HAWTHORNE, NJ - The Valandingham Family, longtime residents of Hawthorne, wanted to celebrate their family's roots in the borough as well as memorialize those who have since passed on. Elizabeth Valandingham and her family worked with the Passaic County Parks Commission to donate a bench bearing a plaque which has since been installed in Goffle Brook Park. The bench and plaque, she said, is "to celebrate my current family and all of those members that have passed. This bench memorializes the memory of Eileen Jacqueline Scull Valandingham; Edward “Lenny” Valandingham; and Ruth Cawley Scull (“Grandma Boo Boo”)."
Like so many Hawthorne residents, their lives in town had their roots in neighboring Paterson. According to the family, Eileen Scull and Edward "Lenny" Valandingham were both born and raised in Paterson. During the Second World War, Lenny served with the US Navy as a fire fighter in the Pacific Theater of Operations. With the restoration of peace, Lenny and Eileen bought a home in Hawthorne in 1946 where their children were born. Lenny owned and operated the Hawthorne Taxi Company until the 1960s.
Valandingham said that Hawthorne has been home to her family for generations. "The park is where we have fished, walked dogs, played, laughed, got married, and celebrate love and life. The spot of the bench in the park is just perfect to sit and think of the memories of those that have gone and also a place to welcome family and friends to enjoy now and to remember, love is all you need."
Passaic County Freeholder John Bartlett joined with John and Elizabeth Valandingham at the bench which "celebrates the life of John Valandingham; Susan Valandingham; Elizabeth Valandingham; Cindy Valandingham; Robyn Corsetto-Valandingham; Frank, Dakota and Aaron Laplaca; Kimmy and Paige Lonsky; Kevin, Lisa, Lizzie and Emily Lutkins; Veronica, Ricardo and Ricardo Jr. Balanzategui; and Vanessa, Chris, Lana and Jade Brown; Cathy Scull Villani and Edie Scull Castner."
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