Obituaries

JoAnne Hnilicka
B: 1950-01-28
D: 2017-11-22
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Hnilicka, JoAnne
Russell Zacka
B: 1951-05-11
D: 2017-11-20
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Zacka, Russell
Patrick Scollon
B: 1938-02-05
D: 2017-11-20
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Scollon, Patrick
John Siegrist
B: 1925-02-16
D: 2017-11-18
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Siegrist, John
Anna Obry
B: 1931-02-27
D: 2017-11-18
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Obry, Anna
Gilbert Lawrence
B: 1932-11-13
D: 2017-11-15
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Lawrence, Gilbert
Patricia Ghilardi
B: 1930-03-13
D: 2017-11-15
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Ghilardi, Patricia
Leo Stillitano
B: 1942-03-08
D: 2017-11-14
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Stillitano, Leo
Vaughn Rhoades
B: 1929-03-12
D: 2017-11-14
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Rhoades, Vaughn
Elizabeth Brattole
B: 1933-06-11
D: 2017-11-11
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Brattole, Elizabeth
Mary San Giacomo
B: 1914-08-15
D: 2017-11-09
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San Giacomo, Mary
Albert Weishapl
B: 1941-09-02
D: 2017-11-08
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Weishapl, Albert
B. Ellen Sickels
B: 1944-09-25
D: 2017-11-07
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Sickels, B. Ellen
Noreen Fowler
B: 1947-12-19
D: 2017-11-06
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Fowler, Noreen
John Maggs
B: 1983-02-12
D: 2017-11-04
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Maggs, John
Carol Leonard
B: 1939-12-10
D: 2017-11-04
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Leonard, Carol
Claire Dickmann
B: 1929-06-06
D: 2017-11-03
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Dickmann, Claire
Robert Finley
B: 1927-01-21
D: 2017-10-31
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Finley, Robert
James Clayton
B: 1923-04-11
D: 2017-10-31
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Clayton, James
Paul "Bob" Carolan
B: 1939-12-20
D: 2017-10-31
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Carolan, Paul "Bob"
Joseph Bukowinski
B: 1953-07-12
D: 2017-10-31
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Bukowinski, Joseph

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145 Saint Catherine Boulevard
Toms River, NJ 08757
Phone: (732) 505-1900
Fax: (732) 244-2226

Peace of Mind and Heart

Before, During and Beyond

Timothy E. Ryan Owner/Senior Director

N.J. Lic. No. 3103

Why a Memorial Service?

memorial services elderly coupleRather than opting to do things "the same old way", many families today want to celebrate the life of a loved one. Many funeral service professionals see this change as one of the many contributions to social change made by 'Baby Boomers'. The National Funeral Directors Association notes, "As baby boomers age and find themselves having to plan funerals for loved ones and themselves, they are making funeral choices based on values that are different than previous generations. Baby boomers see funerals as a valuable part of the grieving process and are seeking ways to make them meaningful." If you too desire to make the funeral for a loved one more engaging and personally meaningful, a celebration of life or memorial service may be the perfect concept to build on.

How Does a Celebration of Life Differ from a Traditional Funeral?

As mentioned in the page Traditional Funeral Services, there are four basic components which make up the conventional approach to funerals:

  1.  A Visitation
  2. The Funeral Service
  3. A Committal Service
  4. The Funeral Reception

A traditional funeral then is a series of events; it's a ritualized process where the deceased, and the attendees, pass from one social status to another; a process where the torn fabric of a family and community is repaired. According to the online article "Six Characteristics of Helpful Ceremonies", by William Hoy, Director of Grief Connect, this is done by including:

  1. Symbols of shared significance intended to communicate beyond words
  2. Ritual actions shared by a group of individuals
  3. Gathered people providing comfort to one another
  4. Connection to heritage through recognized readings
  5. Increased physical contact between attendees provide comfort
  6. Witnessing the transition of the body through burial or cremation

In knowing these characteristics, you can design a celebration of life as unique as the life of your loved. Learn how to create a Celebration of Life.

Unlike a traditional funeral,memorial service is a gathering where a casket is not present (although the urn with the cremated remains may be on display). A memorial service can be held weeks or even months after the death.


A memorial service can be held in a church, the funeral home or a community hall, or somewhere of importance to the deceased and family. There is usually music, selected readings, and a eulogy. Memorial services can be further personalized as a celebration of life.

Memorial Service Ideas

memorial service ideas familyOur experience has shown us that many of today's families want more than a traditional funeral. This can be done by bringing more of the personality and lifestyle of the deceased into the arrangements. By displaying photographs or staging the event around a favorite pastime, a memorial service can become more personal and meaningful.

If a personalized memorial service suits the needs of your family, we suggest you consider the following questions:

  • What did your loved one like to do?
  • What was he or she like as an individual?
  • What was their profession and how did that shape their life?
  • Was your loved one spiritual?
  • Was he or she proud of their cultural or ethnic heritage? 

We're Here to Advise, Assist, and Guide You

Using the above five questions as our guide, we will spend the time to help create a fitting memorial service for your loved one. Please call us at (732) 505-1900 to learn the details of our memorial service planning process.