Valerie Frances Williams
Valerie came into the world on January 11, 1929, in Princeton, New Jersey, the only child of Manzo and Frances Follins. Her family moved to New York City where she attended P.S. 46, Herman Ritter Junior High School and Morris High School. She studied piano with Carman Shepard, but her desire was to learn the harp. Valerie also studied dance with Martha Graham at Bennington College. Valerie married John Duncan and their union produced one son, John Manzo Duncan.
The stage called to Valerie and she joined the world famous Larry Steele’s “Smart Affairs” revue and was the “baby” of the line for many years. Valerie danced throughout the country on many stages including the Apollo Theater, Club Harlem, and the Dunes Hotel, and performed with many musical legends including Nat King Cole, Dinah Washington, and Cab Calloway. Valerie may well be the only person to have danced at both the Moulin Rouge in Paris and the Moulin Rouge in Las Vegas. Valerie also flirted with Hollywood, appearing briefly in “Raintree County” with Dame Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift.
Valerie retired from dancing in the late 1950s and went to Los Angeles, California where she was a talent agent for many musical acts, including The Four Tops. In Los Angeles, she met a popular vocalist with The Johnny Otis Band, named “Handsome” Mel Williams. They were married and their union produced one child, Melvin Williams, Jr.
Juggling her roles as wife and mother, Valerie was a keen businesswoman who established the Tasty Hasty Catering Service. In the mid-1970s, she befriended karate legend Chuck Norris, her son’s karate instructor at the time, and the two came up with the idea of forming a professional sports league for karate fighters. That spark led to the creation of the National Karate League, and Valerie built teams of fighters in cities across the country including New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, and Fort Worth. Valerie was unique in the National Karate League as she was the only woman in its leadership. By the end of the 1970s, Valerie turned her attention to the world of fashion and became one of the top sales directors for Serena Fashions, a lingerie and loungewear company. Her sales unit, “The Valentines”, consisted of nearly 100 women. For Valerie, Serena was more than just a fashion company. It was a company founded by women, run by women, for women, and everyday for the next 15 years, she motivated hundreds of women and empowered them to feel good about themselves and fostered their success and financial independence.
Valerie returned to New Jersey in 1992. Although retired, she was heavily involved in civic affairs such as the South Orange Democrats, active in voter registration issues, and dedicated much of her time to being a peace advocate. Valerie believed in the power of love, friendship, and people. Wherever she was she reached out to help others: during her dancing days, she was also a social worker; before forming the National Karate League, she was a school teacher in Los Angeles; and when she moved to South Orange, she taught etiquette classes to young girls from Seton Hall University. She touched all who knew her, and everyone came away from her presence with a gift of love and an uplifted spirit.
On the morning of November 6, 2006, God gently called to Valerie, and she answered. Those left to celebrate her life and precious memories are devoted sons, John Duncan, and Melvin Williams, Jr. and his wife, Laura; six grandchildren – Julie, Nikki, Michael, Christina, Gina and Terrell; two great grandchildren – Ishmael and Jayla; several adopted sons, daughters, and grandchildren; and a host of loving family and friends, all of whom will miss her deeply and remember her fondly.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 18, 2006 at Preston Funeral Home, 153 South Orange Avenue, South Orange, New Jersey.
Grace (Kelli) A. Juris
Born in Wausau, WI on Mar. 6, 1939
Departed on Nov. 6, 2006 and resided in Basking Ridge, NJ.
Visitation: Thursday Nov. 9, 2006
Memorial Service: Friday Nov. 10, 2006
Juris --- On Monday, November 6, 2006 Kelli A.Thompson Juris of Basking Ridge. Formerly of Wayne. Beloved Mother Lisa Petronaci of Verona, Kim Zarro of Randolph, Cristine Radice of Basking Ridge and Kerri Chisena of Madison. Loving grandmother of Nicole, Michael and Brandon Radice, Louis, Mia, Nicolas, Anthony, Carlo and Frankie Zarro, Michael and Michelle Petronaci and Kennedi Kelli Monteith. Relatives and friends are invited to attend the Memorial Service at Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church, 45 Church St. Liberty Corner, NJ on Fri, Nov 10th at 11:00 AM. The family will be receiving friends at The Jacob A. Holle Funeral Home 2122 Millburn Ave, Maplewood on Thursday, 6:00- 9:00 PM. In lieu of flowers donations to Make a Wish Foundation, Gift Processing Center, PO Box 29119, Phoenix, AZ 85038-9119 or www.wish.org would be appreciated. For more information or to send condolences please visit jacobhollefuneralhome.com
Ann R. Holzwarth
Born in Greenwich, CT on Sep. 2, 1924
Departed on Nov. 10, 2006 and resided in Washington, DC.
Visitation: Tuesday Nov. 14, 2006
Funeral Mass: Wednesday Nov. 15, 2006
Cemetery: St. Vincent's Cemetery
Holzwarth --- On Friday, November 10, 2006 Ann R.Reardon Reardon Holzwarth of Washington. Beloved wife of the late Charles F. Holzwarth. Devoted Mother of Katherine Danneberg, Nancy Henry, Charles F. Jr. and Christopher W. Holzwarth. Loving grandmother of Parick Henry Jr., Megan Pilla, Kelly Vissichelli, Tracy Danneberg, Reilly and Riordan Holzwarth. Dear great grandmother of Carlson Henry and Madeleine Pilla. Sister of Margaret Daly. Relatives and friends are invited to attend the Funeral Mass at St. Patrick's Church, 85 Washington Ave., Chatham, on Wednesday at 10AM. . Interment St. Vincent's Cemetery, Madison. Visitation will be held at The Jacob A. Holle Funeral Home, 2122 Millburn Avenue., Maplewood on Tuesday, 3-5 & 7-9 PM.
Eula T. Alexander
Born in Greenville, NC on Aug. 15, 1927
Departed on Nov. 16, 2006 and resided in South Orange, NJ.
Visitation: Monday Nov. 20, 2006
Funeral Mass: Tuesday Nov. 21, 2006
Cemetery: Fairmount Cemetery
ALEXANDER Eula Teel Alexander Teacher and librarian in East Orange Parish council member at South Orange church Mrs. Eula Teel Alexander of South Orange died on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2006, at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. Relatives and friends are invited to attend the Funeral Mass at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 217 Prospect St., South Orange, on Tuesday, Nov. 21, at 10:30 a.m. Interment is in Fairmount Cemetery, Newark. Visitation will be held at the Preston Funeral Home, 153 South Orange Ave., South Orange, on Monday from 5 to 8 p.m. only. For more information or to send condolences, please visit prestonfuneralhome.net. Born in Greenville, N.C., Mrs. Alexander lived in South Orange for 29 years. She was an 8th grade teacher and then a librarian for the East Orange Board of Education from 1960 until retiring in 2000. She was a graduate of Rutgers University, where she received a bachelors degree in education and a masters degree in library science. Mrs. Alexander was a member of Our Lady of Sorrows Church, South Orange, and served on its Parish Council, and was a member of the South Orange Library Board of Directors. She was the beloved wife of the late Kenneth Alexander; devoted mother of Kim Cook and Anthony Alexander, and loving grandmother of Jessica Cook. In lieu of flowers, donations to the United Negro College Fund, Attn. Accounts Receivable, 8260 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive, P.O. Box 10444, Fairfax, Va. 22031-8004 would be appreciated.
Enrique (Henry) J. Bolivar
Born in Cuba on Dec. 13, 1936
Departed on Nov. 21, 2006 and resided in West Orange, NJ.
Funeral Mass: Saturday Nov. 25, 2006
Cemetery: Gate Of Heaven Cemetery
Bolivar --- On Tuesday, November 21, 2006 Enrique (Henry) J. Bolivar of West Orange. Beloved brother of Dulce Haley and Octavio Bolivar. Relatives and friends are invited to attend the Funeral Mass at St. John's Church, 94 Ridge St, Orange on Sat, Nov 25th at 10:00 AM. Interment Gate Of Heaven Cemetery, E. Hanover.
Patricia A. Kniffin
Born in Orange, NJ on Jul. 3, 1932
Departed on Mar. 19, 2007 and resided in Maplewood, NJ.
Visitation: Sunday, Mar. 25, 2007
Funeral Mass: Monday, Mar. 26, 2007
Cemetery: Fairview Cemetery
Patricia A. Dailey Kniffin, 74, of Maplewood died on Monday, March 19, 2007, at St. Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston. Relatives and friends are invited to attend the funeral from The Jacob A. Holle Funeral Home, 2122 Millburn Ave., Maplewood, on Monday, March 26, at 9 a.m., thence to St. Rose of Lima Church, Short Hills, where a Funeral Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. Interment will be in Fairview Cemetery, Westfield. Visiting hours are Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. only. For more information or to send condolences, please visit jacobhollefuneralhome.com. Born in Orange, Mrs. Kniffin lived in Maplewood for more than 40 years. She was a sales associate with Lord and Taylor in Millburn and later Livingston from 1983 to 2005, when she retired. Mrs. Kniffin was a 1954 graduate of Connecticut College with a bachelor of science degree in chemistry. She was a past member of the Orange Lawn Tennis Club and a former volunteer with the Orange Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. Mrs. Kniffin was the beloved wife of the late David B. Kniffin and devoted mother of Margaret and David D. Kniffin. In lieu of flowers, donations to the American Kidney Fund, 6110 Executive Blvd., Rockville, Md. 20852 would be appreciated.
Born in Newark, NJ on Feb. 9, 1909
Departed on Nov. 9, 2006 and resided in Millburn, NJ.
Visitation: Sunday Nov. 12, 2006
Funeral Mass: Monday Nov. 13, 2006
Cemetery: St. Teresa's Cemetery
Born in Newark , NJ on Jun. 11, 1922
Departed on Nov. 10, 2006 and resided in Newark, NJ.
Visitation: Thursday Nov. 16, 2006
Service: Thursday Nov. 16, 2006
Cemetery: Holy Sepulchre Cemetery
Mary Ellen Sant' Angelo
Born in Manhattan, NY on Mar. 24, 1924
Departed on Nov. 11, 2006 and resided in Levittown, NY.
Visitation: Friday Nov. 17, 2006
Funeral Mass: Saturday Nov. 18, 2006
Cemetery: Gate Of Heaven Cemetery
Jean P. Milani
Born in Evanston, ILL on Aug. 14, 1930
Departed on Nov. 16, 2006 and resided in Maplewood, NJ.