Condolence & Memory Journal

I consider this an honor to stand up here and speak from my heart about an incredible man that I was able to call my uncle. My Uncle Ant was an outgoing, kind, loving, generous, and compassionate man, who always seemed to have a smile on his face.

I realize that we are all gathered here today to mourn the passing of someone so very special to us; however, I also feel my uncle would want us to acknowledge and celebrate the beautiful life he had. Uncle Ant was all about his family, and his close friends were his family too. He adored my Aunt Mary and she was his whole life!! Then came his fur babies Freddo and Santino, who were his sidekicks for sure. Uncle Ant could not sit still or sit at home. He was always on the go; out and about shmoozing and socializing. He absolutely loved spending time at his house down the shore, as well as hanging out with friends from down there. He also enjoyed watching football & baseball games on tv, and loved his hobby of owning race horses with my grandpa. What I admired most about my uncle was his love and devotion to his parents. When my grandparents fell ill, uncle Ant and my dad were with them by their sides everyday. I know they could not have asked for better sons!

As I sat and thought about what I wanted to say today, I was overwhelmed with many wonderful memories of my uncle that warmed my heart. I could remember as a child, all the fun family dinners on my aunt & uncle’s back porch, eating tons of food and loud conversations bouncing back and forth in typical Italian fashion. Also, the summers we spent in their yard-swimming in the inground pool that I frequently would drown in. My uncle would mark the deep end with a water jug, which I clearly ignored, and he would have to jump in to get me. My fondest memories were our family dinners at my grandparents every Sunday at 3:00!! No one dared to miss those dinners!
Uncle Ant food shopped everyday when my aunt worked. He would say to me I walk in the store, get a basket and start walking the isles, and once the basket is filled, I check out and leave. I would ask well what happened if you still needed to shop. He’d say oh well, if it didn’t fit in the basket he’d get it the next day when he went back. I’m still not quite sure if that was a strange way or a brilliant way to shop!!!
My Uncle and I became so much closer in the last few years when we spent hours with my grandparents in the nursing homes. Most of the time we would coordinate our visits, which gave us the opportunity to share so many stories and truly bond with one another as adults.
I am now forever grateful & will cherish that special time I got to have with just him.


Now as you all reminisce and think of your own memories, I know they will all be different, but I can say with certainty that they will all be happy ones, and ones that have uniquely touched your lives and your hearts. Let us be thankful for having our lives been blessed with My Uncle’s love and friendship.

My Uncle Ant loved hard, and as we all know he fought hard. His positivity and strength through his battle with cancer is to be truly admired and not forgotten.

Uncle Ant
I know you are no longer in pain, and you can now rest easy. This is not a goodbye. You are now our forever angel watching over us all. You will always be in our hearts. Love You!!

Posted by Melissa Benenati - Family   October 13, 2021

I consider this an honor to stand up here and speak from my heart about an incredible man that I was able to call my uncle. My Uncle Ant was an outgoing, kind, loving, generous, and compassionate man, who always seemed to have a smile on his face.

I realize that we are all gathered here today to mourn the passing of someone so very special to us; however, I also feel my uncle would want us to acknowledge and celebrate the beautiful life he had. Uncle Ant was all about his family, and his close friends were his family too. He adored my Aunt Mary and she was his whole life!! Then came his fur babies Freddo and Santino, who were his sidekicks for sure. Uncle Ant could not sit still or sit at home. He was always on the go; out and about shmoozing and socializing. He absolutely loved spending time at his house down the shore, as well as hanging out with friends from down there. He also enjoyed watching football & baseball games on tv, and loved his hobby of owning race horses with my grandpa. What I admired most about my uncle was his love and devotion to his parents. When my grandparents fell ill, uncle Ant and my dad were with them by their sides everyday. I know they could not have asked for better sons!

As I sat and thought about what I wanted to say today, I was overwhelmed with many wonderful memories of my uncle that warmed my heart. I could remember as a child, all the fun family dinners on my aunt & uncle’s back porch, eating tons of food and loud conversations bouncing back and forth in typical Italian fashion. Also, the summers we spent in their yard-swimming in the inground pool that I frequently would drown in. My uncle would mark the deep end with a water jug, which I clearly ignored, and he would have to jump in to get me. My fondest memories were our family dinners at my grandparents every Sunday at 3:00!! No one dared to miss those dinners!
Uncle Ant food shopped everyday when my aunt worked. He would say to me I walk in the store, get a basket and start walking the isles, and once the basket is filled, I check out and leave. I would ask well what happened if you still needed to shop. He’d say oh well, if it didn’t fit in the basket he’d get it the next day when he went back. I’m still not quite sure if that was a strange way or a brilliant way to shop!!!
My Uncle and I became so much closer in the last few years when we spent hours with my grandparents in the nursing homes. Most of the time we would coordinate our visits, which gave us the opportunity to share so many stories and truly bond with one another as adults.
I am now forever grateful & will cherish that special time I got to have with just him.


Now as you all reminisce and think of your own memories, I know they will all be different, but I can say with certainty that they will all be happy ones, and ones that have uniquely touched your lives and your hearts. Let us be thankful for having our lives been blessed with My Uncle’s love and friendship.

My Uncle Ant loved hard, and as we all know he fought hard. His positivity and strength through his battle with cancer is to be truly admired and not forgotten.

Uncle Ant
I know you are no longer in pain, and you can now rest easy. This is not a goodbye. You are now our forever angel watching over us all. You will always be in our hearts. Love You!!

Posted by Melissa Benenati - Family   October 13, 2021

Mary, I am so very sorry for loss. May he rest in peace. Prayers to you and family

Posted by Carmela Patuto - Summit, NJ - Friend   October 07, 2021

Dear Mary,

Our most heartfelt condolences on the loss of your wonderful, funny, warm, helpful, thoughtful husband. He was the mayor of our street and I'm so grateful that we moved in next door and that we've had the absolute pleasure of knowing him (and you) all these years. I will miss him more than I can say. I loved everything about him; all of his stories, hearing about the horses he used to race, and how much he adored you and all of your fur babies. I loved how he would laugh at me when I would do crazy things with Maggie (like walk her triple the appropriate amount as a tiny puppy until she would run from her leash) and when he would come over and yell at me when he saw me climb up on a ladder, help me start the snow blower because he could hear me cursing at it, or show me how to fix something that broke. He seemed to know how to fix anything and everything. Our hearts are broken, for the loss of him and for you and your loss. We love you. We will miss our dear Tony.

Much love,
Allie, Rosie and Gabe

Posted by Allie Deeb - Cranford, NJ - Friend   October 05, 2021

My Thoughts and Prayers are with Mary, Vinny and Family Anthony a good man always Fun We spent or 20s together It was Great Time He will not be forgotten RIP Pat Marra

Posted by Patrick Marra - Clifton, NJ - Friend   October 05, 2021

Dear Mary,
Our deepest condolences and prayers to you and your family. Tony was always pleasure to talk to. I'll miss seeing him cutting the lawn and the conversations we would have outside of our homes. He'll be truly missed. Our Deepest Condolences - The Potenciano Family.

Posted by Peter Potenciano - Cranford, NJ - Neighbor   October 05, 2021

My deepest condolences to you Mary, and all of the family. My prayers are with all of you right now. Rest in peace cousin. Love, Andrea

Posted by Andrea (Benenati) Lavertu - Turner, ME - family   October 04, 2021

Deepest sympathy mary and family gone to soon rip anthony no more pain and sickness god bless u all. Sincerely cheryl giordano

Posted by Cheryl Giordano - Acquaintance   October 04, 2021

Dear Mary,
Please accept our condolences on the passing of your beautiful husband Anthony. It was an honor to have known such a great person. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. He will be truly missed.❤.
Dee & Vinny

Posted by Dee Riotto - South Hackensack, NJ - Friend   October 04, 2021

In loving memory of a wonderful person. sorry for your loss Mary& Vinnie .I remember him riding to his aunt's house with his white corvette growing up! he is with the Angels now

Posted by arlene ferrara - Nutley, NJ - friend   October 03, 2021

I am so very sorry for your loss . We will never forget how kind and wonderful of a neighbor he was to my family. So many great memories of Anthony. We are all heartbroken. Please accept our prayers and deepest sympathy. He will be truly missed.

Posted by Suzanne Bimonte - Ortley beach, NJ - Neighbor   October 03, 2021

I graduated high school with Anthony haven't seen him since but always remember him as an all around good guy please accept my condolences

Posted by James Hammond - Clifton, NJ - Friend   October 03, 2021

To Anthony's Family:

I was so saddened to hear of Anthony's passing. He was good friends with my brother John and I too got to know him very well in our younger days. He was always a great guy. May you rest in peace Anthony for all eternity. My deepest condolences go out to the family.

Posted by Laynie DeAngelis - Lakewood, NJ - friend   October 03, 2021

Dear Mary,
Ray and I are so sorry to hear about the passing of Anthony! We often talk about the good times we had New Years Eve at Chiarella's! Those were the days! We will always cherish those memories! May Anthony RIP! Our deepest condolences, Carol and Ray Szemborski

Posted by Carol and Ray Szemborski - Barnegat, NJ - Friend   October 02, 2021

I met Anthony and Mary in Ortley. I live in Colorado, and I grew up in Belleville. I was visiting my sister, Mary and my brother-in-law, John Paparazzo. They were very close friends. I'm feeling your loss all the way on the beach in California where I am now. Anthony made me laugh right out loud! What a character!
I'm sure you, his family and friends, had that same experience over and over.
My next trip to Ortley just won't be the same without him.
I hope the pain of your grieving is short-lived and your memories last a lifetime. Jo Ellen Stumbaugh

Posted by Jo Ellen Stumbaugh - Oceanside, CA - Acquaintance   October 02, 2021

I have not seen Anthony in more that 50 years, but we spent lots of time together as kids growing up in Nutley.
He was always a fun guy to be around, in and out of school. My thoughts prayers go out to his family.

Posted by John DeAngelis - LAKEWOOD, NJ - Friend   October 02, 2021