In Memoriam

Written by The Two River Times. Posted in In Memoriam / Obits


Published on October 13, 2011 with No Comments

Serafino “Ben” Centrella

Serafino “Ben” Centrella, 84, of Middletown, died on October 7 at his home, surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Orange. Ben served proudly in the United States Navy during World War II as a firefighter aboard the  USS Dennis J. Buckley.  After his service, Serafino worked as an auto mechanic for Sansone Auto Mall until his retirement. He was a lifetime member of VFW Post 2179, a member of the Red Bank Elks Number 233, and American Legion Post 313 in Leonardo. Ben loved to cook, he was in charge of the kitchen at the VFW and the banquets held there for 20 years. Ben and his loving wife, Margaret, also organized fundraisers for Prader-Willi Syndrome.

Surviving are his devoted wife of 61 years, Margaret; his daughter, Eileen and her husband, Ken Beam of Middletown; his three sons, Robert and his wife, Debbie, of Florida, Anthony and his wife, Lauri, of Tinton Falls, and Daniel and his wife, Margaret, of Brick. Ben is survived also by 10 grandchildren Christine and Jeffrey Bevacqua, Heather and Daniel Brennan, Michael, Caroline and Jill Centrella, Serafino Benjamin, Samuel, Helen and Harry Centrella and Zachary Centrella and three great-grandchildren Kayla and Justin Bevacqua and Thomas Brennan. Serafino was preceded in death by his parents, Anthony and Anna Marie Centrella.

John F. Pfleger Funeral Home, Middletown, was in charge of arrangements. Contributions may be made in Serafino’s name to the National Kidney Foundation, 30 East 33rd St., New York, NY 10016 or to the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association (USA), 8588 Potter Park Drive, Suite 500 Sarasota, FL 34238 or

James Whitney Greene

James Whitney Greene of Camden, Maine, formerly of Denver, Colorado, died at Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport, Maine on October 2. He was 66. He was born on June 14, 1945 in Pasadena, Calif. to James Robert Greene and Mary Elizabeth Whitney Greene. He lived with his family in Mexico City where his father was employed by the Foreign Service before moving to Fair Haven in 1955.

He attended Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School in Rumson and Amherst College in Amherst, Mass. Jim received his J.D. degree from the University of Denver College of Law in December 1975. He served as general counsel and secretary for the Gary-Williams Energy Corporation in Denver until 1999. Jim was an active member of the Denver Democratic Party. He was also a volunteer tutor at the Greenlee Elementary School and a member of the Inverness Golf Club. In 2004, he moved to Camden.

A family statement reads: “Jim was a good traveler. He was deeply curious about different regions, cultures and ideas, and particularly enjoyed traveling in the Southwestern U.S., visiting its pueblos and cities and collecting artwork of the region. He was loved and will be missed.”

Jim is survived by his father in Fair Haven; his ex-wife and friend Leslie Speed in Baltimore, Md; his sisters Jennifer Caroline Greene in Urbana, Ill., Margaret Hamill and husband Ted Keller in Taos, N.M. and Mary Greene in Narrowsburg, N.Y.; five nieces and nephews; four great nieces and nephews; aunts and numerous cousins; and several close friends. He was predeceased by his mother.

Cremation took place at Pine Grove Crematorium, Bangor, Maine. Services will be private at the convenience of the family. Contributions may be made to the charity of one’s choice.

Jeanne McKnight Haviland

Jeanne McKnight Haviland, 64, of Little Silver died on October 8 surrounded by family. A lifelong resident of the Red Bank area, Jeanne was a graduate of Red Bank High School (1965) and Stuart Business School. She was a member of the RBHS Reunion Committee Class of 1965 and a former member of the Little Silver Women’s Club. Jeanne was the first female commodore for the National Sweepstake Regatta at Red Bank, and also served as secretary. For 17 years, she was a legal assistant with the McOmber & McOmber Law Office in Red Bank, and previously worked for the Penske Corp. and Westinghouse. Jeanne was an avid gardener.

She was predeceased by her parents, Austen B. McKnight and Eleanor Vreeland. Jeanne is survived by her husband of 30 years, Mart L. Haviland, and four daughters, Kerry (Pete) Isberg of Malvern, Pa., Christine (Christopher) Bogues of Middletown, Laurie Zwingli of Oregon, and Dawn Haviland of Red Bank. She is also survived by two brothers, William (Ellen) McKnight of North Carolina and Austen B. (Gayle) McKnight Jr. of Lincroft, seven grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and friends.

A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, October 15 at 10 a.m., Trinity Episcopal Church, 65 West Front St., Red Bank. Memorial donations may be made in Jeanne’s name to the American Cancer Society, 801 Broad St., Shrewsbury, NJ  07702. Arrangements by the John E. Day Funeral Home, 85 Riverside Ave., Red Bank.

Kenneth A. Kress

Kenneth A. Kress, 61, of Toms River, died on October 8 at Community Medical Center. He was born in Jersey City and raised in Linden. Ken lived in Middletown before moving to Toms River. Kenneth worked for Lehman Brothers and JC Penney before becoming a pharmaceutical consultant. He was active in the Rainbow Foundation of Middletown. He was a communicant of St. Mary’s RC Church and his children attended St. Mary’s Elementary School and Mater Dei High School. He loved and cherished his family and many friends. His happiest times were spent cooking for the multitudes, and he especially loved tinkering with his watches and clocks. He was always eager to help a friend in need.

Surviving are his wife, Mary; son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Monica Kress, of Jersey City; his daughter and son-in-law, Kelly and Orazio Nastase, of West Chester, Pa. and his daughter and son-in-law, Katherine and Michael Rooney, of Red Bank. Ken is also survived by his mother, Doris Kress; his sisters, Donna Deshefy, and Susan and her husband Carlo Buffa; his brother and sister-in-law, Richard H. and Cheryl Kress and six nieces and one nephew. “Dzia Dzia” will be lovingly remembered by his five grandchildren. He was preceded in death by father, Henry Kress.

John F. Pfleger Funeral Home, Middletown, was in charge of arrangements. Memorial contributions may be made to the Rainbow Foundation, 15 Cherry Tree Farm Road, Middletown, NJ 07748 or to the San Alphonso Retreat House, 755 Ocean Avenue, P.O. Box 3098, Long Branch , NJ  07740.

Josephine Parrelli Lee

A memorial service for Josephine P. Lee will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 5 at Church of the Nativity, 180 Ridge Rd., Fair Haven.

Josephine was a 65-year resident of Red Bank and long-time community servant. She died on June 23. While raising a son and two daughters, Josephine was an active volunteer in a wide range of community organizations, including the League of Women Voters, the Shore Child Study Group, and Lunch Break. The renewal and church reforms of Vatican II were a formative experience for her, and she served as an early president of the Parish Council of St. James Church in Red Bank. An enthusiastic opera and choral music fan, Josephine was a soprano in the St. James choir and host of lively choir parties.

Strongly committed to quality public education, she was elected to the Red Bank Board of Education and taught math at Red Bank Regional High School. She played a key role in launching the Red Bank Charter School and served as president of its board of trustees. She was also an active participant in Red Bank electoral politics, working hard for candidates who shared her interest in education and sustainable Red Bank development with quality architecture and green spaces. She was a dedicated member of the Red Bank Zoning Board for many years.

Josephine was predeceased by her husband of 56 years, Norman E. Lee. She is survived by her daughters Nancy Lee and Mary Lee of Washington, D.C. and their husbands Chuck Schwartz and Martin O’Hara, her son Gregory Lee of Hopewell, and his wife Tamara Lee, and six grandchildren: Claudia, Pamela, Warren, George, Norman, and Benjamin.

Mark William Lepine

Mark William Lepine, 61, of Middletown, died at home on October 9. He was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and had a successful career in the apparel industry that led him to Scottsdale, Dallas, and New York City. Mark was funny, wise, warm and was always the life of the party.

A devoted family man, Mark enjoyed golf, U of M football and one of his greatest pleasures was cheering on his kids at their various sporting events.

Mark waspredeceased by his parents John F. and Elizabeth Ann Courtney Lepine. Surviving are his wife, Barbara Lehn Lepine; his five children Matthew, Courtney, Katie, Kelly, and Tracey; his nine grandchildren; his two sisters Kitty Ostach and Mary Beauregard; and his brother Johnny Lepine. John E. Day Funeral Home, Red Bank, was in charge of arrangements.

Barbara Lynn Martin

Barbara Lynn Martin, 85, died on October 6 at The Chelsea of Tinton Falls. She was born on January 3, 1926 in Neosho, Missouri. She met her husband William Martin during World War II at Camp Crowder, a well know military base in Missouri. Shortly after marriage Barbara and her husband eventually moved to Lincroft, where they built their home. Barbara resided in Lincroft for 45 years before moving to Tinton Falls. After several years of college Barbara was employed as a nursery school teacher in Keyport. After leaving her teaching career she was employed at Wakenhut at AT&T in Holmdel. Barbara had a great thirst for life and knowledge. Barbara was well read and well traveled. She took great pride in her Cherokee Indian Heritage as well.

She was predeceased by her parents, William Harrison and IsmaAlmeta (Quinby) Wilson; her brother, Carol Wilson and three sisters, Phyllis Reed, Charlotte Taylor and Virginia Gooch.  Surviving is her son, William Martin and his wife Joan of California, and her daughters, Carol Low and husband Darren of Oceanport and Lynn McHale of Chicago, Ill. and three grandchildren, Philip McHale, and Dara and Casey Low.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the John E. Day Funeral Home, Red Bank. Memorial donations can be made to: American Cancer Society, 801 Broad Street, Shrewsbury, NJ 07702.

Curtis A. Meehan

Curtis A. Meehan, 58, of Atlantic Highlands, died on October 9 in Red Bank. He was born in New York, N.Y. and lived in Staten Island. He settled with his wife Debbie in Atlantic Highlands around 1976. Curtis worked in route sales for IBC and was a member of the Teamsters Union Local 701. He was an avid golfer and sports fan. He enjoyed following the Jets, Mets, and Rangers. He was a loving husband and father. He will be dearly missed.

Surviving are his wife of 35 years, Debbie Meehan; son, Justin and his wife Michelle Meehan; daughter, Jessica Meehan; four brothers, Brian Meehan, Daniel Meehan, Dennis and his wife Noriko Meehan, Terence and his wife Mary Meehan; father, Walter Meehan; grandmother, Hazel Testa; many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, friends; and his beloved dog Paco. Curtis was preceded in death by his mother, Beverly Meehan; brother, Timothy Meehan; and mother-in-law, Eleanor Schultz.

John F. Pfleger Funeral Home, Middletown, was in charge of arrangements. Memorial donations can be made to the August T. Miner Scholarship Fund, Care of Middletown Board of Education, 834 Leonardville Rd., 2nd Fl., Leonardo NJ 07737.

William “Bill” Gerard Walsh

William “Bill” Gerard Walsh, 53, of Red Bank, died on October 7 surrounded by his wife and parents after a courageous battle with Multiple Sclerosis. Bill was born in Newark and spent most of his life in the Red Bank and Middletown areas.

Bill was a 1976 graduate of Red Bank Catholic High School. He then was honored to spend a year at the USMA at West Point from 1978-1979. He earned his BS in Accounting and Finance from La Salle University, Philadelphia and MBA from Monmouth University. Bill continued on to be employed with McGraw Hill Publishing, ATT and most recently with Lucent Technologies in Short Hills. Bill was a proud member of the K of C Council #335 and the Italian American Club, both in Long Branch. In addition he was a devout communicant of St. James RC Church, Red Bank.

He was predeceased by his sister, Mary Ellen Gluth in 1994. He is survived by his devoted wife of 29 years, Nancy Baron Walsh; parents, William and Dorothy Jagich Walsh of Middletown; sister, Julia Ann Reynold and her husband Paul of Laurel, Md.; brothers-in-law, Frank Baron and his wife Karen of Flemington and Joe Gluth of Las Vegas, N.V.; nieces, Megan, Angela, Julia and Kirsten and nephews; Michael, Steven, Kevin, Scott and Kyle and great-nieces Ava Jane and Caroline Reynold.

John E. Day Funeral Home, Red Bank, was in charge of arrangements. The family requests donations in Bill’s memory be made to the Multiple Sclerosis National Society Mid Jersey Chapter 246 Monmouth Rd. Oakhurst NJ 07755.

Elizabeth G. Wardell

Elizabeth G. Wardell (Betty), 89, died surrounded by her beloved daughters and longtime family friend on October 9 in Long Branch. Betty was born in Newark, in 1922 to Katherine Gardner Geiser and Albert Eugene Geiser. She attended Newark Public Schools and graduated from The College of New Jersey in 1944. Betty received her Master of Arts degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1980. After graduating from The College of New Jersey, she taught in the South River and Red Bank School Systems. In 1946, she married Harold E. Wardell, her husband of 26 years. They settled in Little Silver, where they raised three children.

For over 25 years, Betty taught in Little Silver Schools, first at Markham Place and then at Point Road School. She was a poet and a writer. Betty created a poetry program for Little Silver Schools. Her students will always remember her for her love of poetry and her determination to bring poetry into their lives. Betty was a member of “A Writer’s Ink Project” and published “A Murmur through Trees” in 1991. She was the founding president of the Little Silver NJEA. She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma. She was a member of the Red Bank United Methodist Church, where she served as a Sunday school teacher for many years. She was a member of the United Methodist Women. After her retirement, she volunteered at the Long Branch Public Library and Long Branch Public Schools. Betty volunteered for many years at Lunch Break in Red Bank. She was compassionate and always deeply concerned about those who were less fortunate. Betty made frequent visits to Arizona to visit her daughter and grandchildren. Over the years, she grew to love the Tucson area and the beauty of the desert. Betty and her longtime companion traveled much of North America, Europe, Russia and Egypt. Through her illness, she will be remembered for her great courage, dignity and strength. Her memory will be cherished by her loving children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, family and friends.

Betty was predeceased by her precious son, John H. Wardell, in 1969. She was also predeceased by her twin brother and two sisters. In 2008, her longtime companion, George Yanko died. She is survived by her daughters, Barbara McDermott of Long Branch, and Virginia “Ginger” Wardell VanWinkle of Oro Valley, Ariz.; sons-in-law, Michael McDermott and Martin VanWinkle; grandchildren, Colleen and Mathew McDermott of Long Branch, Katherine VanWinkle Verdugo of Gilbert, Ariz., Martin VanWinkle III of Ewing, , and John VanWinkle of Tucson, Ariz.; great-grandchildren, Elizabeth and Michael Verdugo of Gilbert, Ariz.; grandson-in-law, Rey Verdugo and granddaughter-in-law, Waverely VanWinkle; nephew, Albert Geiser of Delaware; sister-in-law, Frances Spigelmyer of Monmouth Beach; and longtime family friend, Margaret “Linnie” Livingston of Boulder Creek, Calif.

A celebration of her life will be held at 5 pm. Saturday, Oct. 15, at the United Methodist Church, Red Bank. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 1150 17th St. N.W., Suite 850, Washington, DC. 20036 or to a charity of your choice. The Flock Funeral Home, Long Branch, is in charge of arrangements.

Harold W. West

Harold W. West, of Middletown, died on September 29 at home. Born in Rumson, he lived in Red Bank before moving to Middletown in 1968. Harold proudly served his country in the United States Air Force during World War II and the Korean War. During WWII, that time he was a Hump Pilot, flying to parts of China and India over the Himalayas with troops and supplies to the bomb group. In fact, all of the supplies to the American and Chinese Armies and Air Forces in China were provided by this flying. He was employed with Bendix/Allied Signal in Eatontown for 42 years. He was an avid fisherman and Yankees fan. Harold was a wonderful and loving husband, father and grandfather.

He was predeceased by his parents, Percy and Alma (Jensen) West, three brothers; Arthur, Percy and Alfred “Alfie” West. Surviving is his wife of 49 years, Mona (Schlagentweith) West; his daughter, Linda W. Erhard and her husband Martin of Ocean Township; his brother, Wilfred “Woody” West and his wife Betty of Freemont, N.H. and two granddaughters; Katelyn and Julia.

All funeral services are private and have been entrusted to the John E. Day Funeral Home, Red Bank.Memorial donations can be made to the American Red Cross, 1540 W. Park Avenue, Tinton Falls, NJ 07724.


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