February 2024 Issue

STONE — Ella Damask Stone, 92 passed away on Dec. 31, 2023.

“Little” Ella was born the youngest of 11 children to Arthur and Ella Damask of Swedesboro. Growing up she and her brothers and sisters all worked in their father’s business coating and packing chocolate candies for Damask Candies and working summers in their concession stand at River Beach Park in Pennsville.

Ella graduated from Swedesboro High School in 1948 and attended Temple University for two years as a Physical Education major.

Ella has two daughters from her first marriage to Wilbert Jones. She enjoyed being involved in their lives. She became a Brownie Girl Scout leader when her daughter joined the Brownies and held various positions through the years, eventually becoming a field vice president for the Holly Trails Girl Scout Council.

She was also very involved with the Ladies Altar Guild of the Episcopal Churches in towns where she resided. In her senior years, she volunteered with her local hospital, food bank, thrift store, a preschool classroom and the Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

Ella was employed as a school secretary in the Penns Grove-Carneys Point School System and served as the secretary at the Episcopal Church of Our Merciful Savior in Penns Grove.

Ella later married Ellsworth Stone and eventually devoted her time to his care. She then returned to southern Jersey and after a few years moved into the independent Living Cottages at Friends Village, Woodstown.

As health problems began to decrease her independence in the last 10 months, she fought back referring to herself as “a tough old Greek” and remained true to her nickname throughout her struggles. Of course, it was probably her upbeat attitude and great sense of humor that kept her popular with all the nurses.

She had a love of the Phillies. Ella was always on the go. Some joked her hobby was moving from residence to residence and she danced even through her later years. Her 90th birthday party found her on the dance floor frequently and she loved her “Chrissy” exercise class.

She kept her mind sharp playing many a game of pinochle, mahjong, bingo, cryptograms and was always up for some bocci, cornhole, hand and foot and, of course, some fun in the sun on the beach.

Ella was predeceased by her parents Arthur Nicholas and Ella Damask, brothers Nicholas, Constantine, Kimon, Pericles and Theodore; sisters Helen Holligan, Georgia Sarafic, Athena Terry, Evangeline Miller, and Mary Masten; husband Ellsworth Stone, stepdaughter Shelly Butrica, and dear companion Carlton Gardiner.

She is survived by daughters Sandra Jones-Congleton and Jennifer Jones; stepson Ellsworth Stone and wife Susan; stepson-in-law Joseph Butrica; step grandchildren Regan and Julie Stone, Tyler Stone, Michael and Clarissa Butrica and Matthew Butrica; several step great grandchildren and her beloved cat Tinkerbelle.

Interment Lake Park Cemetery, Woolwich. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital (stjude.org) or an organization of your choice.

SULLIVAN — Francine Sullivan. Francine grew up in Kentucky where she met a handsome guy named Raymond who served as a veterinarian and officer in the US Air Force. His job took them many places such as the Pacific Islands, California, and Alaska. Most recently, she had lived in Cherry Hill, Pensacola, FL., Woodstown, and with her daughter Kim in Woolwich Twp.

Some of her favorite things included shopping, reading mysteries, visiting estate sales, and watching reality TV shows.

Prior to his death, they were married 33 years, and were blessed with 4 children: the late Vincent Raymond Sullivan, Kim Bock (Don), the late Brooks Fetters, and James P. Sullivan; 6 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.

The family will celebrate her 91 great years privately.

HARBAUGH — Barbara Lynn Harbaugh, 74. When there was a need Barbara jumped in. When she heard that the candy sale fundraiser at South Harrison Elementary School wasn’t going especially well, she took over the program, having a tractor trailer of chocolate dropped at the home once a year.

When the yearbook was going to be discontinued, she did the same, spending hours at her table with an x-acto knife and rubber cement creating the pages that would preserve memories for a generation of kids.

Barbara was always in motion and was a master behind the stove: for extra money she and her husband created Country Caterers, prepping meals for everyone from tired teachers to work crews on 24-hour shifts.

Of course, she found her real calling late in life: Barb was meant to be a grandmother, always with a little gift for the grands. Best part was that for a woman who loved all things feminine, three granddaughters would arrive to counter the “Geoffrey, Stephen, George” effect that had dominated her life for so many years.

Nothing better than taking them out to get their nails done. And later years found her discovering a new talent as she did crafts with them. Turns out Barbara was a talented painter.

If her T.V. was on, she’d be watching Lifetime: the logo was permanently burnt into her screen. She was born in Philadelphia and raised in Darby. Barbara never forgot her roots and cheered for the Phils and the Birds.

A handsome guy named George was hanging around a hamburger joint in Springfield. He had a fast car. A girl asked to drive it. He said, “sure, as long as you set me up with your friend.” Barbara and the late George would share a 48-year marriage blessed by two sons, Stephen (Gina) and Geoffrey (Marie) and later by grandchildren, Angelina, Zachary, Zoey, Grace and George. She is survived by her siblings, Kathy (Pattie) Schmidt and Stephen (the late Kim) Schmidt, and many nieces and nephews.

Donations to georgeshouse.org will be appreciated.

SCARFO – Joanne M. Scarfo, 67, of Bridgeport passed away on Dec. 30, 2023.

Born in Mannington, Joanne was the daughter of John D. & Shirley (Nixon) Scarfo. She graduated from Penns Grove High School and then from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1983.

Throughout her lifetime, Joanne was a strong advocate for individuals who had disabilities and for expanded services to be provided to them. She did this at both the state and local levels, once testifying in Trenton for expanded services.

Joanne also helped individuals out through the Office on Aging here in Salem County, and she had also worked as a Preschool Teacher and as a substitute teacher for the Penns Grove Carneys Point School System.

To relax, she spent many hours crocheting and was known as a world class crocheter. Joanne was also a member of the Servicemen’s Memorial Home in Carneys Point.

She is survived by her loving companion of 37 years, Leigh Ramer; her siblings Penny Gruber (Mark), Debbie Elias (Mark) and Chris Scarfo; children, L.J. Ramer Jr. (Barbara), Judi Ramer (Kevin Crispin), Sharon Ludwig (Ken) and Barbara Zane (Frank); grandchildren; Nicole Naylor (Mark), Danielle Vega (Mike), Laurel Sharp (Rob), Emileigh Zane, Megan Zane, Jennifer Formis (Collin), Jonathon Ludwig; great grandchildren; Brandon Delgrippo, Harper and Alerah Naylor and Kora, Case and Colt Sharp; nieces and nephews; Tim Gruber (Nicole), Elleora, Liliana, Matt Gruber (Kimmy), Angel Polidoro (Dominic) and their children, Dominic II and Angelina, Mark Elias (Jamee Sayers) and their child Zoey and Chelsea Elias.

The family has suggested that donations can be made in Joanne’s memory to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia-Childhood Cancer Department, 3401 Civic Center Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19104. www.adamsfuneralhome.org

MOXLEY — Elma Moxley, 78. During her most difficult times, Elma was always thinking of everyone else’s well-being. Her career was a perfect fit.

Elma was a home health aide. Thanksgiving mornings often found her cooking dinner for the families of patients that she cared for, returning back to her home to cook a second dinner for her own family. No wonder she was chosen three times as aide of the year.

But, of course, even as dedicated she was to her career, she found her real calling late in life. She was a grandmother and great-grandmother for the ages. She took the grands to many a yard sale and taught them to cook chicken and dumplings, Jewish apple cake and biscuits and gravy.

Obviously, though she lived in New Jersey, she never lost her southern ways, especially when it came to her music. Elma loved old time country music: Tammy Wynette, George Jones and Johnny Cash. If her ear wandered from country, it was usually for Elvis or her favorite Christian classics. She found a second home, worshipping at Kingsway Baptist Church.

March of 1965 she’d meet a handsome guy named Milton at the roller-skating rink. She’d marry him in July: 58 years married to her best friend. They were blessed with three children: Robert (Joan), Julie (the late Garry) Lucas and Caroline (Douglas) Kier; and later by 8 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren. She was the sister of Erma Zimmerman, Wilma Wright, the late Mary Sue Coen and Ginny (Roscoe) Wine.

Donations in lieu of flowers to Kingsway Baptist Church, 744 Kings Highway, Mickleton, NJ 08056 will be appreciated.

HUNT — Robert (Bob) A. Hunt, 80, of Clarksboro, formerly of Woolwich, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on Jan. 3, 2024, in the Cardiac Critical Care Unit at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Bob was Robert to his friends and family growing up in Swedesboro. He was born in the May Haffey Private Maternity Hospital on September 29, 1943, and grew up across the street from the hospital on Park Avenue.

After graduating from Swedesboro High School in 1961, he attended Delaware Valley College for two years where he played football. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Glassboro State College while also working a series of jobs at Richman’s Ice Cream, E. I. duPont, and Atlantic City Electric. Bob later obtained his Master’s Degree in Pupil Personnel Services.

He spent his entire 42-year career in education at Kingsway Regional High School where he first taught middle school social studies, coached football, and then spent the latter half of his career as a middle school guidance counselor. Bob’s classroom was his domain, and he ran a tight and tidy ship.

In 1973 he was required to ‘lend’ his classroom for one period each day to a new English teacher whom he assumed was married. However, when MISS Bereznai wrote her name on the board at the beginning of the third marking period, Bob took note. He married the new teacher, Ruth Bereznai, on November 29, 1975, the Saturday after Kingsway football season ended.

Although Bob’s childhood was spent in Swedesboro, he spent many carefree weekends and summers on his grandparents’ farm in Center Square. Bob, Ruth, and their young children moved to a small acreage in Woolwich Township in 1988. After visiting the Salem County 4-H Fair, Bob shared his young son’s eagerness to join 4-H, and the family began acquiring their own farm animals. This led to Bob and his 13-year-old son eventually building a 24’ x 32’ barn with their own hands.

Soon Bob and Ruth found themselves leading the Salem County Young Shepherds 4-H Sheep Club. When their daughter became interested in pursuing the competitive world of the sheep show circuit, they began hauling purebred Romney sheep to shows along the East Coast.

Bob’s hammer never rested as he willingly and happily built a new pen or cage for the next sheep, goat, chicken, duck, or rabbit that found its way home with Ruth and Lauren.

In addition to the animals, many friends of the children, 4-H’ers, and even two Japanese exchange students found their way to Bob’s gentleman’s farm. He delighted in his family, his outdoor companion, an Australian Shepherd named Spin, indulged his wife’s newfound love of ‘barn life’, and loved his country homestead.

He was always available to lend a hand to neighbors or friends. A member for many years of Bethesda United Methodist Church, he annually supplied farm animals to the church’s living nativity.

As if the farm chores weren’t enough, Bob also found time to be a Cub Scout Den Leader, assistant Little League coach for Jared’s baseball team, and coach for Lauren’s girls softball team.

Bob shared his love of sports with his son Jared. In Jared’s younger years, they were eager fans of the Phillies, so much so that they traveled to Cooperstown for the Mike Schmidt and Richie Ashburn Hall of Fame induction ceremony. In later life, Bob and Jared bonded as ardent Eagles fans.

When his daughter began performing in high school musicals, he never missed a performance. When she pursued and obtained a master’s degree in Opera Performance, everyone who knew Bob was totally amazed that his musical preferences now included opera in addition to country and pop.

Bob enjoyed many vacations at various New Jersey beaches, and eventually he and Ruth would purchase a second home in Ocean City, NJ.

He was devoted to his widowed mother-in-law, Dottie. His only grandchild, Talia, was the spark in later life that brought him incredible joy, and he was an integral part of her young life. Bob took delight in walking Talia to her first day in kindergarten at the Margaret Clifford School. (Miss Clifford had been his very own kindergarten teacher.)

Bob also spent numerous years as a member of the Swedesboro-Woolwich Board of Education. A hometown boy through and through, Bob had many fun and heartwarming stories to share with his family about life in Swedesboro and the surrounding area in the late 40’s and 50’s that are reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell illustration – carefree summer days swimming in the lake, sledding on Franklin Street, riding bikes along farmland back roads, hometown shops where everyone knew your name.

In later years, he took an interest in genealogy, in local history, and especially the many dairies that once surrounded Swedesboro. He began collecting milk bottles from those former local dairy farms.

After having always been a runner, football player and coach, and doing heavy work at his “farm”, Bob was stricken with heart disease at the age of 58; his left ventricle was not functioning properly. Originally thought to have a viral cause, recent research may find his type of heart disease to have genetic implications.

He responded well to medication for over 10 years until his heart began to fail. Still working at Kingsway with his worsening heart, he retired in 2012. His health finally necessitated a move from his beloved acreage to an over 55 community in 2014.

In 2015, he was fortunate to be directed to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania by his local cardiologist, Dr. M. Scott Dawson, where, as a participant in an FDA national study of LVAD’s (Left Ventricular Assist Device or a heart pump) he became a participant in heart disease research. He was one of the first people in southern New Jersey to be the fortunate recipient of an LVAD.

His journey is a testament to personal courage, and to the amazing work of researchers, medical engineers, and medical professionals. Today LVAD devices continue to be perfected to be less intrusive, function more smoothly, result in less complications, and science continues to amaze. The family is forever grateful to his medical teams both here in NJ and at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for affording Bob additional quality time with his family.

Bob is survived by Ruth, his wife of 48 years, his son Jared and his wife Joni, and their daughter, Talia Hunt, all of Swedesboro, his daughter Lauren Hunt and her husband Alex Mamut of Fair Lawn, NJ, his sisters Joanne Olbrich, June Moncrief (husband Nick Tonzola), Michele Hitchner (Jon), brother-in-law Steve Bereznai (Jeannie), sister-in-law Tricia Thompson (Keith), and eight nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his mother, Barbara Eastlack Moncrief of Woodstown, his mother and father-in-law, Michael and Doris Bereznai of Paulsboro, his grandparents, Joseph and Anna Eastlack of Swedesboro, and Foster and Edith Hurff Hunt of Center Square.

Donations may be made to: American Red Cross (redcross.org). Bob had the rare distinction of having been a 5-gallon blood donor and then eventually also received numerous units of blood and blood products.

American Heart Association 50 Mile Memory Walk

Donate and walk 50 miles in February, at your convenience, for YOUR heart and in memory of Bob: https://www.facebook.com/donate/766480465299329/American Heart Association – (heart.org)

ZANE — Senator Raymond J. Zane age 84 years of Mickleton passed away on Monday Jan. 8, 2024 with his family by his side. Senator Zane was born in Woodbury, raised in Colonial Manor and was a 1957 graduate of Woodbury High School. He was a star pitcher for the high school and was later signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Mr. Zane received his Bachelors of Science degree from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

Mr. Zane served as a Gloucester County Freeholder from 1972 -74 while attending Rutgers School of Law, graduating in 1974. He then continued to serve the public as a State Senator from 1974 – 2002 in such capacities as Assistant Majority Leader, Deputy Assistant Majority Leader, Minority Leader and led the Judiciary Committee. Senator Zane was a partner at the law firm of Zane and Lozuke. Mr. Zane was appointed as Chief General Counsel for the Delaware River Port Authority. He was also well known for having represented multiple municipalities in various legal capacities.

He is survived by his three children, Marybeth and Bob Bowman of Newtown Square, PA, Raymond and Maryann Zane of Mt. Royal, Kenneth and Irene Zane of West Deptford; his grandchildren, Allison, Kaitlyn, Ryan, Kyle, Aria, Raymond, Morgan, Devan, Christine, and Catherine and 5 great grandchildren. Mr. Zane was predeceased by his parents, Clarence R. Sr. and Veronica P. Zane as well his brothers, Clarence and Robert Zane.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 AM Tuesday January 16, 2024 in the Church of the Incarnation, 240 Shadow Place, Mantua. Relatives and friends may visit with the family Monday evening from 6 to 8 PM in the McBride – Foley Funeral Home, 228 W. Broad St., Paulsboro and Tuesday morning after 10 AM in church until Mass time. Interment Eglington Cemetery, Clarksboro. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in his memory to St. John of God Community Services, 1145 Delsea Drive, Westville, NJ 08093. Memories can be shared at www.mcbridefoleyfh.com.

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