Religions and Spirituality

Vito Mondelli, Lifelong Berkeley Heights Resident, Dies

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

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

Christopher Rinaldi for Town Council - Leadership, Judgement, Experience

May 17, 2018

My name is Christopher Rinaldi.  As a long-time member of the Republican Party, I am running in the Republican Primary on June 5th for Township Council and Republican Municipal Committee of Berkeley Heights.

As a follow-up to my Candidate Statements from the last two weeks, I would like to share with you a few areas of direct work experience garnered over the past 25 years that I believe ...

Redevelopment: Taking the First Step Together While Protecting Berkeley Heights

Redevelopment. It’s something that takes careful planning, foresight, the ability to negotiate for the most favorable outcome, and, of course, patience. I’m proud to say that we’ve been able to reach all of these milestones. Tomorrow, on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, we as a community will take the first step together in the culmination of these efforts, when the ...

How the Holi Color Festival Came to Summit; Event Planner Shares Her Story

May 21, 2018

Back in India, Holi was a holiday observed by almost all states. The holiday would be declared at all educational institutes and offices. It's a two day spring festival also known as the festival of colors. The festival signifies the victory of good over bad, the arrival of spring with the fragrance of flowers in the air and aura of warmth and happiness.

Holi festival is the time ...

Rain Didn't Dampen Our Vision for Art in the Park

The rain did not dampen our vision for Art in the Park!! Columbia Middle School was transformed into an art paradise, filled with an array of artists whose talents are nothing short of magical! The Peppertown Park Art in the Park Committee would like to thank all of the artists who came to our very first Art in the Park event. We are in awe of your creativity and immeasurable talents! You all ...

Taxes up, Services down.....At least someone is listening

Do you feel as if you are getting good services from the town for what you pay in property taxes? I don’t, and wanted to thank the one Council person who voted NO on this year’s municipal budget which will increase your taxes by more than 3 percent, exceeding the cap.  Thank you, Susan Poage, for listening to taxpayers.

When our Mayor grants raises by executive order ...

Host an International Exchange Student

May 21, 2018

EF High School Exchange Year announces annual search for student exchange host families in communities across the New Jersey

EF High School Exchange Year—a division of EF Education First, the World Leader in International Education—has kicked off its annual nationwide search for caring host families to welcome exchange students into their homes. Last year EF connected over 3,000 ...

Berkeley Heights Community Pool Set to Open May 26!

Tired of the rain and ready for the sun? We sure are! The Berkeley Heights Community Pool at the YMCA is slated to open during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend on May 26! With only one month until summer starts, swimmers can get a headstart jump into the pool during our pre-season opening! 

Join the Berkeley Heights Community Pool at the YMCA today—there are no joining fees, and ...

Mountain Ridge Bible Chapel Presents Special Women’s program


Mountain Ridge Bible Chapel, 763 Mountain Avenue, Berkeley Heights, is very pleased to host a unique free seminar for women on Saturday June 2, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 

The speaker will be Doctor Ruth Schwertfeger of Brookfield, Wisconsin. Ruth was born in Northern Ireland, is a retired Professor at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  She speaks several languages, and ...

Kids Can Change The World

Karen De La Maza is the founder of “Kids Can Change The World”, a program designed to instill humane values in children while developing essential life skills and positive leadership. Karen and her family relocated to NJ from her native Mexico City in 2008 for her husband’s job.

Karen has always had a strong passion for helping people in need. With ten years of experience in ...

Fallout Continues from Lawsuit Against Mountainside; Police Chief on Administrative Leave

May 19, 2018

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – Police Chief Allan Attanasio is the latest member of the police department to suffer repercussions from a complaint filed against the borough on May 11.  Attanasio, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, was “placed on administrative leave,” on Thursday by Borough Administrator and former Police Chief James Debbie, said  Lt. Joseph ...

Video Shows School Board Member In Altercation With Police at Traffic Stop in South Orange

May 16, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - South Orange Maplewood School Board Member Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad got into an altercation with a South Orange police officer who stopped her for speeding last month, in which she used profanity, complained when she was issued a ticket and called South Orange Police Chief Kyle Kroll “a skinhead cop.”

Lawson-Muhammad also appeared to suggest that she would ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, May 24, 9:30 AM

Junior League of Summit Thrift Shop, Summit

Here Comes Summer! Junior League of Summit Thrift ...

Giving Back Green

Fri, May 25, 9:30 AM

Junior League of Summit Thrift Shop, Summit

Here Comes Summer! Junior League of Summit Thrift ...

Giving Back Green

Sat, May 26, 2:00 PM

New Providence

Memoir Writing Workshops @ NPML

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, May 31, 11:30 AM

Canoe Brook Country Club, Summit

Fortnightly Club Scholarship Luncheon

Food & Drink Giving Back

Thu, May 31, 1:30 PM

Coppola Ristorante, New Providence

Lunch and Learn: Dental Implants and the ...

Health & Wellness


Fri, June 1, 6:00 PM

Senior Center of the Chathams, , Chatham Township

Senior Center of the Chathams Glorious Garden ...

Food & Drink Home & Garden

Don’t Make These Three Mistakes About Social Security

Social Security has been around for decades and it’s not about to disappear. Why? Social Security is not an entitlement ("gift") that can be taken away - it’s a forced savings scheme that Americans pay into in their working years in order to secure a pension for life. Ideally, Social Security should not be your sole source of income in retirement but even comfortable ...