by Barbara Guarino Kruk

It’s all in the name. Some names can conjure up giggles, like Goofy; some can impart fear like Manson; some can make us feel safe like Superman. Growing up in the fifties, there were no better names than Mickey and Minnie. Two of the most beloved characters in the history of animation. Why? Because their names were linked to all that is good in the world. Love, humor, compassion and the ability to make people happy.
Minnie Dains was that person who made you smile. She was sweet, almost with a childlike innocence, and always with a kind word. I had the pleasure of knowing this loving woman for all my life. As a youngster, her husband George, was my school bus driver. Her children Joyce and George went to school with me. When I became an adult it was Minnie Dains and her wonderful sister Mary DeGuiseppe that became invaluable volunteers when I was President of the James V. Kavanaugh Columbiettes. She was always willing to pitch in and help the cause, whether it be the organization or for our beloved St. Jude’s Church. Neither sister ever refused to lend a helping hand, two beautiful woman with hearts of gold.
A good woman in every way, a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and friend, she never let her own troubles interfere with her sense of duty. Over these many years, Minnie had faced many hardships. Diagnosed with illness, the loss of her husband George, then the death of her beloved sister Mary, all were truly devastating to her. Yet, throughout all these troubles, she never lost her faith and devotion to God.
Braced by the love and support of her family, Minnie Dains found comfort during her darkest days. Her loving daughter Joyce and son-in-law Jerry, her son George, and cherished grandchildren Christian (Jeanette) and Melissa (Troy), and the adorable great grandson Logan, kept her strong right to the end.
Domenica was her birth name, but Minnie was her chosen name, passed from this world to her rightful place in Heaven on December 27th, 2016 at the age of eighty-nine. Beautiful in body and spirit, she leaves behind a legacy of a woman who gave joy to others.
Even through my sadness at her passing, the mere sound of her name, Minnie, brings a smile to my heart as did the woman who owned that iconic name.
Thank You
As many of you by now know, my dear husband Connie recently suffered a heart attack. Now on the road to full recovery, he has asked me to thank all those who came to his aid. The Suffolk County Police Officer who was so quickly at our house in response to our 911 call; the wonderful men and women from Shirley Ambulance who came to bring him to the hospital; the army of doctors, nurses and staff at Brookhaven Memorial who initially treated him; to the transporters who finally brought him to Stony Brook University Hospital where he was treated with love, respect, and good medicine, and in particular RN Kelly from the Heart Institute; to the cardiologist and nurses of the surgical team; to everyone who sent a card, made a call, or said a prayer… Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. To our son Matthew who never left our side, to our daughter, Dr. Kelly Kruk who supervised his treatment, to our niece Kathy Wehrs who helped in many ways. Thank you sometimes is insufficient to express how much you all did during a very scary time in our lives; we appreciate all who helped. God bless all of you.
June Criscuolo, age 86, passed away at Oasis Nursing and Rehabilitation, Center Moriches. Born in Brooklyn and a resident of Mastic for forty years, June enjoyed crocheting, playing Bingo, working jigsaw puzzles. Her favorite television shows were Law and Order, NCIS, and Criminal Minds. June is survived by her husband; Rocco, children; Frank Criscuolo of Brooklyn, Rocco Criscuolo, Jr. of Mastic, Roxanne Criscuolo of Mastic, and her cherished feline companions; Tig-Tig, Baby Girl, Peanut, Mittens, Mit-Mit, Fluffy, Patches, Stubby, Bright Eyes, Xena, Baby Boy, Midnight, Lance, Tom-Tom, and her angel, Snowball. Family and friends gathered for visitation at Davin’s Funeral Home, Mastic. Cremation was held at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Center Moriches.

Gary Giancontieri, age 77, of Manorville, passed on December 21, 2016. Gary was born in Brooklyn and worked as a mechanic at Estee Lauder. He is survived by wife Mary, son Gasper, daughters Ann Marie Giancontieri and Maria Torrillo and four grandchildren. Reposing was held at Sinnicksons Moriches Funeral Home in Center Moriches. A Mass was held at St. Johns RC Church in Center Moriches. Interment followed to Pinelawn Memorial Park.

Daniel Gilliland, age 36, passed away suddenly at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital, Patchogue. Born in Smithtown and a native resident of Mastic Beach, Daniel loved the outdoors. He enjoyed boating, playing baseball, fixing cars, four-wheeling, working construction, and gardening. He is survived by his father; Grady Gilliland of Georgia, children; Victoria and Jake Gilliland of Ohio, siblings; Stephanie Kellen of Syosset, William Miller of Mastic Beach, Grady Gilliland of Mastic Beach, Rachel Nelson of Arkansas, Tiffany Bennett of Mastic Beach, and fiance; Yvonne Reventlow. Cremation services were held at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Center Moriches. Arrangements were under the direction of Davin’s Funeral Home, Mastic.

Charlotte Latham, age 77, passed away at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital, Patchogue. Formerly of Shirley and a resident of Mastic for seven years, Charlotte was a very sociable, very outspoken lady. She liked to tell jokes and entertain. She loved Elvis. Her wonderful ‘words of wisdom’ could fix any problem that one may have. She loved her family, adored her grandchildren, and was the glue that kept the family together. Predeceased by her grandchildren; Michael and Nytanya Latham, Charlotte is survived by her children; Beverly Latham of Mastic Beach, Carol Torres of Shirley, Diana Stadier of Riverhead, Debbie Latham of E. Patchogue, Thomas Latham of Mastic Beach, Philip Latham of Georgia, grandchildren; Danielle Stadier, Crystal (Kevin) Beauman, LeeAnn Stadier, Justin Stadier, James Jones, Nicole (Nelson) Torres, Joey Torres, Christopher Latham and four great-grandchildren. Family and friends gathered for visitation at Davin’s Funeral Home, Mastic. Chapel services and cremation followed at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Center Moriches.

Alice R. Manzione, age 64, of Shirley, died at her residence on November 19th, 2016. Alice was born in Manhattan and was a bank teller with MBTY Bank in Bohemia. Alice enjoyed playing video games on her computer, she loved cats, sudoko puzzles, crocheting, watching television especially Law and Order and Survivor. Alice was a collector of Beanie Babies. She was an only child. Alice is survived by her loving husband Vincent of thirty-two years. She was the beloved mother of Dolores (Darrell) Hamilton, Russell (Melissa) Roof, Vincent (Theresa) Manzione, Joanne (Anthony) Masca and Terri (Michael) Morano; cherished grandmother of twelve. Family and friends were welcomed at Roma Funeral Home in Shirley. A Mass was offered at St. Jude’s RC Church and interment took place at St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale.

Domenica Minnie Dains, 89 years old, died at Peconic Bay Medical Center, Riverhead, on December 27, 2016. Minnie, as she was affectionately known, was born in Brooklyn and had been a nurse’s aide at the former Yaphank Infirmary. She was a member of the Forge River Senior Citizens Club, a Columbiette with the James V. Kavanaugh Columbiettes, and an active member of St. Jude’s RC Church. She loved to travel, especially with her sisters, enjoyed the musical sounds of her Italian heritage especially Jimmy Roselli and was a great cook. She is survived by her beloved children George and Joyce (Jerry) Kangas; she was the cherished grandmother of Christian (Jeanette) Kangas and Melissa (Troy) Fried and great-grandmother of Logan. Family and friends were received at Roma Funeral Home in Shirley where Msgr. John Heinlein conducted wake services. Entombment took place at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram.

Janet F. Prianti, 59 years old, of Shirley, died on December 17, 2016 at her residence. Janet was born in Greenlawn, New York and was a sales associate at Sam’s Club. Her interests ran the gambit from gardening, being outdoors, going to the beach to bowling, Bingo and going to the casino. She was a strong-willed woman, a devoted wife and mother and a cherished grandmother. She was a hard-working woman. Janet is survived by her children Jodi (Nathan) Mynarcik, Joseph Jr. (Nicole) and Dana. She was the cherished grandmother of Kade, Giuliana, Landon and soon would have another on the way. She was the devoted sister to Andrew Mark and Cathy Norman. Family and friends came to bid final farewell to this beloved woman at Roma Funeral Home in Shirley. A private cremation took place at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Center Moriches.


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