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Miscellaneous Hunterdon County, New Jersey Obituaries

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Adolph Raksa
MONTGOMERY TWP. - Adolph E. Raksa, brother of Emily Rosiecki of Raritan Township, died Aug. 20, 2003 at his home. He was 83. Born in Manville, he was the son of Walter and Mary Wilk Raksa. He moved to Montgomery 50 years ago. Mr. Raksa was employed by Johns-Manville Corp. before entering World War II. After the war, he was a carpenter for the federal government at local installations, including the Lyons V.A. Hospital, where he worked for more than 30 years. He retired in 1977. He was a charter member and past post commander of the Manville American Legion. He also served as a volunteer fireman in Hillsborough Township's Woods Road Fire Company No. 3 many years ago. He was a member of St. Joseph's Church in East Millstone. Mr. Raksa enjoyed gardening, travel and the outdoors. His first wife, Mary Schurick Raksa died in 1968. A step-daughter, Gail Crisafulli and two brothers, Frederick and Matthew Raksa, died earlier. In addition to Ms. Rosiecki, he is survived by wife of 30 years, Virginia Raksa; a daughter, Arlene Varchi of Hillsborough; a brother, Walter Raksa Jr. of Tinton Falls; three sisters, Wanda Peters and Stephanie Syzmanski, both of Manville, and Lee Bijaczyk of Hillsborough; a stepson, James Ginnie of Phoenix; and grandchildren. A Funeral Liturgy was held at the church on Monday, followed by burial in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Hillsborough. Arrangements were made by Fucillo and Warren Funeral Home of Manville.

Harriet Manetas
FAIRTON - Harriet G. Bowman Manetas died Monday, Aug. 25, 2003 at Hunterdon Care Center in Raritan Township, where she had been living for the past year. She was 71. She owned and operated Manetas Farms of Fairton in Cumberland County with her husband Peter G. Manetas, retiring in 1991 and being succeeded by their son Jim. As flower growers, their specialty was gladiolus and peonies; during peak growing conditions, the farm produced four million gladioli a year, making it one of the largest such farms in New Jersey. Her husband, a brother, Douglas Bowman, and a granddaughter all died previously. She is survived by a daughter, Kathleen Manetas Barca of Delaware Township; two sons, Peter G. Jr. of Yardley, Pa. and James P. II of Fairton; four sisters, Clarissa 'Bunky' Sorantino and Constance 'Connie' Lindley, both of Cedarville, Geraldine 'Sherry' Riley of Clearwater, Fla., and Patricia Bernadini of Vineland; two brothers, Elmer 'Skip' Bowman of Cedarville and Gerard 'Corky' Bowman of Bridgeton; and seven grandchildren. Calling hours will begin Friday at 10 a.m. at the Freitag Funeral Home in Bridgeton, followed by services at 11:30 a.m. in the funeral home and then a Funeral Liturgy at noon in St. Michael's Catholic Church in Cedarville. Interment will be at Fernwood Memorial Park in Hopewell Township, Cumberland County. Memorial contributions can be made to Hunterdon Hospice, 2100 Wescott Drive, Flemington 08822. Written condolences and tributes can be send to the family using the funeral home Web site, freitagfuneralhome.com

Eddie Sliker
CHESTER TWP. - Eddie A. Sliker died on Monday, Aug. 25, 2003 at home. He was 75. Born in Annandale, the son of Austin and Lillian Lisk Sliker, he lived in Hampton for 40 years before moving to Chester Township 11 years ago. He was an Army veteran of World War II and received the Victory Medal. Mr. Sliker was a mason formerly employed by Mannon Excavating and Paving in Raritan Township and Charles Lisk Excavating in Clinton Township. He retired 10 years ago. He was an avid hunter. His wife, Gladys Sliker, died in 1992. Four sisters also died earlier, Ethel Deemer, Elsie Cooper, Virginia Fleming and Ruth Lowe. He is survived by a son, Charles Sliker of Chester Township; a daughter, Mary Jane Gramlich of Harmony; four brothers, Paul Sliker of Carpentersville, David Sliker of Idaho, Frank Sliker of Maine and Irwin Sliker of Phillipsburg; a sister, Agnes Yonofko of Pennsylvania; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. A graveside service will be tomorrow at 10 a.m. in the Musconetcong Valley Cemetery in Hampton under the direction of the Coughlin Funeral Home of Califon.

Dorothy Patterson
FLEMINGTON - Dorothy S. Patterson died on Aug. 21, 2003 at the Hunterdon Medical Center. She was 88. She was born in Flemington to Earl and Bessie Snyder. She was a legal secretary for Herr and Fisher in Flemington for over 40 years, retiring in 1976 as the executive secretary for Mr. Herr. She had served as legal secretary for C. Lloyd Fisher, one of the defense attorneys in the 1935 trial 1935 of Bruno Hauptman for the kidnap-murder of the Lindbergh baby. Mrs. Patterson was a 'Gray Lady' volunteer at the Hunterdon Medical Center, a member of the Flemington-Raritan Senior Citizens and was an active participant and volunteer for various Hunterdon senior citizen groups, including the travel group and through the Office on Aging. She was a member of the Flemington Baptist Church. Her husband, Warren, died in 1969. Surviving are a daughter, Dale Patterson of Raritan Township; a son, Warren of Panama City Beach, Fla.; a brother, Roger Snyder of Centreville, Va.; a grandchild and one great-grandchild. Services were held on Saturday at the Holcombe-Fisher Funeral Home in Flemington. Interment followed in the Prospect Hill Cemetery in Flemington. Memorial contributions can be made to the Hunterdon Regional Cancer Center, 2100 Wescott Dr., Flemington 08822 or to the Hunterdon SPCA, 576 Stamets Road, Milford 08848.

Robert Kleiner
RARITAN TWP. - Robert Kleiner died Aug. 20, 2003 at Hunterdon Medical Center. Born in Jersey City to Louis and Grace Ahern Kleiner, he resided in Union before moving to Raritan Township 39 years ago. He was a graduate of Seton Hall University and was an accountant and a controller. He worked for Johnson & Johnson as a supervisor, Mattel Corp. as a controller and most recently for Century Office Products as a controller until retiring. He was an amateur artist. Mr. Kleiner was a former member of the township Board of Adjustment, and a member of the Knights of Lithuania. He served in the Army during the Korean War. He was a communicant of St. Magdalen Catholic Church in Flemington. His wife of 43 years , Mary 'Marie' Kaseta Kleiner, survives him. A Funeral Liturgy was celebrated Monday at St. Magdalen Church. Entombment was in Good Shepherd Mausoleum at St. Gertrude's Cemetery in Colonia. Arrangements were by the Holcombe-Fisher Funeral Home in Flemington.

Helen Tittle
THREE BRIDGES - Helen Tittle died Friday, Aug. 22, 2003 in Hunterdon Medical Center. She was 82. Born in South River, the daughter of Thomas and Agatha Oceanak, she had lived in Three Bridges for 56 years. She was a cafeteria manager at Readington School and in Somerville borough schools for a total of 35 years, retiring in 1984. She was a member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Three Bridges. She belonged to the Ladies Auxiliary of the Three Bridges Fire Company. Her husband, Michael Tittle, died in 1993 and two brothers, Milton and John Oceanak, both died earlier. She is survived by a son, Michael Tittle of Widefield, Colo.; a daughter, Barbara Yard of Raritan Township; a sister, Ann Neukem of Brielle; four brothers, Paul Oceanak of Baptistown, Peter Oceanak of Doylestown, Pa., Alex Oceanak of Ashboro, N.C. and Walter Oceanak of Palatka, Fla.; four grandchildren and two great grandchildren. A liturgy service was held at the church on Tuesday, followed by burial in Prospect Hill Cemetery in Flemington. The Holcombe-Fisher Funeral Home of Flemington directed arrangements. Memorial contributions can be made to the fire company, Main Street, Three Bridges 08887.

Clara Bird
PORTAGE, Mich. - Clara E. Bird died Aug. 12, 2003 in Kalamazoo, Mich. She was 90. Born in Trenton she was the daughter of Harry and Mabel Dickinson Winkler. She lived in Little York from 1946 to 1959 then Raritan Township from 1959 to 1976 when she moved to Phillipsburg. She moved to Dover, Del. in 1988, and then in 2000 to Portage. She enjoyed a variety of crafts including needlepoint, knitting and antique furniture refinishing. She was a member of the Needlers, a craft club at the Portage Senior Center. She is survived by two sons, Harry R. Bird of Portage and Walter R. Bird of Darien, Ill.; and six grandchildren. Her body was donated to Michigan State University. A funeral service was held Aug. 16 at the home of her son Harry, under the direction of Langeland Family Funeral Home of Portage. Memorial contributions can be made to Kalamazoo County Humane Society or the TB and Emphysema Association.

Edward Berry
NESHANIC - Edward Berry died on Saturday, Aug. 23, 2003 at home. He was 79. Born in Neshanic, he was the son of Eugene and Lucy Jasinski Berry. He lived in Neshanic all of his life. Mr. Berry served in the Navy during World War II. After being discharged from the service, Mr. Berry worked as a mechanic and truck driver at the Belle Mead Depot. Later he worked as a truck driver and dispatcher for Builder Express, in Clinton and then Finderne, where he worked until retiring in 1984. Mr. Berry then worked part time for many local funeral homes including Fucillo and Warren Funeral Home in Manville and Countryside Funeral Home in Three Bridges. Mr. Berry attended Neshanic Reformed Church. He was a member of the Senior Citizen Association of Hillsborough, the D.A.V. of Hillsborough and the Thomas J. Kavanaugh Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Manville. His wife, Ruth Horner Berry, died in 1981. An infant daughter, Ruth Ann Berry, died in 1968 and two sisters, Maryann and Roselyn died in 1932 and 1937 respectively. Mr. Berry is survived by two sons, Michael Berry of Bridgewater and James Berry of Neshanic; three daughters, Barbara Jachera of Stockton, Christine Herbst of Bridgewater and Brenda DiMatteo of Deerfield, N.H.; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and his friend, Lillian Suk of Hillsborough. Funeral services were held yesterday at the Countryside Funeral Home. Interment was beside his wife in the family plot at Neshanic Cemetery. Memorial contributions can be made to Community Care Hospice, 586 E. Main St., Bridgewater, 08807

Elsie Wise
TEWKSBURY TWP. - Elsie Elizabeth Wise died Sunday, Aug. 24, 2003 at home. She was 61. Born in Raritan Township she was the daughter of Frances A. and Helen Mary Farley Wise. She lived in Tewksbury Township her entire life. She was a computer programmer at Universal Business Systems in Branchburg. She was the secretary of the Tewksbury Historical Society and a member of the Garden State Bearded Collie Clan. She is survived by her brother, Richard Wise of Frenchtown. A graveside service was held yesterday at Fairmount Cemetery under the direction of Coughlin Funeral Home in Califon. Memorial contributions can be made to Tewksbury Historical Society, Box 457, Oldwick 08858 or Garden State Bearded Collie Clan, c/o Robert Lamm, 24 Whiteshire Dr., E. Windsor 08520.

Edith Beach
LONGMEADOW, Mass. - Edith A. Beach died Aug. 21, 2003 in Springfield, Mass. She was 83. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., she was the daughter of A.H. Miller and Marie A. Glass Miller. Before moving to Longmeadow, she lived in Hampton as well as in Grenelefe and Haines City, Fla. She was an avid bridge player and golfer. Her husband, Edward V. Beach, died in 1991. She is survived by three sons, Donald Beach, of Landing, Richard Beach of Florence, Mass., and Gary Beach of Forks Twp., Pa.; and five grandchildren. Private graveside services will be held at Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, N.Y., under the direction of Finegan Funeral Home of Phillipsburg. Memorial contributions can be made to the Ronald McDonald Charity, Attn. Development Office, 1 Kroc Drive, Oakbrook, IL, 60523

Donald Smerdon
WHITEHOUSE STATION - Donald R. Smerdon died Aug. 21, 2003 at Somerset Medical Center in Somerville. He was 58. He was born in Taylor, Pa. the son of William and Betty Smerdon and lived in Whitehouse Station for 28 years. He served in the Navy from 1964 to 1968. Mr. Smerdon was a senior team leader in distribution and building administration for Jom Pharmaceutical with Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical's PSGA Division in Raritan for 35 years. He enjoyed gourmet cooking and woodworking and was a Porsche enthusiast. His father died in 1999. In addition to his mother, of Moosic, Pa. he is survived by his wife of 34 years, Betty Mulley Smerdon; two daughters, Stephanie Smerdon of Mahwah and Cortney Jones of Wilmington, Del.; and four brothers Thomas Smerdon of Thetfort, England, Ronald Smerdon of Hillsborough, Mark Smerdon of Duryea, Pa. and Wayne Smerdon of Millstone,. Services were held on Tuesday at the Branchburg Funeral Home. Burial was in St. Bernard's Cemetery in Bridgewater. Memorial contributions can be sent to the Arthritis Foundation, 200 Middlesex Turnpike, Iselin 08830.

Charles Leotta
RARITAN TWP. - Charles Leotta died Aug. 12, 2003 at Hunterdon Medical Center. He was 98. Born in Italy, he was a son of Joseph and Carmela Consiglio Leotta. He retired 20 years ago from Superb Glove Co. in Johnstown, N.Y. Mr. Leotta was a life member of the Johnstown Fraternal Order of Eagles and a member of the Johnstown Senior Center. He was a communicant of Immaculate Conception Church in Johnstown. His wife, Jean LaMena Leotta, died in 1992. Surviving are two daughters, Anna Marie Ellis of Flemington and Carmela Navarretta of Melbourne, Fla.; two grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. A Funeral Liturgy was held Aug. 18 in Immaculate Conception Church in Johnston. Arrangements were under the direction of Holcombe-Fisher Funeral Home of Flemington. Memorial contributions can be made to the American Heart Association of Mount Valley Hospice.

Jean Tyranski
KINGWOOD TWP. - Jean Tyranski died Aug. 21, 2003 at Morristown Memorial Hospital. She was 87. She was born in New Haven, Conn., the daughter of John and Antoinette Kucharski Bentley, and lived in Hillside before moving to Kingwood Township 26 years ago. She was a plastic molder at Atlas Tool Co. in Hillside until 1975. She was a member of the Merry Mixers of Kingwood Township. Her husband, Henry Tyranski, died in 2001. She is survived by a daughter, Jean Caccamo of Kingwood Township; a son, Henry Tyranski of Jackson; and six grandchildren. Services and burial were private under the direction of the Holcombe-Fisher Funeral Home in Flemington.

Ruth Case
RAHWAY - Ruth Smith Case, the wife of a longtime U.S. Senator and the mother of the Rev. Ann Holt of Clinton, died Friday, Aug. 22, 2003 at home in Rahway. She was 98. In 1928, she married Clifford Case, a Republican who served in the House of Representatives from 1945 to 1953 and in the Senate from 1955 to January 1979. He died in 1982. Born in Linden, she grew up in Rahway and lived much of her life outside of the period she lived in Washington, D.C. She bought a house in Rahway eight years ago and remodeled it in her 90s, her daughter said. Mrs. Case graduated from the N.J. College of Women, now Douglass College, in New Brunswick, graduated in 1927 and taught high school in Rahway. In addition to the Rev. Ann Holt, the former minister at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Alexandria Township and currently working parttime at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Gladstone, Mrs. Case is survived by another daughter, Mary Jane Case Weaver of Rahway; a son, Clifford P. Case III of Manhattan; seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. A memorial service is scheduled for tomorrow 10:30 a.m. at Second Presbyterian Church, Rahway.

Myrtle Wennagel
DOYLESTOWN, Pa. - Myrtle Elizabeth Anderson Wennagel, formerly of Holland Township, died Monday, Aug. 25, 2003, at Pine Run Community Center here. She was 91. Born in Milford, a daughter of Howard and Mabel Huff Anderson, she moved to Holland Township with her family when she was 3. She attended the one-room school in Spring Mills and graduated from Phillipsburg High School in 1928. Mrs. Wennagel graduated in 1930 from Beaver College in Pennsylvania and received a bachelor's degree in education in 1965 from Trenton State College. a She was a teacher in Durham Township, Pa., from 1931 to 1941 and then taught at Milford School until retiring in 1973. She was a member of the National Education Association, the New Jersey Education Association, the New Jersey Retired Educators Association and the Hunterdon County Educators Association. Mrs. Wennagel served on the Frenchtown High School Board of Education from 1947 to 1957 and was a member of the Delaware Valley Regional Board of Education from 1957 to 1962. She was a 30-year member of Frenchtown United Methodist Church and was currently a member of First United Church of Christ, Milford. She was an active member and past matron of Orion Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, Frenchtown, and served three years as grand representative from New Jersey to the Connecticut Eastern Star. Her husband, William E., died in 1955. Surviving are two sons, Barry of Flemington and Dale of Glen Mills, Pa.; two step-grandchildren, Eero and Krista, and a great-grandson, Noah. Services were held yesterday at W.E. Johnson Funeral Home, Holland Township. Interment was at Frenchtown Cemetery. Memorial donations can be made to First United Church of Christ, Box 483, Milford 08848 or Orion Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, Everittstown Road, Frenchtown 08825.

Concetta Vasta
FLEMINGTON - Concetta J. Vasta died Friday, Aug. 22, 2003 at Somerset Medical Center in Somerville. She was 84. Born in Lake Station, N.Y. to Mariano and Pauline Castania Buda, she lived in Flemington since 1982. She was a homemaker. Her husband John Salvatore Vasta died in 1980 and her daughter Mary Grace Fullan died earlier this year. Surviving are two daughters, Carmela Vasta of High Bridge and JoAnn Vasta of Flemington; and three grandchildren. A Funeral Liturgy was held Tuesday at St. Magdalen Catholic Church in Flemington. Burial was in Greenwood Cemetery in Tuckerton under the direction of Holcombe-Fisher Funeral Home in Flemington.

Margaret Polhemus
HAMPTON - Margaret Polhemus died Sunday, Aug. 24, 2003 at the Hunterdon Medical Center. She was 80. Born in North Benton, Ohio, she was the daughter of Martin and Clara Veres Magyaros. She was a longtime resident of Clinton before moving to Hampton. She served in the Navy during World War II and attained the rank of yeoman second class. She was a homemaker. Her husband, Zenas Polhemus, died in 1994 and her grandson Kristoffer Polhemus died in 2000. Mrs. Polhemus is survived by two sons, Robert Polhemus of Hampton and Richard Polhemus of Washington Township; two stepsisters, Ida McCully of North Carolina and Julia Ruska of Texas; and four grandchildren. Services will be held tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the Martin Funeral Home in Clinton. Interment will be tomorrow in the Musconetcong Valley Cemetery in Hampton. Calling hours are today 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. in the funeral home.

Nicholas Antonow
ALEXANDRIA TWP. - Nicholas Antonow died Saturday, July 20, 2002, in Hunterdon Care Center in Raritan Township after a short battle with cancer. He was 83. Born in Bayonne, he was the son of Michael and Anna Maksimovich Antonow. He lived most of his life in Hunterdon County. Mr. Antonow was an Army veteran of World War II and served in Italy as a clerk typist. He was a foreman for Riegel Paper in Milford for 35 years, retiring in 1982. He then worked as a custodian for Crossroads Christian Academy in Franklin Township. Mr. Antonow was a member of Clinton Baptist Church and belonged to the choir. He is survived by a son, Nicholas J. Antonow of Clinton Township; two daughters, Betsy Pedone of Reno, Nev. and Deanna Antonow of Windham Summit, Pa.; a sister, Catherine Letwinch of Roanoke, Va.; two brothers, Michael of Easton and Peter of Hampton; and a grandson. Visiting hours were held at the Scraponi-Bright Funeral Home in Lebanon yesterday 7-9 p.m. and will be held 1-2 p.m. today. Funeral services are set for today at 2 p.m. at the funeral home, followed by burial in Union Cemetery in Clinton. Memorial contributions can be made to the Crossroads Christian Academy, 9 Pittstown Road, Clinton 08809.

Thomas C. Bishop
LAMBERTVILLE - Thomas C. Bishop died Monday, July 22, 2002 at his sister's home here after a long battle with cancer. He was 47. He was born in Canandaigua, N.Y., the son of Charles and Ruth Weinel Bishop, and had lived in Lambertville since 1977. He graduated from Canandaigua Academy in 1972 and from Grove City (Pa.) College with a bachelor's degree in 1976. He was a member of the Delta Iota Kappa fraternity. For the past five years he had been employed in the accounts payable department of the Strober Haddonfield Lumber Co. He was the treasurer for the Lambertville-West Amwell Youth Baseball Association since 1987 and was an active coach and umpire in the league. He was an avid golfer and enthusiastic fan of the Philadelphia Eagles and the Boston Red Sox. His brother, Charles Andrew Bishop, died earlier. In addition to his parents, of Canandaigua, he is survived by a sister, Mary Shurts of Lambertville. Services will be held tomorrow at 8:30 p.m. at the Garefino Funeral Home in Lambertville. Calling hours will be tomorrow from 6 p.m. until the time of the service, at the funeral home. Graveside services will be held Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Canandaigua. Memorial contributions can be made to the American Cancer Society, 84 Park Ave., Flemington 08822. Online condolences may be sent to the family at info@garefino.com.

Ernest Brown Jr.
GAITHERSBURG, Md. - Ernest Brown Jr. died July 15, 2002, at home. He was 40. Born in Conway, S.C., he had formerly resided in Frenchtown, then in Red Bank. He moved to Gaithersburg more than 15 years ago. He was a computer network installer for Nortel Networks in Gaithersburg. He was a 1981 graduate of Delaware Valley High School in Alexandria Township. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science from Monmouth College. Survivors include his mother and step-father, Leona and Robert Meyer of Dundas, Va.; a brother, Raymond Brown of West Amwell Township; and two sisters, Tammy Hunt of Manville and Caroline Little of Easton. Funeral services were held July 20 in the Holcombe-Fisher Funeral Home in Flemington. Interment was in Frenchtown Cemetery. Memorial contributions can be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, 139 Raritan Ave., Highland Park 08904

William L. Christian
LEBANON TWP. - William L. Christian died Tuesday, July 23, 2002, in Hunterdon Medical Center. He was 83. Born in Sheepshead Bay, N.Y., he was the son of William and Edith Plunkett Christian. He had formerly resided in Locktown and then in Plainfield. He resided in Lebanon Township since 1978. Mr. Christian was an Army veteran of World war II, serving in France. He was discharged with the rank of first sergeant. He was formerly vice-president and general manager of Interstate Printing Company in Plainfield. He was a former member of the Plainfield Lions Club. He is survived by his wife, Sandy Hornby Christian; two daughters, Laurie Christian, at home, and Dorothy Repsher of Washington; two brothers, John Christian of Bridgewater and George Christian of Lyndhurst and four grandchildren. Services will be held tomorrow at 10 a.m. in the Holcombe-Fisher Funeral Home in Flemington. Interment will be private. Calling hours will be today, 7 to 9 p.m.

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