VIRGINIA M. RAYMOND, 87, of Shirley, died peacefully at John T. Mather Memorial Hospital on April 14, 2017. Ginny, as she was affectionately known, was born in Ridgewood, Queens. She worked for the Shirley Water Works and was an Administrative Secretary for IGHL until the age of 84. She liked ice cream, loved going to the movies, watching the shown Golden Girls, loved being with her grandchildren, the musical sounds of Engelburt Humperdink, socializing with friends, and going to Atlantic City. She will be sorely missed by her canine companion Schatzi. Ginny was predeceased by her son Tom Raymond. She is survived by her children Dennis Scuchman (Margie) and Susan Raymond Richardson (Jim) and her daughter -in-law Diane Raymond who was married to Tom. She was the loving grandmother of MeLissa, James (Andrea) and Alyssa and T.J. Bittrolff. Family and friends were received at Roma Funeral Home in Shirley on Thursday. Msgr. John Heinlein of St. Jude’s RC Church conducted wake prayers. Interment took place at Calverton National Cemetery, Calverton, NY.
JOSEPH FALANGA, 59, lost his long battle with his illness and died at the Kanas Center in Westhampton, on April 18, 2017. Joseph was born in Brooklyn and was an auto mechanic.He loved cars, crafting ceramics, was a great storyteller and animal lover. He will be especially missed by his canine companion Ghost. Joseph is survived by his siblings Laura, Michael, Robert (Michael) and his nieces and nephews Melanie, Suzanne, David, Arielle, Michael John, Anthony and Mona. Family and friends were received at Roma Funeral Home in Shirley on Friday. A Mass was offered at St. Jude’s RC Church on Saturday at 9:30 am. Interment took place at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram.
MARY VITALE, 89, of Shirley, died at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital on April 18 2017. Mary was born in Brooklyn and was a seamstress by trade. She was funny, an excellent seamstress, and extremely devout in her faith to the Blessed Mother. She was a member of the St. Jude’s Rosary Society and the Legion of Mary. Her trademark was the creation of thousands of pairs of rosary beads. She was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. She loved her parish family and participated in all functions. Mary was predeceased by her beloved husband Jerome. She is survived by her children Jack Vitale (Ann Marie) and Linda (Gary) Geiger. She was the cherished grandmother of Dawnmarie (Steve) Bronson, Jerry (Anna), Jaclyn and Danny; great-grandmother to Christian, Kayla, Gabrielle, Brooke, Mollie, Madison and Olivia. Family and friends were received at Roma Funeral Home in Shirley on Sunday and Pastor John Ryan of St. Jude’s RC Church conducted wake prayers and a Mass was offered on Monday at 11:00 am. Interment took place at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Coram.
ELPIDIO A. MACCARIELLO, 88, of Shirley, died suddenly at his residence on April 19, 2017. He was born in Brooklyn and was a barber/hairdresser by trade. He loved dancing, Latin music, Frank Sinatra, gardening, cooking and woodworking. He was a man who embraced life and loved all things. He is survived by his wife Carol to whom he had been happily married for the past forty-two years. Family and friends were received at Roma Funeral Home in Shirley on Monday and a Mass will be offered at St. Jude’s RC Church in Mastic Beach by Msgr. John Heinlein on Tuesday at 10:00 am. A private cremation took place.

Beads of Love

By Barbara Guarino Kruk

To make something to give away to strangers without any thought of recompense or thanks is truly a gift of love. The item does not make; the size; the cost; it is all irrelevant. The only thing that really matters is the reason for giving.
In the lobby of our church at St. Jude’s in Mastic Beach there was always dozens of handmade rosary beads. The bright little crystal orbs so perfectly strung into neat sections of ten. The oranges, reds, yellows, and blues screamed to the faithful to “Come get me!” There they sat, glimmering in the sunlight, basking in their beauty and simplicity, beckoning anyone to take them home. These rosaries were the labor of love created by a woman of deep and unrelenting faith. Why did she spend thousands of hours making these rosaries? The answer is as simple as the rosaries themselves; she was answering the call of Our Blessed Mother when she pleaded with the world to say the Rosary.
Our most devout and ardent rosary maker was Mary Vitale. She heeded the call of Our Lady and began so many years ago to bring the mysteries contained in the five decades of the rosary to all those who would follow.
On April 18th, 2017, Mary Vitale heeded the call once again of Our Lady and willingly gave over her body and soul for her heavenly reward. Mary, whom I have been blessed to know for my entire life, was a special woman. She loved people; all people. Her mission in life was to spread the faith of her Catholic teachings. Mary lived by example. She was a devoted wife to Jerome who predeceased her and loving mother to her children Jack and Linda. She was the cherished grandmother of four and great grandmother of seven.
Mary was funny. She always had a kind word and a genuine smile on her lovely face. She worked tirelessly for the church and was a member of St. Jude’s Rosary Society and the Legion of Mary. While these were two of her most active interests, Mary could be counted on to work at any job, function or task, associated with the parish. She never refused to help. She loved helping people. When Mary told you she was going to pray for you; she really did pray for you.
As I matured, and became more involved in my parish and my community, I always looked to Mary for spiritual guidance. There was an enclave of ‘Church Mothers’ that we all tried to model our own lives and spirituality after their example. Among those original icons were Mary Czak, Jean Scholl, Mary Gonzales, Ann Petralia, Rosemary Geiger, Pat Yander and so many others, just to name a few of the old guard. These were the pillars of our religious community. I learned many things from these wonderful, kind and loving women. The most important thing I learned was to share your heart willingly with others and never, never, look for repayment.
Who will make those shiny beads? Who will spread the call to faith? I can only hope and pray that another Mary Vitale makes her way into our lives. To give of ones self, without thought or hope for repayment is truly a gift of love.
Dear Mary, like our Blessed Mother Mary, you gave so much to so many; you will be greatly missed. May the mysteries and blessing contained in the countless number of rosaries you crafted with love, bring you eternal happiness.

Filed in: Obituaries

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