Religions and Spirituality

Vito Mondelli, Lifelong Berkeley Heights Resident, Dies

19403c2a8254d4ed15ef_IMG_0398.JPG
Vito Mondelli passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, December 29, 2015 at 5 a.m.  Credits: Bob Coletta
19403c2a8254d4ed15ef_IMG_0398.JPG

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Vito Mondelli died at 5 a.m. Tuesday, December 29, 2015, at home, following a long battle with a terminal illness.

Camille Aragona, his caretaker, sent a message to friends, "The heart of Berkeley Heights passed this morning at 5 a.m. peacefully."

Vito, who was 84 at the time of his death, was born and raised in Berkeley Heights and had lived in his home since the age of two, he said only two weeks ago, on Tuesday, Dec. 16. That was the day members of the VFW Post 6259 dropped by his farm stand and asked him to serve as Grand Marshall of the Memorial Day Parade.

Sign Up for E-News

The former Marine, who had served in Korea, accepted the offer after learning he didn't have to walk the parade route, just ride in style in a car.  He was a little unsure about making a speech, but anyone who knew Vito knows he would have pulled one off with ease.

After returning from Korea, he joined the Department of Public Works and, when he retired 31 years later, was the head of the department.  He credited his rise from worker to top man to being "very versatile," pointing out he could and did do each of the jobs in the department.

He was an active member of the Mount Carmel Society and a member of its executive committee.

Mostly, though, he was a friend or a beloved "uncle" to so many. Charlie Pratt wrote, "I first met Vito in 1983 and he was a gentleman from day one and treated my family as one of his own. My daughters grew up having an 'Uncle Vito' that they loved and hugged.



"He loved people and his customers, putting his trust in them evidenced with the honor system at his fruit and vegetable stand. It was pay as you exit, and it worked. Just a box of money unattended, in the open, overnight, day after day, and year after year. I doubt I will ever see that level of trust again anywhere.

"Vito served our country and freedom honorably as a Marine and served our community with respect, sweat, and hard work his entire life. A true part of Berkeley Heights history is now rewritten and lost. Rest in peace my friend."

He was also a member of the Berkeley Heights Veterans Memorial Park Restoration Committee and was the impetus behind the construction of the first Veterans Memorial in Memorial Park.  The town's first War Memorial was a brass plaque in the middle of what is now the parking lot for the municipal building. He and others got approval to move the plaque and create the first memorial about 50 years ago.

Ted Romankow, the head of the restoration committee said, "Vito represented the heart of Berkeley Heights. He lived and loved this town, rarely traveling outside its borders except to supply his nursery and vegetable stand.

"He was kind and generous and not afraid to express his views on (everything, from) politics to cooking pasta. He was a leader and looked upon with respect and admiration. He will be sorely missed."

In recent months, Vito used to sit at his farm stand across the street from the memorial and watch the changes at the memorial. He was pleased by the progress, particularly, the installation of the new green street lamps. Only one thing still needed to be done, in his opinion, cutting down the large pine tree behind the memorial. There is nothing historic about it, he said, noting it was not the original one, "It's the fourth tree," on the site.

Arrangements for his viewing and funeral are being made by Paul Ippolito Berkeley Memorial and will be published when they are final.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Local Advisor Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Roth IRA

February 23, 2018

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Roth IRA. First made available to American investors in 1998, a Roth IRA is an individual retirement account that is funded with after-tax dollars and provides tax-free growth and income for retirement.

In honor of this significant milestone, Walter Pardo, CEO/Certified Wealth Strategist at Wealth ...

WFP Tax Partners Walks You Through 4 Step Tax Return Process

February 22, 2018

Over 80% of Tax Returns Have Errors or Missed Deductions. You're Probably Paying More Than Your Fair Share in Taxes

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - Tax returns certainly give a clear picture of the past year, but WFP Tax Partners believes it's wise to strategize for the current year to have a plan for moving forward. 

At your tax appointment, they ...

Reminder: Free Wellness Program for Union County Military Women

All Union County women with military service – veterans, active duty and reserve – are invited to join “Boots 2 Heels,” a free event designed to foster wellness and connect women with resources and guidance for empowerment. Boots 2 Heels will be held on Saturday, February 24 at the Westfield Armory, located at 500 Rahway Avenue in Westfield.

The event is free but ...

CSA's 5th Annual Pasta Dinner Fundraiser Set for Sunday

Is everyone ready to come together as a community and break bread to support the CSA? It's time for The Community Service Association of New Providence's 5th Annual Pasta & Meatball Dinner! This fun, family-friendly event will take place on Sunday, Feb. 25, at the DeCorso Community Center, 15 East Fourth Street, New Providence. Pasta, meatballs, and dessert will be served from 3-7 ...

Caregiver Conference Sunday, Feb. 25, Focuses on Caregiver's Needs

 

Jewish Family Service of Central NJ, (JFSCNJ) a non-sectarian health and social service agency, will be hosting a Caregiver Conference called, “Caring for a Loved One While Being Mindful of Your Own Needs,” from 10 a.m. to noon, Sunday, Feb. 25, at the Jewish Family Service of Central NJ, Halpern Building, 655 Westfield Ave. Elizabeth.  

 The Conference, ...

Colleen Mahr Has Paid Her Dues, Earned Peoples’ Trust, and Left a Track Record of Success

February 20, 2018

Dear Editor:

As a 26-year-old Scotch Plains resident who cares more about the well-being of our town than about local politics, I am extremely disappointed that the Scotch Plains Democratic Committee leadership has decided to abandon Colleen Mahr in her run for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee.

Mahr, who as Mayor of Fanwood for 15 years has worked closely with Scotch Plains ...

We Need More Women Like Colleen Mahr in Municipal, County and State Government

Dear Editor:

I’m proud to support Colleen Mahr for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee  (UCDC) and am encouraging my Scotch Plains peers to join me.

I was a first time candidate wanting to make a difference in my hometown of Scotch Plains, when Mayor Mahr of neighboring Fanwood stepped in to help me campaign and win my election to be Councilwoman three years ago.

Democratic Party Would Be Making a Big Mistake by Not Recognizing Colleen Mahr's Talents

Dear Editor:

Mayor Colleen Mahr has been a valuable friend to the Township of Cranford. Whether it’s offering advice and assistance during devastating flood cleanup, supporting the Mayor's Council on the Rahway River, or her insight and assistance in meeting our affordable housing obligations, Mayor Mahr is always there for Cranford.

Colleen’s fairness and integrity is ...

Chatham Borough Police Chief Crosson has Retired; Captain Gibbons is Acting Commander

February 12, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Phil Crosson Jr., who has been a member of the Chatham Borough Police Department since 1992, retired from his position as the police chief on Feb. 1.

"It came on pretty quickly," Crosson said when reached by phone on Sunday. "I was on vacation for six weeks and I bought a business. I came back for one day and retired."

According to Crosson, ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, February 23

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Carousel_image_b59229b3972266545812_magnet_fundraising_auction_2018_flyer_0219

Fri, February 23, 6:30 PM

Union County Vocational Technical Schools, West Hall Cafeteria, Scotch Plains

Union County Magnet High School Silent Auction

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Sat, February 24

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sat, February 24, 10:00 AM

Municipal Court Room/Council Chambers, BERKELEY HEIGHTS

Return Berkeley Heights Public Library's Books, ...

Other

Carousel_image_ebabe6d4e0eb6af7bda2_https---cdn.evbuc.com-images-40285364-230483587926-1-original

Sat, February 24, 3:00 PM

White Tiger Dojo, Berkeley Heights

White Tiger Dojo Hosts Trauma Response Seminar: ...

Health & Wellness

Sun, February 25

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

I've Always Wanted to be a Doctor...Or an English Teacher

Think about the impossibility of the task we lay in front of high school students.  In addition to getting good grades, filling up a resume, finding the right colleges and writing countless admissions essays they also need to decide on their life’s passion at 17 years old...or do they?

As a college admissions representative the first question most students would ask me was whether ...

Now That The Dust Has Settled…Smart Tax Moves In 2018

Now that the dust has settled, here are some smart tax moves to lower your taxes and/or avoid higher taxes/penalties in 2018. These steps may be especially helpful if you live in high property and high income tax states (e.g. New Jersey, New York, California) since state and local tax deductions are capped.  Unfortunately all these changes mean you’ll need more time and energy to ...

Invest Like a Tortoise -- Not Like a Hare

Aesop’s “The Tortoise and the Hare” is a perfect metaphor for the way people go about investing their money. As you recall in the fable, the hare brags about his ability to beat the tortoise and is overly confident about winning. In the investment world, the hare is someone who thinks he or she is great at selecting “winners” and avoiding “losers.” The ...