. She was the wife of the late Howard, mother of the late Fred and is survived by her daughter, Nancy McCloskey, daughter-in-law, Marilyn Higgerson, granddaughters, Rebecca McCloskey and Tammi Brown, grandson, Scott Higgerson and 2 great grandchildren.

Donations to Kingsway Education Foundation will be greatly appreciated.

McCORMICK — Harry Evans McCormick Jr. age 68 years, of Mickleton, died Wednesday Dec. 26, 2018 in Inspira Hospital, Woodbury.

Mr. McCormick was born in Woodbury, raised in West Deptford where he graduated from West Deptford High School Class of 1967. He was a veteran serving in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam Conflict. Mr. McCormick retired from VWR International after 19 years of service.

He was a member of Repaupo U.M. Church and a past member of St. John Lutheran Church in Westville. Mr. McCormick enjoyed riding his Harley, gardening and caring for his home and spending time with his family.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 43 years, Diane McCormick (nee Bouchaud) of Mickleton; his sons, Harry Evan McCormick III and Carin Pangburn of Bridgeport, Shayne McCormick of Mickleton; his granddaughter, Lillyana McCormick; his brothers, Terry and Ella McCormick, Kevin McCormick, both of West Deptford, John and Joann McCormick of Deptford, Jeffrey McCormick of Egg Harbor Twp.; his sisters, Eileen and Mike Fouch of West Deptford and Catherine and Tony Petroski of Deptford.

Arrangements by McBride – Foley Funeral Home, Paulsboro. Contributions can be made to the General Fund of Repaupo Church, c/o Alice Montagnoli, 112 Sherwin Rd., Mullica Hill, NJ 08062. Memories can be shared at www.mcbridefoleyfh.com. McBride-Foley Funeral Home, Paulsboro, N.J.

LIPSETT — Anna Mae Lipsett (nee Hresko), age 94 years, of Mullica Hill, formerly of Paulsboro, died Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018 in Inspira Hospital, Woodbury, with her family by her side.

She was born and raised in Paulsboro, graduating from Paulsboro High School Class of 1941 where she played basketball. Mrs. Lipsett was a member of St. Clare of Assisi Parish, St. John’s Church and she worked as a secretary for several local refineries until her retirement.

Mrs. Lipsett enjoyed bowling, traveling, shopping and hosting her lady friends. Most of all, she treasured meals out with her family eating crabs.

She is survived by her sons, Dean and Janet Montemore of Gibbstown, Miles Montemore of Woodbury; her grandson, Dean J. “D.J.” and Maryann Montemore of Gibbstown; her great-granddaughters, Julieann and Rachel and her brother, Edward Hresko of Gibbstown. Mrs. Lipsett was predeceased by her husband, William G. Lipsett.

Services were held at the McBride – Foley Funeral Home, Paulsboro. Contributions can be made in her memory to the Paulsboro Wrestling Association, PO Box 98, Gibbstown, NJ 08027. Memories can be shared at www.mcbridefoleyfh.com.

LETO — John Leto, 71, of Woolwich Township, formerly of Barnsboro, NJ, passed away on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018.

An easy going, caring guy, John was personable and made friends easily. He loved and lived life to the fullest; always thinking of the next place they would travel or their next experience to be had. One of his favorite excursions was his Tuesday trip to Cowtown for his weekly sausage sandwich; he loved his conversations with all the folks there.

In his spare time, John played bocci ball, pool and loved to visit Harrah’s casino and play video poker. They traveled to other casinos and enjoyed spending time at their condo in Florida. John especially enjoyed his family time, going to Doo Wop events and cheering for his Philadelphia sport teams.

Born in Philadelphia, John was a resident of Barnsboro for 38 years and Sewell for 2 years prior to moving to Woolwich Township. Before retiring 15 years ago, John was an insurance agent with Monumental Life Insurance Company for 35 years.

Beloved husband of 53 years to Barbara A. Leto (nee Matthews); devoted father of Stephanie Leto and the late Dawn Marie Dougherty; loving grandfather of Amber Marie Schroeder and John Brandon Schroeder; dear brother of Lucy Leto and the late Joseph and Carlo.

Memorial contributions may be made in John’s memory to American Heart Association, 300 5th Avenue, Suite 6, Waltham, MA 02451 or at www.heart.org. share the memories … share love … ShareLife at www.mcgfuneral.com.

DAVIS — Marianna Davis (Biondo) (nee DiDio), aged 95, of Woolwich Township died Jan. 3, 2019; born and raised in South Philadelphia where she resided for most of her life. Beloved mother of Linda Biondo Buffington (Raymond) of Woolwich Township; devoted grandmother of Lilith A. Caniglia (Todd) of Mount Laurel, NJ, and Emily A. Buffington (Vinn White) of Maple Shade NJ. Dearest great grandmother of Evan and Austin Caniglia. Wife of the late John W. Davis; daughter of the late Pietro and Richetta (nee Stipa) DiDio; The oldest of five siblings, she was predeceased by her dear brothers: Joseph, Nazzareno (Ish) and Michael DiDio, and her beloved sister, Gloria Fulginiti.

Memorial gifts may be made to Samaritan Hospice, 5 Eves Dr, Ste 300, Marlton NJ 08053.

LUCAS — Lloyd Thomas “Tom” Lucas, 80, of Mickleton, passed away on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. Tom was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather and the best “pop.” He enjoyed cheering on the Eagles and Phillies and listening to classic Country music and Elvis Gospel.

Tom was a true warrior, and despite his many illnesses, he kept going. He had a strong work ethic and passed that on to his sons. Tom had a strong faith and loved his Christ Church family.

He is the beloved husband of 55 years to Jean M. (nee Nagle); devoted father of Thomas Lloyd Lucas (Jackie) and Paul Christopher (Lisa); loving grandfather of 8; special brother to Marge Sammons, Shirley Everingham, Arthur Lucas and the late Frank Lucas, Maddy Smith, Joan Thomas, and Norman Lucas; dear uncle to many nieces and nephews. He will be sadly missed by his K-9 companion Bella May.

Flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Building Fund of Christ Church, 62 Delaware St., Woodbury, NJ 08096. share the memories … share love … ShareLife at www.mcgfuneral.com.

CARPENITO — Olen Juall Carpenito died Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019 due to injuries sustained from an accident.

Olen was born in Woodbury and lived in Mickleton most of his life. He was a 1993 graduate of Kingsway Regional High School. Olen was employed as a foreman for DeWitt Concrete and Masonry, Inc. in Bridgeton. He served as a board member for Gloucester County 4-H Clubs and as Vice President of Eagle Point Gun Club, Chatsworth. Olen enjoyed trips to Pine Haven Campground, fishing and hunting, cooking for big crowds and spending time with his wife and sons.

He is survived by his wife, Heather Carpenito (nee Riehl) of Mickleton; his sons, Olen Jr. and Aiden Carpenito; his father, Richard Carpenito of Delaware; his mother, Lynda Juall Carpenito of Mullica Hill; his in laws, Ernie and Carole Riehl of Mickleton; his sister in law, Megan Riehl and Tony Solina of Mickleton and his nephews, Bryce and Blake.

Services were held at the McBride – Foley Funeral Home, Paulsboro. Memories can be shared at www.mcbridefoleyfh.com.

BLUM — Frances C. Blum (Nee Budd) age 87 years of Bridgeport, died Monday, Jan. 7, 2019 in Taylor Hospital, Ridley Park, PA.

Mrs. Blum was born in Swedesboro, raised in Bridgeport and was a lifelong resident. She was a 1949 graduate of Paulsboro High School where she worked as librarian for 20 years. Mrs. Blum was also a 1992 graduate of Glassboro State College with a degree in library science and then a master’s degree in 1994. She loved traveling with her husband Worthington; visiting 48 states and on their 50th anniversary they traveled to Australia.

She is survived by her husband, Worthington Blum of Bridgeport; her children, Drew and Terri Blum of Mantua, Karen Blum of Bridgeport, Dawn and Mark Helm of Woodbury, Virginia Bradley of Carneys Point, Leslie and John Filemyr of South Carolina; her grandchildren, Jacob Brown, Michelle Bradford, Taylor Blum, Drew Blum, Charles Fones, Jarrad Richards, Kurt Drabold, Sara Drabold, Heather Filemyr, Eric Filemyr and her great grandchildren, Kaylise, Kara, Savannah and Troy. Mrs. Blum was predeceased by her son, Kurt Blum and her grandson, Paul Drabold.

Funeral services were held at the McBride – Foley Funeral Home, Paulsboro. Contributions can be made in her memory to the General Fund of St. Paul’s Church, PO Box 133, Bridgeport, NJ 08014. Memories can be shared at www.mcbridefoleyfh.com.

FUNARI — Joseph G. Funari Clarksboro. “The Luckiest Guy in the World,” passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family, on Jan. 9, 2019, of Clarksboro, age 85 years.

Joe was a 1950 graduate of Paulsboro High School, where he played in the band as he was the ultimate music lover. He graduated from Camden Commercial then took the responsibility of building a business known as Funari’s Thriftway.

He also served in the NJ National Guard where he played in the 63rd Army Band. He was a Charter Member of the Knights of Columbus Queen of Heaven Council where he served as the financial secretary.

Joe is currently a member, a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus, St. William Assembly in Naples, Fl. There he played in a 75-piece concert band as well as two smaller bands for charity. Joe was also a member of the St. Michael’s Band.

He enjoyed spending his leisure time in Brigantine, where on his birthday he hosted an annual pig roast where the Garlic Band would perform. For 22 years he held season tickets for his beloved Philadelphia Eagles. In 2016 he moved back to Clarksboro from Naples, FL where he lived since his retirement.

Joe is survived by his wife of 67 years Erma (nee Centofanti), 3 daughters Joanne O’Brien (late Francis), Lisa Nellius (Peter), Christina McAllister (Steven); 8 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his son Michael (late Leona), his parents Nazzareno and Jennie, sister Mary Silvestro (Joseph), and brother Frankie.

The family request memorial donations to Guardian Angel’s School, 717 Beacon Ave, Paulsboro, NJ 08066. To express condolences please visit www.landofifuneralhome.com.

STETSER — Mary A. Stetser, 86, of Mullica Hill. She had a lifelong love affair with the automobile. Mary’s happiest days were when she hopped behind the wheel (a pillow behind her back so she could reach the steering wheel and pedals) and just followed the road wherever it took her; she figured she was never lost since she was just following the car in front. And she loved the races, everything from the The Indie 500 to Bridgeport to ice races in the Poconos.

She was raised on her family’s farm and had a green thumb for life, her vegetable garden filled with tomatoes, peas, corn and whatever else she could plant. She couldn’t eat it all, so she canned some of the bounty for the winter.

Mary made all her daughter’s clothes and bridesmaids’ dresses for her children’s weddings. She was a U of P trained R.N. Great as a career but family, friends and Florida neighbors all relied on her: she took blood pressure readings, drove the elderly to doctor visits and doled out medical advice. Quieter times found her out on friends’ boats and, of course, March was the month to spend in the Bahamas.

She was the wife of the late Glenn Martin, and mother of Eric Martin and his wife Heidi and Glennda Lopes and her husband, Mark. She was the grandmother of 5 and great grandmother of 5.

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