April Issue Obituaries

SANTO – Nov. 16, 1945 – Jan. 25, 2022. Sandy Santo passed in Naples Florida where she spent her winter with friends. A resident of Clarksboro since 1983, she was predeceased by her late husband Frank Santo, as well as her husband Andy Chesney, and her first husband Charles R. Hawkins. Sandy is survived by her daughter, Christine Hawkins. Sandy will be greatly missed by Frank’s children Michelle, Kristen, and Frank Jr., Grandsons Hayden and Gabriel (Clay) and Granddaughter Sophia (Santo). Beloved Aunt to Sean, Brendan and Patrick O’Donnell as well as great nephews and nieces.

Sandy loved her family and friends, and she was loved in return very much. She will be remembered as a thoughtful, generous, and caring woman and an amazing Mother. Anyone who had the privilege of knowing Sandy will no doubt keep her memory and beauty with them for the rest of their lives. Her loving ways, sense of humor, and altruism were her gifts to all.

Entertaining with family and friends was her passion and holidays were always celebrated in grand fashion at her home. Sandy was an avid golfer and traveled to golf courses all over the country. She also loved playing Mahjong with friends. Her love for animals was evident in the generous donations made to various organizations, including the Humane Society and WWF.

We all love and miss you Mom; yet, this is not good bye but another journey, and you will always be with us in Spirit.

Memories may be shared www.buddfuneralhome.com.

MATTHEWS — Eleanor D. Matthews (Nee Lis), age 78 years, of Mickleton, died Feb. 24 in her home. Mrs. Matthews was born and raised in Philadelphia and moved to Mickleton in 1974. She was involved in the E.G. Little League, Basketball and the P.T.O. at school while raising her sons. Later she worked for 10 years as a bookkeeper for Platt’s Farm Market in Clarksboro. She loved animals and caring for her yard.

She is survived by her sons, Edward Matthews and his wife, Jen Avazian of Landenburg, PA and Scott and Kelly Matthews of Collingswood, NJ and her grandchildren, Evan, Layne, Braden and Noah. Mrs. Matthews was predeceased by her husband, Emmett Matthews and her brothers, Ted, Bart, George and Ed Lis.

Services were held at the McBride – Foley Funeral Home, Paulsboro. Contributions can be made in her memory to Homeward Bound Pet Center, 125 County House Rd., Blackwood, NJ 08012. Memories can be shared at www.mcbridefoleyfh.com.

MINIX — Robert Lyle Minix Sr. age 87 years of Bridgeport died Feb. 26. Bob was born and raised in Paulsboro and was a 1952 graduate of Paulsboro High School. He was a veteran serving in the United States Navy.

Bob retired from DuPont – Chestnut Run with over 30 years of service, having started his career as an electrician at DuPont Repauno Works. He enjoyed fishing, golfing and spending time in Cape May at the home he built.

He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Joan Minix (nee Piel) of Bridgeport; his children, Catherine and Morgan Morris of Mays Landing, Robert Minix Jr. and Cheryl of Ocean View, DE, Patti Minix and Joe Spirra of Columbus, Susanne Taraschi of North Cape May; 12 grandchildren; 20 great grandchildren and his brother, David and Anne Minix of Idaho Falls, Idaho. Mr. Minix was predeceased by his son, Joseph Minix.

Arrangements by McBride – Foley Funeral Home, Paulsboro. Memories can be shared at www.mcbridefoleyfh.com.

DuBOIS — Jean Linda DuBois age 85, of Mullica Hill passed away Feb. 28 at Cooper Medical Center.

Jean was born in Camden, Sept. 29, 1936, she married the love of her life Jack on Oct. 6, 1956. Jean was employed with Gloucester County as a County Treasurer for 35 years. She retired in 2010 and went on to become a Freeholder of Gloucester County. She ended her career as a trustee of Rowan College of South Jersey.

Jean was a loving mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. Family was her everything and her salvation.

Predeceased by her husband John C. DuBois and son John C. DuBois Jr., survived by her daughters, Linda Concordia (Gene), and Kimberly Agren (Eric), grandchildren, Andrea Salstrom (Chris), Danielle LaBella (Nick), Lindsay Brigandi (Jason), Megan Agren, (Evan Wright), and Katie Agren, six great grandchildren, Christian, Gino, Luca, Nico, Desolina and Milania. sister Elizabeth Bidinger. and brother Thomas Cramer (Joan).

Donations can be made to Rowan College Foundation at Gloucester County 1400 Tanyard Road Sewell, NJ 08080 Attn Cody Miller. Memories and condolences can be shared at www.smithfhmantua.com

WORRELL — Joyce Worrell. You never had to guess what Joyce was thinking. She was a passionate woman, her passions usually in support of her family. As a teen, Joyce met a handsome guy named Alfred at Pops Soda Shop in Gibbstown. It took a little work for him to win her over, proving his efforts were worth it.

Settling in Repaupo, their marriage of 51 years was blessed with two sons, Alfred (Candace) and the late Andrew; and later by her granddaughter, Sierra. Joyce was a 4.0 accounting student in her youth, and it carried over into her many careers, bringing calm and order to the many companies in which she worked.

Life wasn’t always easy, but through all her trials and tribulations, Joyce would prove herself stronger. She would find her real calling later in life, that of a grandmother. From the time Sierra was a little girl, they did their hair and nails together and Joyce never missed a soccer game, always Sierra’s biggest fan.

She exceled in the kitchen, taking a shot at just about any dish. Joyce could sew everything and anything, from clothes to auto upholstery. If her T.V. was on, she’d be catching up on her soaps. Her tastes in music spanned from Neil Diamond to Trace Adkins. Joyce enjoyed traveling abroad, trips through Europe; cruises all over the Caribbean and always looking forward to their next destination. Without a doubt, her favorite place was Disney.

Family will celebrate 69 great years at a private service.

BERGER — Raymond Berger, 88. Age 17 found him talking his father into taking him down to the recruitment office and signing him up for the Air Force. Ray loved his 20 years of service to our nation and it shaped his entire being. He did everything with military precision from his use of the English language to installing screen doors.

He provided for his family working all kinds of crazy hours with the Post Office. For relaxation he enjoyed the occasional beer from his favorite stein and watching his investments mature on the various cable stock programs. He saw the best in everybody, loved old war movies and was a member of the VFW post 10886.

Ray was born in Brooklyn and lived in Burlington County before moving to Woolwich Twp.

He was stationed in Germany during his time with the Air Force. It’s there he’d meet a pretty girl named Rosa. They’d marry within six months. Six years later they were blessed with a son, Eric and later by a daughter Christiane and son-in-law, Brian Chervin.

BUCCO — Augustine T. Bucco, age 91, of Mullica Hill, passed away Feb. 28.

Gus grew up in Paulsboro, and made a career working at Mobil Oil Refinery after spending time serving in the Marine Corps. He was a longtime member of the Paulsboro Sportsmen’s Club, an avid reader, and a proud Poppy to six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Gus is survived by his wife, Evelyn (nee Zane); daughters, Janis (Alan) & Barbara (Neil) & and their families; his sister, Rosalie Brandon; & many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by five sisters and three brothers.

Donations can be made to Trinity United Methodist Church of Mullica Hill, 284 Cedar Road, Mullica Hill, NJ 08062 or St. John of God Community Services.

Memories and condolences can be shared at www.smithfhmantua.com

THOMAS — Constance Thomas. Connie, 83, came from a farming family, and she never lost her down home ways. The Steward family farmed a swath of land from the Turnpike to Lake Narraticon and the Raccoon Creek. As a young girl she roamed the property on her horse and buggy.

She was named Ms. Swedesboro by the local Grange; of course, she never let it get to her head. She may not have been the greatest cook but she could open a can of SpaghettiOs with the best of them. And she made a great grilled cheese.

She loved a good joke; of course, mom-mom jokes were notable for the fact that she seldom remembered the punch line. But in the moment, she was quick witted, always laying in wait with one of her one liners and maybe a borderline inappropriate comment to make sure everyone was paying attention. When the grands would ask her to play outside, she’d say she couldn’t due to the fact that she had bones in her legs.

Summertime was her thing: when school let out she’d be packed and ready to go, taking the family down to her place in Pots Nest, DE. She loved Elvis, chocolate, Coke and card games. “Kids, watch her, she cheats.” her late husband often jokingly counseled. “I don’t cheat!!” she’d fire back.

Connie found her real calling later in life as a grandmother. Mom-mom not just to her grandchildren but to all their friends as well. In fact, they all called her mom-mom. She never missed a little league game, motivated half by her love of the grandkids, and half by her love of sport. Connie listened to sports radio and cheered for the Philly teams.

She fell for a handsome boy, the late Wilbert “Bud” in high school. Her mother hardly approved; she’d turn the lights off when she saw his car coming down the street. But love being what it is, they pressed on and shared a 50-year marriage blessed by 4 children, Wilbert III “Bud”, Kathleen Rode (Bill), Lawrence and Chris (Abby); and later by 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

GRASSO — Sara Grasso, 59 of Swedesboro, passed away at Cooper Medical Center, Camden.  A life long resident of the Swedesboro-Woolwich Twp. area, she was a graduate of Kingsway Regional High School, Class of ’81, attended St. Joseph’s Church, in Swedesboro and was employed as a cashier for Acme Markets in Logan Twp. and prior to that was a cashier for Shop Rite in Mullica Hill.  Sara was predeceased by her daughter, Rene Lavender and her mother, Josephine Grasso.

Donations in her memory to help with funeral expenses can be sent to the Cheega Funeral Home, 1329 Kings Highway, Swedesboro, NJ.

PRICE — John Price, age 82, of Mt. Royal, went home to be with the Lord on March 7. He was a loving husband and father, as well as being dedicated to helping others his whole life. Throughout his life, he served God and willingly said yes to whatever God asked him to do.

John was a long time member of Zion United Methodist Church in Clarksboro, serving in numerous positions over the years, the longest being head of the hard working group of trustees. He also was a dedicated public servant in the township. John joined the active list of the Mt. Royal Fire Association (later the East Greenwich Fire & Rescue Association) in July of 1972. He was also a founding member in 1972 of the East Greenwich Ambulance Association and was the first Chairperson of the organization.

John served on the East Greenwich Zoning Board for several years; as Fire Chief for Mt. Royal Fire Company for six years and also for 10 years as Assistant Fire Marshall. He has also served as the Treasurer for the East Greenwich Firemen’s Relief Association for 31 years and is retired this year.

John had a lifelong love of planning and working on projects with his hands. He had great joy in all things trains, from making and restoring engines to building intricate structures to go on his HO train layout. He was a long time member of the Raccoon Valley Railroad Club. He also patiently passed his knowledge of building layouts and trains on to a new generation by creating a train club at church, working with and teaching young people to make a special layout of their own.

John loved woodworking and learned many skills over the years to create numerous pieces of furniture, cabinets, and many other items for family and friends. John especially loved spending time with his family, enjoying yearly vacations at the shore, fishing with his son and grandson, family get-togethers, and weekend getaways to Lancaster County with his wife.

John is survived by his daughter, Beth Price, his son and daughter-in-law Greg and Debbie Price, and grandson Joshua Price, all of Mt. Royal. He is predeceased by his wife Jane, his sister, Doxsee Cardosa, and his parents Powell M. Price and Elizabeth Koponick (nee Jordan).

Funeral services were held at the McBride – Foley Funeral Home, Paulsboro. Contributions in his memory may be made to the general fund at Zion United Methodist Church, 242 Kings Highway, Clarksboro, NJ, 08020. Memories can be shared at www.mcbridefoleyfh.com.

GRANT — Helen J. Grant (Contarino), age 91, passed peacefully on March 6.

Born and raised in Yonkers, NY, Helen formerly lived in Woodbury and resided in Mickleton since 1999. Helen worked for Bell Telephone (later Verizon) as an Operator, retiring after 26 years. She was a member of the Telephone Pioneers of America. Helen enjoyed her “Lunch Bunch” friends and spending time with her sisters.

She was a devoted mother and most of all loved being with her grandchildren. Survived by her children Donna (Bill) Bruey, Gene (Tina) Grant, Wayne (Mindy) Grant, Lori (Bob) Weatherill, Frank (Marianne) Grant, Denise (Steve) Bakely, sister Lorraine (Jack) Farrell, 14 grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Helen is predeceased by her grandchild, Stevie and four siblings, Eugene, Marian, Vincent and Lillian as well as her parents Lucia and Salvatore.

Contributions may be made to Samaritan Hospice at www.SamaritanNJ.org/Donate. Memories may be shared at www.buddfuneralhome.com.

CASELLA — John Casella, 61. Johnny, the baby of the family, was raised to be a respectful, dedicated, and hardworking man. As a dad, he was a pushover, as long as you didn’t push too hard.

He coached both of his kids passionately and didn’t think twice about driving hours to be on the sidelines to support the team. Coach John knew how to push the Kingsway Youth Football team; however, he was preparing them for more than just the Saturday game. To the outside eye, he was simply coaching a sport, but he taught them unforgettable morals and shaped them into the men they are today

 Not only did Johnny coach football, but he also stepped up for the girl’s youth lacrosse team. Johnny didn’t know much about lacrosse, but when the team needed a coach, he decided to watch a few videos and learn the rules. He even coached his team to several winning seasons. He would tell the girls, “Joggy Joggy, you’re burning daylight.”

In his early years, he played football himself at Kingsway and was voted best looking- a fact that he frequently mentioned and would never let you forget. Johnny cultivated friendships that lasted a lifetime. The same buddies who joined him in his grammar school shenanigans, were by his side years later, as he took his position to be a prominent Woolwich resident.

He worked in Concrete for most of his life at Azzari’s, where it was more about the art of perfecting the craft than just clocking in and out. Later in life, he would work at Good Fellows Concrete with his brother, Sam, still seeking that same perfection while deepening his love for the craft.

Johnny spent a lot of his free time in the beautiful home he and his wife built for their family. You would see him most “at home” when he was out in the woods, with a shotgun in hand, searching for the biggest buck. He was a fantastic skier in his younger years, on the off chance that you could beat him down the slopes, he would cover you in snow with that little grin planted on his face.

When he was settled in at home, the TV would always be glowing with his favorite shows on the screen. Whether it was The Sopranos, Yellowstone, or any of a dozen shows he’d watch, it gave him great comfort to sit back and relax in the living room. Everyone knew that Christmas was his holiday. He’d gather his whole family for his signature Prime Rib.

John was always there to help his friends and family and was an active member of his community. He served on the Woolwich Township planning board and St. Alfio Committee for many years. Johnny wasn’t one for goodbyes. His favorite line was “So’long”- and he’d say it before he went off to some place, “to see a man about a horse”.

One day, he would meet a pretty girl at the Hilltop Restaurant. Little did he know how much of an impact she would have on his life. Karen initially blew him off, but within weeks they were “friends until the end” as Johnny had engraved in their wedding rings. Everyone knew that where there was Johnny, there was Karen, always hand in hand. They would marry on a rainy mischief night and share a beautiful 28-year marriage. They were blessed with two incredible children, Nicholas and Sophia.

He is survived by his sister, Lucy Ann Casella. He was predeceased by his parents, Salvatore Jr. and Angelina, as well as his brother, Sam. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and several God children.

Donations to the family will be appreciated.

ALESTRA — Marion M Alestra (Cuthbertson) age 90, of Williamstown, (formally of Thorofare/Mullica Hill) passed away suddenly on March 9 at Jefferson/Kennedy Hospital in Washington Twp., NJ.

Born in Paulsboro, she lived most of her life in Thorofare. It was there that she raised her 5 children along with her husband of 58 years Vincent B. Alestra. She lived her life caring for others, and was instrumental in the lives of her grandchildren, who relied on her kindness and love daily.

She was a homemaker early in life and worked alongside her husband with his farming, while raising their children. Later in life as the children grew, she went to work outside the home and was a Supervisor at the Abilities Center in Westville, her nurturing nature allowed her to shine at this position and she really enjoyed her time working with her clients.

Their home in Thorofare was more than a house, it was the central meeting place for friends and family to gather. If you visited on a Sunday, the aroma of Marion’s delicious gravy and meatballs would be simmering on the stove. A pot of coffee would be put on, and she would be saying “come and sit down” while placing plates of her homemade pizzelle cookies on the table along with other baked goods as she loved to bake and cook for everyone.

In her youth Marion and her family would travel to Wildwood and camp at “tent city”. She loved to share these memories with her children and grandchildren of being at the beach and crabbing at Beaver Dam. One of her favorite pastimes was to adventure to Atlantic City with her sisters Mary and Emma to “Hit the Slots”, see a show and enjoy a nice dinner. She also enjoyed doing puzzles, crafts, and playing bingo with her fellow rehab residents most recently.

Marion’s heart was as big as the pumpkins her husband grew in the field next to her home. She was nurturing, giving, caring, with a selfless spirit that she loved to share and spend time with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Wife of the late Vincent B. Alestra, she is survived by children Linda Alestra Messina (Bob), The Late Joanne Alestra Lindner, Joseph Alestra (Dianne), Vincent Alestra (Kim), Catherine Alestra Greathouse (James); 10 Grandchildren: Stephanie Helms (Scott), Louis Cataldi (Meghan), Nicholas Alestra (Essie), Vinnie Alestra, Jessica DiGennaro (Zach), Katherine Larwa, Anthony Alestra, Ryan Graves, Timmy Alestra, Jake Alestra and 3 Great Grandchildren: Carly Helms, Magnolia DiGennaro, Eleanor Digennaro and one more on the way (Nicky and Essie) and many nieces and nephews that loved and supported her.

Donations to the family would be appreciated c/o Daley Life Celebration Studios, 1518 Kings Hwy., Swedesboro, NJ 08085

JEFFERS — Jennifer Jeffers, 48. At age 9 she moved to Logan Township. She saw Kingsway Regional High School and announced, “I’ll be graduating from there.” She loved being a Dragon and was a flag girl in the marching band. She also studied flower arranging at Gloucester County Vocational School; she won many awards. She had a great respect for the military and as a student had a POW MIA flag donated to Swedesboro to fly in front of the municipal building.

She is survived by her parents, Edward and Dorothy Jeffers of Mickleton and many aunts and uncles.

SHULTZ — Louis Shultz, 60. Lou was born in Milwaukee, raised in Spring Valley, NY, educated at Stony Brook and Syracuse Universities, and ultimately settled in Logan Township. He was an anchor for his family, co-workers, friends, and community.

Lou first met his college sweetheart Kathy, whom he called Katie, during their time at Stonybrook. Over the next 40 wonderful years, Lou and the pretty girl from across the hall built a life together and loved each other unwaveringly. Every night as he walked through the door, he would greet Kathy with a joyful, “Hi beautiful, I’m home!”

Lou and Kathy were blessed with three children, Jessica (Michael) Alfaro, Robert (Christina Colucci) and William; and later by grandchildren, Hallie and Connor Louis. He is survived by his mother, Nancy Lindeman; his stepfather, Bill Lindeman; his sisters, Lisa Shultz and Julia (Daniel) Perez; and numerous beloved nieces and nephews.

Whether you met him once or knew him for years, you got the same Lou. His family would often joke that he couldn’t finish a grocery run or walk the dog around the block without making a new friend. He had the heart of a lion and maintained a fiercely positive outlook, facing adversity with squared shoulders and a firm resolve.

During his hospitalizations, Lou was seemingly less concerned with his health than the wellbeing of those around him. Throughout recovery, he would walk the floor of his unit, praying with other patients and helping them navigate their fears. From his hospital bed, he even helped a distressed hospital worker prepare for a final exam, and shared tears with her upon receiving her passing grade.

Lou was constant, dependable, and humble; for his extended family, “Uncle Lou” became a verb. To “Uncle Lou” something was to shoulder a problem and execute a solution, all while never seeking recognition for the act. Lou was a dedicated father and an example for his children and their friends, often mentoring those who sought guidance as adult life’s challenges arose.

A true engineer at heart, Lou was meticulously organized. Even ideas for fun family activities were catalogued in an alphabetized folder dubbed “the fun file”. He enjoyed a good drink from time to time; usually bourbon, although he’d make room for the occasional fruity concoction. He loved making wine with good friends. A food enthusiast, Lou never met a meal he didn’t love. He seldom left the house in a t-shirt; everything matched down to his shoelaces. He mowed the lawn in a polo shirt and packed 10 pairs of sneakers for an overnight trip.

Lou’s faith was extremely important to him. A lay leader at Bethesda Church, he called upon his natural leadership ability to better the congregation. He truly loved his church family. As a senior manager at Boeing in Ridley Park, Lou voraciously dug into his work and found his days there both challenging and fulfilling.

He was known to identify helicopters strictly by sound and hustle his family outside at the drop of a hat if he heard something interesting passing overhead. He had a passion for cars, subscribed to Motor Trend and owned a black Dodge Challenger, which he joked had more horsepower than he had maturity.

The family requests donations be made to Lou’s beloved Bethesda United Methodist Church, 1435 Kings Highway, Swedesboro NJ 08085.

OTTEN — Ann Otten, 78. Where to start… Her family, community and multiple civic groups relied on her “tell it like it is”, “no-nonsense” leadership; she was a force of nature. When Ann was involved, everyone deferred.

She was Repaupo through and through, living in the same home her entire life and graduating from St. James in 1963. Age 18 found her with her first job working as a messenger clerk at Mobil Research in Paulsboro. A year later she started a career in the Print Shop, first as a Collator and Binder and later she advanced to Supervisor. She’d retire from the Print Shop and Mobil Research a brief 36 years later, but she stayed loyal to the Red Horsemen, serving as its’ president and organizing many of their events over the years.

Her friendships lasted a lifetime; she still got together with the MobilGals and VIPs on a regular basis. She served for 29 years on the Logan Twp School Board, serving as its president for 15 years.

And, yes, her love of community was strong but her love of family even stronger and never more on display than on vacation: Garrison Lake, Stone Harbor, Ocean City and her favorite, the happiest place on earth. Ann loved everything Disney and tried to buy everything on Main Street on her trips to Orlando and even in the Magic Kingdom she was a leader, running the show from her scooter.

She had a lifelong love of baseball (Phillies, college and high school) and thought nothing of travelling several states to see her son play. And when she became a grandmother she doubled down, never missing a volleyball tournament, soccer or basketball game. Her Christmas shopping started in January, the wrapping of the gifts in July.

Her grands couldn’t wait to go to her home for the weekend; movies, junk food and staying up way too late. Of course, she was a grandmother for her grandkid’s friends as well as the whole area; her Halloween party was infamous, complete with prizes, gift bags and more candy than you could possibly consume. She was a lifetime member of St. Michael’s.

She is survived by her son, Ted (Amy) and her grandchildren, Caroline (Karl Thomann) and Jeremy. Ann was the sister of Robert “Bob” Otten, John “Jack” Otten and the late Elizabeth “Cathy” Otten.

STEPHAN — Phillip A. Stephan of Clementon, NJ, formerly of Swedesboro, passed away unexpectedly leaving behind three children, Lorie, Jennifer, Richard, and six grandchildren. He was 69 years old. He attended Kingsway Regional High School where he participated on the track team.

He will be missed by his five sisters, Rose Stephan, Laura (Stephan) Marker, Barbara (Stephan) Long, Janet (Stephan) Santora, Adeline (Stephan) Mandeville and step siblings, Vernon McCoy, Theresa McCoy, Patricia (McCoy) Berminsterfer as well as his many nieces and nephews.

God has called you to be with him now.

Cremation services are private at the request of his family.

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