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A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains - Fanwood Thursday, October 8, 1998 Page 11

FOLD

– Obituaries –

GRAY 2X5 DOOLEY

2X5 MEMORIAL

4X3

H. John Gerdes, 62

H. John Gerdes, 62, of Westfield died on Thursday, October 1, at home.

Born in Bremen, Germany, he had come to the United States in 1955 and settled in Cranford before moving to Westfield in 1958. He became a United States citizen in 1961.

Mr. Gerdes served in the United States Army from 1958 to 1962.

He had worked as a furniture restorer since 1955 at Don Maxwell Furniture Restoration in Mountainside.

Mr. Gerdes was a member of the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Westfield.

Surviving are his wife, Christa Ehlscheid Gerdes; two daughters, Sonya Lancaster of Baltimore and Karen Gerdes of Westfield; his mother, Anna Warnecke Gerdes of Germany, and a brother, Karl Heinz Gerdes of Germany.

A funeral service was held on Saturday, October 3, at the Dooley Colonial Funeral Home, 556 Westfield Avenue in Westfield.

Interment took place in Fairview Cemetery in Westfield.

October 8, 1998

Louis Santacross, Earned Purple Heart; Was Maintenance Supervisor for Schools Joseph A. Gullo, 88, Knights Member;

Center Fielder for Cincinnati Reds James P. Whalen, 88, Was Church Usher;

Owned Whalen’s Automotive Service Ethel Brown Griffin, 60

Ethel Alverta Brown Griffin, 60, of Plainfield died on Wednesday, September 30, at Overlook Hospital in Summit.

Born in Plainfield, she had lived in Westfield before returning to Plainfield.

She attended Westfield schools and became a licensed beautician and a certified home health care worker.

Mrs. Griffin was a member of the nurses’ unit of the Rose of Sharon Community Church in Plainfield, and of Centennial Temple No. 246, Elks Lodge, International Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World in Westfield.

Surviving are two daughters, Evelyn Griffin of Scotch Plains and Renee Griffin of Plainfield; two sons, James Griffin of Plainfield and Charles Griffin of South Plainfield; five brothers, Charles Brown, James Brown, Douglas Brown, L. Wallace Brown and William Brown, and six grandchildren.

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, October 6, at the Rose of Sharon Community Church. Arrangements were handled by the Plinton Curry Funeral Home in Westfield.

October 8, 1998

Helen E. Lewis, 93, Church Parishioner; Had Been Westfield Resident for 58 Years

Eleanor Drummond, 98

Eleanor S. Drummond, 98, of Sandusky, Ohio, died on Monday, October 5, in the Lutheran Memorial Home in Sandusky.

Born in Altoona, Pennsylvania on August 21, 1900, she had lived in Westfield for many years before moving to Sandusky in 1976.

Mrs. Drummond had been an elementary school teacher in Westfield prior to relocating to Ohio upon her retirement.

She was a member of St. Stephen United Church of Christ in Sandusky.

She was predeceased by her husband of 56 years, James C. Drummond, in 1990; her parents, Homer and Emma Hanson Singlser, and a sister, Mildred Sawtelle.

Surviving are two daughters, Janet Wallace of Sandusky and Constance Saylor of Sunnyvale, California; three grandchildren, and two greatgrandchildren.

Arrangements were handled by the QuickPark and Pfell Funeral Home in Sandusky. Entombment was scheduled to take place at the Restlawn Memorial Park Mausoleum in Huron, Ohio.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Stephen United Church of Christ, 905 East Perkins Avenue, Sandusky, Ohio or to the donor’s favorite charity.

October 8, 1998

Thelma Lasus, 79

Thelma Lasus, 79, of Marlboro died on Saturday, October 3, at the Princeton Medical Center in Princeton.

Born in New York City, Mrs. Lasus had lived in Union for 38 years before moving to Marlboro 12 years ago.

She was predeceased by her husband, Walter, in March. Surviving are two sons, Martin Lasus of Fanwood and Larry Lasus of Oceanside, California, and four grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were under the direction of the BloomfieldCooper Jewish Chapels of Manalapan.

October 8, 1998

James P. Whalen, 88, a lifelong resident of Westfield, died on Saturday, October 3, at Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center in Plainfield.

He had owned and operated Whalen’s Automotive Service in Westfield for the last 65 years.

Mr. Whalen was a longtime usher at the Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in Westfield, where he was a lifetime parishioner and a member of the Holy Name Society.

He was also a charter member and past Grand Knight of the Monsignor Watterson Council No. 1711 of the Knights of Columbus of Westfield.

He was an officer of the Exchange Club of Westfield and a member of the Mountainside Elks Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks No. 1585.

He was also an officer in the Westfield Civil Defense Corps many years ago.

Mr. Whalen was predeceased by his wife, Stella Whalen, in 1979; his brother, John Whalen, in 1961, and his grandson, Kevin Whalen, in 1995.

Surviving are two sons, James J. Whalen of South Plainfield and William K. Whalen of Westfield; two daughters, Kathleen McCormack of Westfield and Nancy Goldsmith of Piscataway; two sisters, Sister Anita Agnes of Paramus and Sister Mary

Dominic of Convent Station, both of them Sisters of Charity; a brother, Michael Whalen of Westfield; 10 grandchildren and nine greatgrandchildren.

A Funeral Liturgy was held yesterday, Wednesday, October 7, at the Holy Trinity Church in Westfield. Interment took place at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield.

Memorial donations may be made to Sister Pat’s Cancer Camp.

Arrangements were handled by the Dooley Colonial Funeral Home, 556 Westfield Avenue in Westfield.

October 8, 1998

Louis A. Santacross, 77, of Englewood, Florida died on Sunday, September 20, at Englewood Hospital in Florida.

Born in Plainfield, he had lived in Scotch Plains before moving to Florida 20 years ago.

Mr. Santacross had worked for the Scotch PlainsFanwood Board of Education as a maintenance supervisor until his retirement.

He was a United States Army veteran of World War II, where he had earned the Purple Heart.

He was a member of St. Bernard’s Roman Catholic Church in Plainfield.

Surviving are two sons, Louis A. Santacross, Jr. of Englewood and

Rodney Santacross of Cranford; a daughter, Annabelle Short of Scotch Plains; two brothers, Michael Santacross of Berkeley Heights and Jerry Santacross of North Plainfield; a sister, Mabel Tino of Watchung; nine grandchildren and two greatgrandchildren.

A Funeral Mass was offered on Saturday, October 3, at St. Bartholomew the Apostle Roman Catholic Church in Scotch Plains.

Arrangements were handled by the National Cremation Society in Port Charlotte, Florida.

October 8, 1998

George J. Skurka, Former Postal Clerk; Member of American Legion and VFW

Biagene R. Basile, 89

Biagene R. Basile, 89, of Scotch Plains died on Wednesday, September 30, in the Ashbrook Nursing Home in Scotch Plains.

Born in Brooklyn, she had lived in Ossining, New York and in Fanwood before moving to Scotch Plains 10 months ago.

Mrs. Basile was a clerical worker in the classified advertising department of the CourierNews newspaper in Plainfield for 25 years before retiring in 1973.

Prior to that, she had worked in the same capacity for the Brooklyn Eagle newspaper.

Surviving are a son, James H. Basile; three grandchildren and two greatgrandchildren.

A Funeral Mass was offered on Saturday, October 3, in St. James Roman Catholic Church in Springfield.

Arrangements were handled by the Paul Ippolito Summit Memorial in Summit.

October 8, 1998

Benjamin Boykin, 76

Benjamin Boykin, 76, of Elizabeth died on Thursday, October 1, at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Elizabeth.

Born in Westfield, he had lived in Elizabeth since 1960.

Mr. Boykin had been a truck driver for the RoselleLinden sewer department for many years, retiring in 1988.

He was a member of the New Hope Memorial Baptist Church in Elizabeth, where he was a member of the trustee board, the male chorus and the gospel choir.

He was an Army veteran of World War II.

Surviving are his wife, Lena Boykin of Elizabeth; two sons, Robert Lee Mars and Harry Mars, both of Elizabeth; four daughters, Marie Bartley of Perrineville, Lenore Moore of Lafayette, North Carolina, Brenda Pittman of Jackson, Tennessee, and Delora Mars of Baldwin Park, California; five sisters, Almeda Hurtt of Westfield, Louise Briggs of Roselle, Marion Stewart of Elizabeth, Pricilla Bullock of Scotch Plains and Edwina Davis of Plainfield; 33 grandchildren and 20 greatgrandchildren.

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, October 6, at the New Hope Memorial Baptist Church in Elizabeth.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Smith Funeral Home in Elizabeth.

October 8, 1998

Christopher Estok, 40

Christopher G. Estok, 40, of Spring Hill, Florida died on Wednesday, September 30, at the home of his brother, Edward P. Estok, Jr., also of Spring Hill.

Born in Elizabeth, he had lived in Linden, Roselle Park and Scotch Plains before moving to Florida six months ago.

Mr. Estok was an office service assistant with Score Insurance in New York City for nine years. Prior to that, he had been a mail clerk with the law firm of Brown & Wood for six months.

Surviving, in addition to his brother, are his wife, Lorraine Estok; a daughter, Hope Elizabeth Estok, and his parents, Edward P. and Frances Estok.

Funeral services were held on Monday, October 5, at the Krowicki McCracken Funeral Home in Linden.

October 8, 1998

Maurice J. Kilcommons, 72, Veteran; Retired South Orange Police Chief

Maurice J. Kilcommons, 72, of Island Heights, who served as Police Chief of South Orange for a dozen years, died on Thursday, October 1, at his home.

Born in Manhattan, he had lived in South Orange before moving to Island Heights upon his retirement.

The former Chief had been a 25year veteran of the South Orange Police Department before retiring in 1982.

He served as a United States Marine in the Pacific Theater during World War II.

He was a graduate of Seton Hall University in South Orange, and received a wartime diploma from Columbia High School in Maplewood.

Former Chief Kilcommons was a member of the New Jersey Police Chiefs Association.

Upon his retirement, he became Assistant Director of Public Safety at Seton Hall University, where he served from 1988 to 1996.

Surviving are his wife, Hertha Katzinski Kilcommons; three daughters, Susan Kilcommons of Springfield, Maura Kilcommons of Cambridge, Massachusetts and Jayne Zubko of Maplewood; four sons, Thomas Kilcommons of Upper Montclair, Daniel Kilcommons of Fort Collins, Colorado, Shawn Kilcommons of Greenfield, Massachusetts, and Peter Kilcommons of Maplewood; three brothers, John Kilcommons of Middletown, Rhode Island, Thomas Kilcommons of Florida and Eugene Kilcommons of Westfield; three sisters, Rita Brewer of Oak Bluff, Washington, and Catherine Chevalaz and Maureen Carolan,

both of Rockaway, and five grandchildren. A Funeral Mass was offered on Monday, October 5, at Our Lady of Sorrows Roman Catholic Church in South Orange.

Arrangements were handled by the Joseph W. Preston Funeral Home in South Orange.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Island Heights or the South Orange Rescue Squad.

October 8, 1998

George J. Skurka of Kenilworth died on Wednesday, September 30, in Runnells Specialized Hospital of Union County in Berkeley Heights.

Born in Beaver Brook, Pennsylvania, he had lived in West Hazelton, Pennsylvania before moving to Kenilworth in 1957.

Mr. Skurka had been a clerk for the United States Postal Service in Kenilworth for several years before retiring.

He served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II.

Mr. Skurka was a member of the American Legion of Westfield and

the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Kenilworth. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus Chapter No. 4186 of Kenilworth, and of St. Theresa’s Roman Catholic Church choir.

Surviving are his wife, Mary Skurka; three sons, James Skurka, Joseph Skurka and John Skurka; a brother, Andrew Skurka, and two grandchildren.

A Funeral Mass was held on Saturday, October 3, in St. Theresa’s Church.

Arrangements were handled by the Higgins and Bonner Echo Lake Funeral Home in Westfield.

October 8, 1998

Joseph A. Gullo, 88, of Basking Ridge died on Thursday, October 1, at Morristown Memorial Hospital in Morristown.

Born in Port Norris, he had lived in Westfield before moving to Basking Ridge in 1979.

He had been an electrical engineer with the Western Electric Company in New York for 47 years prior to retiring in 1972.

A center fielder, Mr. Gullo played professional baseball from 1928 to 1935 for the Cincinnati Reds.

He was a member of the Knights of Columbus in Brooklyn.

Surviving are his wife, Rose Brevetta Gullo; a son, Joseph G. Gullo of Somerset; a daughter, Elaine Egan of Basking Ridge; five grandchildren and five greatgrandchildren.

Funeral services were held on Saturday, October 3, at the Shrine of St. Joseph in Stirling.

Arrangements were handled by the Gallaway and Crane Funeral Home in Bernardsville.

October 8, 1998

Helen E. Lewis, 93, of Vero Beach, Florida, died on Thursday, October 1, at Indian River Memorial Hospital.

Born on April 18, 1905 in Chicago, Mrs. Lewis had lived in Westfield for 58 years before moving to Vero Beach 13 years ago.

She was a member of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Vero Beach.

She was predeceased by her husband of 61 years, Edmund P. Lewis, Sr., and her parents, William and Henrietta Wegner.

Surviving are a daughter, Marilyn Flinn of Vero Beach; a son, Edmund Lewis of Seven Lakes, North Carolina; six grandchildren and 11 greatgrandchildren.

The funeral service was held on Sunday, October 4, with the Reverend Andrew C. Diehl officiating. Interment took place at Crestlawn Cemetery in Vero Beach.

Arrangements were handled by the Strunk Funeral Home in Vero Beach.

October 8, 1998

Samuel Romano, 85, Green Brook Official; Served With Fire Company Over 50 Years

Samuel Romano, 85, of Green Brook died on Monday, October 5, at Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center in Plainfield.

Born in Madison he had lived most of his life in Green Brook.

Mr. Romano had worked as a florist in his family’s wholesale business, Romano Greenhouses, for more than 30 years. He was a member of the New Jersey Flower Growers’ Association and the Society of American Florists.

He had later worked in real estate in the Green Brook area for 10 years, then served as Green Brook’s Tax Collector for 14 years until his retirement.

He had served on the Green Brook Township Committee as Fire Commissioner, Police Commissioner and Road Commissioner, and as Chairman of the Green Brook Maintenance Committee.

Mr. Romano was a member for more than 50 years of the Green Brook Volunteer Fire Company No. 1. He served on the Executive Board of the fire company and was also its Secretary and Vice President.

In addition, he was a member of the Green Brook Exempt Firemen’s

Association. Mr. Romano was a coach and charter secretary of the Green Brook Little League. He was a member of the Green Brook Golf Association, and belonged to the Green Brook Senior Citizens Club.

He was a member of Eastern Star Lodge No. 105 Free and Accepted Masons in Bound Brook.

Mr. Romano was a graduate of the Drake Business College in Plainfield and the Vale School of Real Estate and the New Jersey Board of Realtors School.

He was predeceased by his wife, Dorine E. Swanson Romano, in 1992.

Surviving are three sisters, Josephine Van Sant of Bakersfield, California, Frances Flerx of Westfield, and Lillian Herbst of Lebanon, Indiana.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, October 10, at The First Presbyterian Church in Dunellen. Arrangements are being handled by The Mundy Funeral Home in Dunellen.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Green Brook Rescue Squad, Greenbrook Road, Green Brook, 08812.

October 8, 1998

Glen L. Leaver, Sr., 73, Amana Manager; Air Force Veteran of World War II

Glen L. Leaver, Sr., 73, of Fayetteville, Tennessee died on Tuesday, October 6, at his home.

Born in Pittstown on February 12, 1925, the son of the late George W. and Myrtle Hummer Leaver, he had lived in Scotch Plains before moving to Fayetteville in 1968.

Mr. Leaver had been a manager of manufacturing engineering for Amana Refrigeration in Fayetteville before retiring in 1987.

He was a veteran of World War II, serving in the United States Air Force.

Mr. Leaver was a member of the Fayetteville Victory Chapel Church, and a former member of the Quakertown United Methodist Church in Quakertown.

He was also a member of the Fayetteville City Planning Board and the Fayetteville Equalization Board.

He was predeceased by his first wife, Margaret McDede Leaver, in 1990, and by a brother, Eugene R. Leaver, in 1980.

Surviving are his wife, Louise Russell Leaver; a son, Glen Leaver,

Jr. of Fayetteville; a sister, Joyce Carraway of Fanwood; a stepson, Wesley Russell of Fayetteville; a stepdaughter, Samantha Warren, also of Fayetteville; two halfbrothers, Arthur Runyon of St. Petersburg, Florida and Howard Runyon of Annandale; a granddaughter; five stepgrandchildren; three greatgrandchildren, and one stepgreatgrandchild.

Visitation will take place tomorrow, Friday, October 9, from noon to 2 p. m. at the HolcombeFisher Funeral Home in Flemington. A funeral service will follow at 2 p. m. at the funeral home.

Interment will be at the Locust Grove Cemetery in Quakertown.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Victory Chapel Church, Park City, Fayetteville, Tennessee 37334.

October 8, 1998

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