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Obituaries and Condolences for Our Current Funeral Services

Kathleen Marcotte

The beloved Kathleen Marcotte, 82, of Middletown, NJ, passed away on April 1, 2020, at Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank. She was born in Brooklyn, NY and lived in Middletown for 38 years where together with her husband John (“Bob”) raised nine children. Kathy was an avid basketball fan and a fixture at local high school games. She loved doing water aerobics and having lunch with her friends at Panera. She also enjoyed doing crossword puzzles, playing solitaire and traveling the world, but most of all she loved spending time with her children and grandchildren.She was one of a kind, the life of every party, never refused a dance, and lit up the room with her wit and beautiful smile. Her light will forever shine over the legacy she leaves behind.

Surviving are her husband of 58 years, John Marcotte, seven sons and daughters in-law, Bobby and Jeanette Marcotte; Tommy and Sheila Marcotte; Michael and Laura Marcotte; John and Jennifer Marcotte; Peter and Cheryl Marcotte; Joseph and Shannon Marcotte; Paul and Victoria Marcotte; two daughters and son-in-law, Susanne Marcotte and Terry Carroll; Kathleen Marcotte; sister and brother-in-law, Veronica and Frank Killen; and long-time family friend Thomas Walsh (“the Bird”). Also surviving are 19 grandchildren; Thomas, Meghan, Patrick, Samantha, Matthew, Kristen, Caitlin, Katherine, Alicia, Courtney, Kevin, Terence, Madison, Braden, Lacie, Lily, Ava, Grayce and Mason. In recognition of the current health crisis, burial will be private. A celebration of life mass will be held at a later date.

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Vito P. Tonto

Vito P. Tonto, 100 of Holmdel, formerly of the Bronx. Born January 27th, 1920 – Died April 1st, 2020. He was a loyal and devoted husband and father.He was known to be sassy, witty, flirty and a funny kind soul. He loved to play poker, bingo and bowling. Vito was an Army veteran serving in WWII from 1942-1946. He was predeceased by his wife Antoinette 2001, daughter Phyllis Guarillio 2011 and son-in-law James Santo 2014. He will be surely missed by his daughters Theresa Santo, MaryAnn Eng and husband Al Eng and his many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

A celebration of life will be at a time to be determined.

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Vatsala Gopinathan, MD

Dr. Vatsala Gopinathan, a longtime resident of Holmdel, New Jersey, and current resident of Marlboro, died peacefully on Saturday, March 28th. Her memory will forever be cherished and kept alive by her two children: Anita G. Prabhat and Jessica G. Betjemann; son-in-laws: Arvind Prabhat and Daniel Betjemann; and her five grandchildren who were her pride and joy: Ajay Prabhat, Anjali Prabhat, Asha Prabhat, Alexa Betjemann and Sarina Betjemann.

Born March 30th, 1937 in Thalassery (formerly Tellicherry), Kerala, India, Vatsala completed her medical training in Kasturba Medical College in Manipal, India and immigrated to New York City in 1967, after which she completed a residency in Pediatrics at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Staten Island, NY. She then worked for the NJ Department of Human Services for her entire career, first as a Medical Officer at Woodbridge Developmental Center and subsequently as the Medical Director at Green Brook Regional Center.  She retired in 2001.

Wanting to lead a spiritual life, Vatsala’s activities centered around St. Mary’s Mother of God Catholic Church in Middletown, NJ, where she was instrumental in developing the Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Chapel and was passionate about the celebration of Divine Mercy. Vatsala was devoted to helping those in need and worked with Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charities and personally went on many medical missions and pilgrimages all over the world. She enjoyed being a Carmelite of the 3rd Order and working as a Eucharistic Minister and was honored to have met the Pope.

Dr. Vatsala Gopinathan was loved by her family and friends and will be deeply missed. A mass and memorial ceremony celebrating her life will be announced at a later date when friends and family can gather together safely. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in Vatsala Gopinathan’s memory to the Catholic Charities Diocese of Trenton, American Diabetes Association, or to Saint Mary’s Mother of God Parish in Middletown. For condolences, please visit the website for the John F. Pfleger Funeral Home (

Her final resting place will be the Mount Olivet Cemetery in Middletown, NJ.

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George Blum, Sr.

George Blum, Sr. 94, of Port Monmouth, NJ, passed away peacefully on March 28, 2020. He was born in Jersey City and lived in Port Monmouth for 53 years. George proudly served his country in the U.S Army during WWII where he fought The Battle Of The Bulge. He worked as a corrections officer for 25 years for the Hudson County Corrections Department. George had a unique old school way of looking at life. He loved to talk to people and share many stories. George especially loved to be around his family.

Surviving are his son and daughter-in-law, George and Linda Blum, Jr.: daughter, Lynn Dickie; grandchildren, Brandon Blum and his fiancé, Katie Healy, Nicholas Blum, Samantha Dickie and her fiancé, Quincy Frazier, and Connor Dickie; niece, Peggy Mercantante, and nephew, Francis Blum, Jr.

George was preceded in death by his wife, Helen in 1992 and his brother, Frank Blum, Sr. in 2008.

Due to the current health crisis, A Celebration of Life Service for family and friends will be held at a later date with Military Honors.

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Barbara C. Russian

Barbara C. Russian, 81 years of age, passed away to eternity with the Lord on March 28, 2020 after her battle with cancer. Barbara was born in Hoboken,New Jersey. Barbara was predeceased by her husband John Russian and her son Raymond Russian. She is surviving by her daughter Deborah Mary and her son-in-law Robert Smolar. She has 3 grandchildren, Raymond, Natasha and Eli and 5 great grandchildren. Barbara previously resided in Union City where she worked as secretary to the Union City Police Department. She then moved to Belmar before she made her home in Lincroft. There she was an active parishioner at the Church of St. Catherine Laboure, Middletown. She also was a daily communicant at St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Lincroft. Barbara was deeply devoted to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament as an adorer as well as devoted to the most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She was a member of various prayer groups. Barbara will be sorely missed as she was the extended hands of Jesus to all her family and friends.

Due the current restrictions implemented by the Governor of New Jersey a private burial will occur on Saturday, April 4, 2020 at Mt. Olivet Cemetary, Middletown. Arrangements are under the direction of John F. Pfleger Funeral Home, Middletown. A memorial Mass will be held at the Church of St. Catherine Laboure Catholic Church, Middletown in the near future when restrictions are lifted.

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Elizabeth “Betty” Griffin

Elizabeth “Betty” Griffin 89, of Middletown, died Thursday, March 19, 2020 in Middletown. She was born in NYC. Betty was a graduate of Hunter College NYC. Betty enjoyed golfing at Bamm Hollow Country Club and Shadow Lake Village. She was a member of St. Mary’s Parish in Middletown. Betty was predeceased in death by her husband Charles J Griffin and brother Richard Thompson. Surviving are her two sons and daughters-in-law, Charles Jr. and Rose Griffin in Oceanport and William and Elizabeth Griffin in Chester Springs, PA; grandchildren William, James, Andrew Griffin and Michelle Griffin and her husband Michael Prosser.

A private burial will occur Tuesday March 24, 2020 at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Middletown. Donations can be made to St. Mary, Mother of God Church, Middletown NJ. Arrangements under the direction of John F. Pfleger Funeral Home, Middletown.

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Stephen A. Bloom

Stephen A. Bloom, 68, of Middletown, died on March 15, 2020 in Naples, FL, following a hard fought, years long battle with multiple myeloma. Steve was born in Jersey City to the late Stephen and Maureen Bloom. He attended St. Peter’s Prep and St. Peter’s College in Jersey City.

Steve moved to Middletown in 1976 where he was active in St. Mary’s Athletic Association as a coach and commissioner of boys and girls soccer and the St. Mary’s Fair. In later life he volunteered for a time at the Barn for the Poorest of the Poor. Steve worked for New York Life Insurance Company for over 40 years, retiring as Chief Underwriter and Executive Vice President.

He is survived by his wife Linda (De Leva); his son Matthew (Stephanie) and daughter Kristen (Michael) Tramaglini; and his adored grandchildren Brielle, Anthony, Bradley, and Ava; as well as his sister Peg Roma and nephews Robert, Mark, Brandon, and niece Danielle.

Funeral services are private under the direction of John F. Pfleger Funeral Home, Middletown. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the International Multiple Myeloma Foundation, Lunch Break of Red Bank, or Fulfill Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties.

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Charles J. Lind

Charles John Lind, “Charlie”, 91, formerly of Basking Ridge, died on March 23, 2020 in Tinton Falls, NJ. He was born in Englewood, NJ to the late Charles W. and Charlotte Lind. Charles served in the US Army during the Korean War. He got his undergraduate degree from Syracuse University, and he went on to receive multiple higher learning degrees and certificates including his Masters while working at AT&T Bell Labs. Charles retired as the Director of Service Operations for Bell Labs. He enjoyed working, but he was also a devoted family man who loved spending time with his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. After his retirement from Bell Labs, Charles transformed his passion for community service into a second career, serving on multiple Boards and supporting multiple not-for-profit organizations, including Fellowship Village, the Good News Home for Women, Ridge Oak, and the VNA in Basking Ridge. He oversaw the expansion and construction of new buildings and wings for Fellowship Village, the VNA and the Good News Home for Women. He was also a member of the Planning Board for Basking Ridge and on the Board for Lord Stirling Village. In 2007, Charles was awarded the Millicent Fenwick Award for Distinguished Public Service. Charles and his wife were members of the Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church for over 50 years where he served as a Church Elder and member of Session. He enjoyed gardening, golfing and giving advice, especially financial. Many who knew Charles described him as a humble man and a wonderful role model.

Surviving are his wife of 65 years, Dolores (nee Schoppe); his two daughters and sons-in-law, Susan and Wayne Relyea of NJ and Nancy Lind and Giorgio Heiman of Switzerland; his son and daughter-in-law, Daniel and Joy Lind of CA; his five granddaughters, Rachel, Heather, Cassidy, Megan, and Clara; his two grandsons, Blake and David; and his seven great-grandchildren, Alana, Chase, Lola, Jackson, Camden, Parker, and Robert (Bo).

Charles was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Elizabeth Weigele.

Burial will be private at the Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Liberty Corner, NJ. A memorial to celebrate Charles’ life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers please consider a contribution in Charles’ name to the Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church, 45 Church Street, Liberty Corner, NJ 07938.


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