Dr. Charles Victor Wetli

Charles Victor Wetli, 76, of Alpine, New Jersey, passed away on July 28, 2020 after a short but valiant struggle with lung cancer.

Born in 1943 in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Charles spent his early childhood in Green Bay until his parents moved to Manhasset, NY.  Even as a boy in high school, he knew he wanted to become a physician someday.  He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1965 where he majored in chemistry and then went on to pursue a medical degree at St. Louis University. 

As a result of the United States Berry Plan,  Charles was able to defer military service during the Vietnam War era until after he graduated from medical school and completed the majority of his residency in pathology.  Charles served as a major in the U.S. Army Medical Laboratory Pacific in Japan, as the Chief of Pathology.

Upon return  to the United States after military service, Charles embarked upon a career dedicated to forensic pathology.  He spent nearly twenty years in the Dade County, Florida Medical Examiner’s Office and then over a decade as the Chief Medical Examiner for Suffolk County, New York.  As a pioneer in the field of forensic pathology, he authored numerous articles in medical journals, as well as several books. The trajectory of  his career in forensic medicine coincided with dawn of the era of the use of scientific evidence to solve complex crimes, and unexplained deaths.  As a result of his training, vast experience, and ability to clearly articulate his findings, he was able to aid many law enforcement agencies and attorneys throughout the nation.  Always valuing education, he taught at the University of Miami School of Medicine and then at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.  He has left a lasting impact as a mentor to hundreds of young pathologists throughout the country.

Of all of his many accomplishments, he was most proud of his family.  His wife, Geetha, was the love of his life.  Together, they were able to travel the world, spending time in places as exotic as Vietnam, Cambodia, the Galapagos Islands, Morocco, and Machu Pichu. Although, in reality, it did not matter where he travelled as long as he was with his precious Geetha. A voracious reader, he was rarely found without a book in hand. He treasured spending time with his seven grandchildren and was the most involved grandfather one can imagine. 

Charles was predeceased by his parents, Mary (nee Carriveau) and Cletus Wetli.  He is survived by his wife, Geetha; his children, Cletus, Carla (Philip), Kavita (Sean) and Vikram (Danielle); and his grandchildren, Luke, James, Nathan, Elizabeth, William, Julia and Caroline.

Due to the restrictions placed on public gatherings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a private funeral will be held.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the National Park Foundation.  https://give.nationalparks.org/site/Donation

www.pizzifuneralhome.com

Anthony August Piano

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Anthony August Piano (July 26, 1926 – July 20, 2020), known as Tony Piano to friends and colleagues, passed away just shy of his 94th birthday. His death was caused by cardiac arrest likely the result of the congestive heart failure that developed only a month earlier; prior to this, Tony lived an extremely healthy life. A firm believer in nutrition and vitamin supplements, Tony was never ill until he developed pneumonia at 91 years old. And even then, he recovered quickly, remaining limber and energetic until shortly before his death at nearly 94.

Tony had a sharp mind and quick wit until the bitter end.  With a career spanning radio, television, the music industry, theater, publishing, and advertising, Tony worked as a music director, lyricist, composer, A&R man, musician, playwright, creative director, magazine Editor, and copywriter.  He was also a proficient astrologer, and used his mathematical expertise to create a novel numeric system for chart interpretation. Over the years, he did thousands of charts and amassed  enough material for a book that he never got around to writing.

Anthony August Piano was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY.  His parents were 1st generation Italian-Americans, and English was the only language spoken in his home. Anthony had a natural aptitude for languages, however, and became fluent in French, Latin and Russian, attending St. Michael’s Diocese High School in Brooklyn and graduating at the top of his class.  During Word War II, Tony was accepted into the Navy’s prestigious V12 college training program, and was sent to Princeton, and later Harvard University. Tony graduated from Harvard with a B.A. in English, with a concentration in Shakespearean free verse. He used this skill to write poems and sonnets throughout his life, as well as the book and lyrics for a musical comedy (“Chantecler”) written entirely in Shakespearean free verse. Also while at Harvard, Tony played trumpet in a jazz ensemble that featured Jack Lemmon on piano.

Shortly after college, Tony worked as a music director at ABC radio for “Your Dancing Party,” a live 2-hour show featuring big band music, and was discovered by the Head of A&R at Columbia Records, none other than Mitch Miller.  Mitch hired Tony as an A&R rep for Columbia, where his key focus was helping to develop new talent; nevertheless, Tony also helped to launch the iconic TV program, “Sing Along with Mitch.”  During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Tony worked with musical acts such as Art & Paul, Tony Romeo, The Four Voices, Buzz Clifford, and Chubby Checker.  Also during this time period, Tony teamed up with his cousin the composer Michael Colicchio, and wrote several songs recorded by Columbia artists: “On a Merry-Go-Round” (Percy Faith & His Orchestra), “Mickey My Love” (Paul Evans), “Annie B is Gone” (Ronnie Chapman), “The Beatnick Bounce” (The Beats), and last but not least, “Cherie,” and “The Story of Our Love” (Johnny Mathis).  

While at ABC, Tony met Anne Claudia Grassi, and says he immediately knew she was the perfect partner for him.  They married in 1954 and later brought Mark Michael, Claudia Anne, and Jane Maria into the world. Sadly, Anne passed away from lung cancer in 2016.

In 1964 Tony embarked on a personal project for his young children, a musical fable based on the popular television show “Diver Dan.” The project culminated in the LP record, “Diver Dan and the Bermuda Onion,” featuring the voices of improv maestro Del Close and TV personality Kay Lande (of “Birthday House” fame), as well as Columbia artists Tony Romeo, Buzz Clifford, and Tony Piano himself playing 3 of the characters. Although distribution of the album was so limited it never achieved commercial success, the story was engaging enough and the songs catchy enough to charm 3 generations of children who were lucky enough to listen to it.

In the mid-1960s, Tony left the music industry and became an advertising copywriter. He said this decision was fueled by his wife’s request that he spend more time at home with his children and less time on the road.  Tony started out at Madison Avenue agencies, creating award-winning campaigns for IBM and Lysol, among others, then launched a boutique ad agency in Tappan NY with partners Elliot Leader and Dick Perlstein (Leader, Pearlstein & Piano). Being a business owner was not Tony’s thing, however, so that venture was short-lived.

Tony shifted gears and tried the publishing business in the late 70s, when a former client hired him to launch “Identity,” a quarterly magazine focused on the Italian-American experience. As Editor-in-Chief, Tony got to select content for each issue and even wrote a series of articles about Brooklyn. The magazine only lasted a year before it was re-purposed and sold to another publisher, and Tony decided it was time to focus on finishing the musical he’d been writing with his cousin Michael.

In 1981 “Chantecler, A Musical Fable in Two Acts with book and lyrics by Anthony Piano and music by Michael Collichio” previewed for 3 weeks on Broadway. Critics and potential producers were invited to attend and asked for constructive feedback. The show was very well-received, and a group of producers agreed to back a full-scale re-launch of the show on Broadway, provided Tony and Michael make some suggested revisions to the play. Unfortunately, the play never got produced because Tony was never quite satisfied with the revised version. Many years later, after his cousin Michael had passed away, Tony said his greatest regret in life was that he didn’t “just sit down with Michael and finish the damn show!”

Later in the 1980s, Tony started Thinking Systems Inc., a one-man copywriting shop where he wrote for various clients until he retired at 91 years old!  Tony found that he had a real knack for direct-mail copywriting, and was never without work during the 35+ years he was self-employed. During those years, Tony worked in an office he’d set up in his family home in Airmont, NY, where, he discovered, he was truly happiest.

Despite his remarkable life, if you were to ask Tony what he considered his most important role to be, he’d tell you that it was “being Jane Piano’s father.” Tony’s youngest child Janie had developmental disabilities and her life was very challenging, but she was also an evolved soul who exuded joy and love to everyone she met.  Tony adored Janie and derived great happiness from cooking her favorite meals, taking her out to restaurants and shows, taking her swimming in the pool, telling her stories, making her laugh, and just doing things that made her happy. After Janie passed away in 2011, Tony said he no longer feared death, because he knew that when he died, he’d get to be with her again.

After growing up in Brooklyn, Tony lived in 2 other NY boroughs after he married Anne—Queens, and The Bronx. But it was New Jersey where Tony spent much of his adult life.  He and Anne bought a house in Closter, NJ, where they raised their 3 kids, then moved slightly north to Rockland County, NY (Airmont) in 1995. They were fortunate to have their son Mark looking after them in their later years, particularly when they could no longer drive. After Anne passed away, and with his eyesight failing, Tony agreed in 2017 that it might be time to retire, sell the house in NY, and move to Charleston, SC with his daughter Claudia and son-in-law Michael.

In 2019, Tony made the big move to South Carolina with Claudia and Mike. Tony liked everything about the Charleston area, and every time he left the house, he noted that it was the cleanest and friendliest place he’d ever been! He always remarked on the abundance of trees, plants, and flowers all year round, and he found the warm climate to his liking. Tony considered his son-in-law Mike to be one of his best friends, and they had lots of fun together, especially singing and telling stories over breakfast every day, right up until the very end. On Monday July 20, Tony passed away at home, in his own bed, which is just how he would have wanted it.

Tony is survived by his son Mark, his daughter Claudia, his son-in-law Mike Dryden, his niece Maryanne Neddenien, and his nephews Bob and Andrew Brady.

There will be a funeral service for Anthony Piano at Pizzi Funeral Home in Northvale, NJ on Friday August 14 at 10am, followed by a mass at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church at 11am. Tony’s cremains will be laid to rest near his daughter Jane at The Garden of Memories in Paramus NJ.

Maureen A. Colleton

Maureen A. Colleton (nee Day), 81, of Mountain Lakes, NJ, passed away on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. Beloved wife of the late Michael Colleton. Cherished sister of Arlene Delury of Northvale, Richard Day of CA and Robert Day of CA. She was the loving aunt of many nieces and nephews and their families. Maureen was predeceased by her siblings;  Eleanor Varley, Margaret Martin, Alice Dziedzic, Charles Day, Jr, Kenneth Day, Patricia Krull, Joseph Day and Edward Day.

Maureen was president of MCM Management Co., a division of J.R. Tobacco, for many years before retiring.

Visiting hours will be Sunday, July 26, 2020 from 2-4 PM at Pizzi Funeral Home, 120 Paris Ave, Northvale, NJ.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Maureen’s memory may be made to the Church of the Holy Communion, 66 Summit St., Norwood, NJ 07648.

www.pizzifuneralhome.com

Mario J. Donato

Mario J. Donato, a resident of Tappan for 54 years, passed away peacefully on July 23, 2020 at The Jewish Home Rehabilitation Center in Rockleigh, NJ with his wife of nearly 63 years at this side.   Mario was born on January 21, 1931 in the Bronx NY to Domenico and Josephine (Alessi) Donato where he attended DeWitt Clinton High School and City College.   After serving and being honorably discharged from the United States Marines during the Korean War, he married Sylvia Toriello on September 8, 1957 at Our Lady of Grace Church in the Bronx.  

Mario was a systems analyst at JP Morgan Chase Bank in Manhattan for 35 years.  He was an avid sports fan with a wealth of knowledge about his beloved NY Yankees and NY Giants.  He also enjoyed golfing, gardening and many happy times with his friends and family.  He was an active volunteer in the community which included coaching with the Tappan Little League, umpiring with the Rockland Softball Association, and preparing tax returns for the AARP.  Mario was a member of the Knights of Columbus Triune Counsel #2505 and a communicant at Our Lady of Sacred Heart Church in Tappan.

Mario is survived by his wife Sylvia at home in Tappan, his son Mario J. Donato, Jr. (Melissa) and daughter Stephanie Donato Gaba (Stephen), granddaughters Christine, Juliet and Mia, brother-in-law and sister-in -law Ernest and Patricia Cipollaro, sister-in-law Judee Toriello, and many nieces and nephews.

Visiting will be held from 4 pm to 8 pm at Pizzi Funeral Home, 120 Paris Avenue, Northvale, NJ 07647 on Wednesday, July  29, 2020.  A Mass of Christian burial will held at 10:30 am at Our Lady of Sacred Heart Church, 120 Kings Highway, Tappan, NY 10983. Interment will follow at St. Anthony’s Cemetery, Nanuet, NY.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Mario’s memory may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, www.stjude.org.

www.pizzifuneralhome.com

Frances Garofalo

Frances Garofalo (nee Arcury), 77, of Norwood, passed away on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. Beloved wife of the late Joseph. Loving mother of Marianna Perry and her husband Benjamin of Oakland and Vincent and his wife Colleen of E. Brunswick. Adored grandmother of Melissa, Ryan, Jenna, Joseph, Sarah and Tyler. Dearest sister of Sadie Cannistra, Marie Violante and Dolores and Lawrence Bracco and sister-in-law of Frances D’Andrea.

Fran was self-employed for many years before retiring. She was a devoted parishioner of Immaculate Conception Church in Norwood and taught CCD for years. She also belonged to the Norwood/Northvale Women’s Club. Fran was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother and will be fondly remembered by all who knew her.

Visiting hours are Tuesday 4-8 PM at Pizzi Funeral Home, 120 Paris Avenue, Northvale. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated Wednesday at 10 AM at Immaculate Conception Church with entombment to follow at Madonna Mausoleum, Fort Lee.

In lieu of flowers a donation to the Joseph  Garofalo U.C.E. Scholarship Fund, c/o Paul Clement, 985 Iris Lane, Baldwin Harbor, NY 11510.

www.pizzifuneralhome.com

Joan Teresa Scaglione

Joan Teresa Scaglione (nee Scimeca), 63, of Orangeburg, NY, formerly of Northvale, NJ passed away at home surrounded by her family on Friday, July 10, 2020. She is the beloved mother of Leah Pegram and her husband Jerry of Middletown, NJ and Kyra Holland and her husband Anthony of Middletown, NY. Precious daughter of Carmela Scimeca and her late husband Vincent. Adored grandmother of Luna, Enzo and Asher. Cherished sister of Mary Jahoda, Susan Yaiser and her husband Glenn and the late Lynn Mazzilli. As well as a loving relative and friend to many.

A memorial mass will be celebrated at 10 am on Friday, July 24, 2020 at St. Anthony’s RC Church, Northvale, NJ with inurnment to follow at Garden of Memories, Washington Twp., NJ.

www.pizzifuneralhome.com

James Vincent Di Gregorio

James Vincent Di Gregorio, 58, of Norwood, passed away on Thursday, July 16, 2020. Beloved son of June and the late Vincent Di Gregorio. Dear brother of Joanne Smith and her husband Edward and Anita Di Gregorio. Loving uncle of three nephews and one niece. 

James had been a personal trainer at NY Sports Club in Westwood.

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday at 10 AM at St. Anthony’s RC Church, Northvale.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to help James’ mother, June during this difficult time.

www.pizzifuneralhome.com

Gaetana Gaglioti

Gaetana Gaglioti (nee Tomas), 83, of Norwood, NJ, passed away at home surrounded by her loving family on Wednesday, July 15, 2020.  Beloved wife of Saverio. Devoted mother of Pietro Gaglioti of Park Ridge, Carmela Gaglioti of Wyckoff and Enrico Gaglioti and his wife Danielle of Ridgewood. Proud grandmother of Nicholas, Luca, Jillian and Alexandra. Dearest sister of Annunziata, Antonino, Domenica and Carmela.

Gaetana was a parishioner of Immaculate Conception Church in Norwood for 47 years. She was a kind and gentle soul who was loved by many and will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Funeral arrangements were private.

Those who wish may make donations in Gaetana’s memory to either:

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, www.mskcc.org,

Please indicate gift is honor of Gaetana Gaglioti

or

St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital,

https://www.stjude.org/

ID #12082078

www.pizzi funeralhome.com

Dorothy Edna Kovacs

Dorothy Edna Kovacs, aged 93 years, eight months and twenty-two days, died on July 10, 2020 after a brief illness.

Born October 18, 1926 to George W. Hunter and Mary Edna Eicher, the family moved from Mount Pleasant, PA to Ridgefield Park.

After her high school graduation at the age of 16, she worked in the secretarial pool at Camp Shanks in Orangetown, NY.  The Camp was the largest U.S. Army embarkation camp used during World War II.  It was here that she met her future husband, Ernest J. Kovacs. 

Living in Dumont, NJ Dorothy worked for a film studio in Fort Lee NJ and for Arnold Constables in Hackensack, NJ before leaving the work place to become a full-time mother and housewife.

Dorothy was very proud of her Scotch and German ancestral heritage, traveling back to Westmoreland County PA at the age of 90 to research the six Revolutionary War patriots her family had documented.

She is survived by her children – Gail and husband Kevin Felici, Michael and Barbara and husband Kenneth Phillips; her niece and husband Maureen and Michael Kaplan, along with many grand-animals.

Visitation at the Pizzi Funeral Home, 120 Paris Avenue, Northvale, NJ will be on Tuesday, July 14th from 5 PM to 8 PM. The burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that well wishers pass on her kindness and good will to their families, friends and strangers alike.

www.pizzifuneralhome.com

Madhu Sreepada

Madhu Sreepada, 76, of Northvale, passed away at home surrounded by his family on Saturday, July 4, 2020.  He was the loving husband of Sudha Sreepada for 51 years.   He was also the cherished father of Gangadhar and his wife Catherine, Suma and her husband Benjamin, and Sunila, as well as a grandfather to Summer, Kieran and Amara.

Madhu was born in the lush and verdant village of Gummaluru, located in southern India, the 7th out of 9 children, to the late Gangadharam and the late Mahalakshmi Sreepada.  At an early age, he moved with his family to the city of Visakhapatnam, located on the coast of the Bay of Bengal in southern India.  While living in Visakhapatnam, by the time he was 15 years old, he completed high school, engendering a life-long passion for education.  By the time he was 19 years old, he had completed both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Physics from Andhra University, also located in Visakhapatnam.  He later traveled to Bombay, as it was called at that time, to continue his studies at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.  While at IIT, he completed an additional Master’s Degree in Technology and, thereafter, continued at IIT as a lecturer for undergraduate courses for three years. 

Given the opportunity to continue his studies in the US, Madhu embarked on his next adventure, completing a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Rochester.  In 1974, after Madhu relocated to Little Ferry, NJ, Sudha joined Madhu in the US.  While working for Hewlett-Packard for several years, Madhu continued to further his studies by building expertise in the stock market, spending his weekends immersed in books on the topic at the public library.  In 1991, he retired from HP at the age of 47 to devote all of his time to his passion of investing, which he continued through his final days. 

More recently, over the past 15 years, he and Sudha fulfilled his dream of traveling the world, visiting the South Pacific, Australia, China, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Central America, but spent most of their time together in Florida.  He enjoyed beach living as well as beach walks and seeing the space shuttle launches from Cape Canaveral. 

More than anything else, Madhu treasured his time with his children and grandchildren.  Madhu passed peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family after a long battle with liver cancer.   Madhu was a great inspiration to all of his friends and family and will be sorely missed by all who knew him. 

A viewing will be held at Pizzi Funeral Home, 120 Paris Ave, Northvale, on Thursday, July 9, from 4-7pm. In lieu of flowers, donations in Madhu’s memory may be made to the Englewood Hospital Foundation.

https://support.englewoodhospitalfoundation.org/