Obituaries
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Milan M. Sowis (85) of Thornbrooke in Shrewsbury, formerly of Allenhurst, died on Tuesday, May 10th.

Born in Newark to Slovakian parents, he grew up in Irvington. After graduating Irvington Schools, Milan went on to get his engineering degree at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken and then his Masters at Lehigh. He started his career with Western Electric in Newark. He then moved to Bell Labs/ATT as a systems analyst and becoming the Department Head.   While at Bell Labs he met Sandra, who was the Food Service Director, and they began their 38 year journey together.

Milan was a 35-year member of the Allenhurst Beach Club and swam everyday in the saltwater pool. He loved horse racing at Monmouth Park, morning coffee at Cravings, the NY Times crossword puzzle and especially the Yankee Games with Joe.

Hilda Benhilda Ossa Villamizar de Horan (January 26, 1925 – April 6, 2022) lived an unconventional life for the time, filled with love for her husband, her children, extended family and friends around the globe, travel, the arts, books, music and swimming.

Fiercely independent, well-educated and intelligent she lived her life to the fullest and on her terms as much as she could. From Bogotá, Colombia where she grew up with a large extended family, friends and a variety of pets, learning 5 languages, she earned her 1st degree in social work.

Post college she volunteered for the Red Cross and those skills came in handy later in life with her 5 children. It was after college that she met her future husband, Bill Horan, who was in Bogotá for his junior year abroad from the University of Minnesota. Later, she attended the University of Minnesota to earn a second degree where she saw Bill again and while studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, she saw Bill again. She returned to Colombia after U of M, and while traveling to New York City to take her father to medical appointments, she reconnected with her future husband.

It is with deep and profound sadness that we share the sudden passing of Janet “Penny” Lape age 75. Penny was born in Jersey City. The first of four children, born to David and Janet Rowland, and a life-long resident of Monmouth County.

Janet was known as “Penny” to all who loved her, a nickname coined by her father who had lovingly declared: “She was the shiniest penny in the bunch.” Eternally happy and upbeat, Penny was the embodiment of unconditional love. An amazing listener and caregiver who constantly put the needs of others before her own. Penny was a devoted wife, mother, mother-in-law, Grammy, and friend. She was especially dedicated to her only granddaughter Addison; picking her up after school every day, singing along to the oldies with her in the car, and spending countless weekend sleepovers together. They were truly the best of friends.

Barbara Lawes Mercer, 91, passed away peacefully at home in Rumson, New Jersey on May 4, 2022. She was the beloved wife of Henry D. Mercer, Jr. for 67 years and a loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. The adored daughter of Donald E. and Bessie B. Lawes, Barbara was born on February 18, 1931 in Long Branch, New Jersey and raised in Little Silver, New Jersey. She was a graduate of Markham Place School, Vail-Deane School, and Marjorie Webster Junior College. Upon college graduation, Barbara was an elementary school teacher.

A life-long resident of Monmouth County, Barbara married Dick, the love of her life, in 1955, and they moved to Rumson. She was a dedicated member of the Public Health Nursing Association in the 1950s and 1960s, an involved parishioner at St. George’s By-the River Church, and a devoted parent volunteer at the Rumson Country Day School. Barbara was an active member of the Rumson Country Club where she enjoyed golf and platform tennis. She crewed for her husband, Dick, in the Arrow Class at the Rumson Yacht Club. Her husband named his sailboat “Bobsie” after her. She was a strong supporter of junior sailing and all her children’s and grandchildren’s pursuits. Barbara loved to swim; the pool and ocean at Sea Bright Beach Club were favorite spots.

Robert Hrasna, age 63, of Rumson, NJ passed away on April 20, 2022 following a heroic battle with skin cancer. 

He grew up in Point Pleasant and had a lifelong love of the ocean. After graduating from High School he joined the Coast Guard and was always proud of his service.
 
After discharge he started his career as a builder / carpenter first by joining the family business and later on his own.

Herman Prilipp, of Red Bank, passed away on April 20, 2022. He was born in Seymour, CT, to Adeline and Albert Prilipp, along with his brothers Richard, Albert and Frederick, all of whom predeceased him.

Herman served in the US Army during the Korean Conflict and was honorably discharged as a Sergeant in the MP’s. He was very proud of his service and was a Purple Heart Veteran.

After returning from the service and while living in Connecticut, Herman was employed as a Loan Officer and V.P. for Citizen’s National Bank. Sometime thereafter, he moved to the Berkshires in Massachusetts and opened a restaurant and motel which were very successful. Thereafter his business ventures took him to Roanoke, VA where he opened a delicatessen.  He worked at many different jobs, the last finding jobs for hundreds of people through the Goodwill in Roanoke, VA. He worked until he was 87 years old.

Robert W. Meyer, age 70, of Red Bank, passed away at home on Saturday, April 16, 2022, following a long courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.

He was an avid drummer throughout his high school years and played in numerous local popular bands. He went on to serve in the Vietnam war as a Navy photographer.

Robert started out as an Account Executive in the advertising industry in the early 70’s in New York City. His successful track record inspired him to independently start his own business in interior design and graphic production services, which then led him into launching a thriving architectural and institutional signage business with major developers throughout New Jersey. He was well sought out and respected by his business associates leaving behind a legacy.

Dolores V. DeFelice of Highland Beach, Florida, formally of Seaside Park, NJ met her awaited eternal reward on April 16, 2022, one month after celebrating her 90th birthday surrounded by her loving family. 

She was born on March 14, 1932, in Highland Park, NJ, the third of four children of Angelo and Catherine Morelli. Dolores married Thomas J. DeFelice, Sr. on March 24, 1951 and together they had nine children. She was devoted to her Catholic faith, her country, and her family, and inspired her children accordingly. Tom and Dolores raised their children in Lincroft, NJ where they were founding members of St. Leo the Great Parish.
 

JoAnne White Blair, age 89, of New York City, Winter Haven, FL, and Shreveport, LA passed away peacefully at home on April 9, 2022. Born in Mingo Junction, OH on Feb 14, 1933, she was the daughter of Irene and James White.

 
She had a passion for acting and was a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, NY. After a brief stint on the stage, due to practical matters, she became an administrative assistant at several television stations in NY, for the Herald Tribune in Paris, and later for John Ciardi (poet) at the Saturday Review in NY.

On March 29, 2022, Sheila Carey Bryan passed away at the age of 68. Born in Westerly, RI, she grew up in Rumson, New Jersey and Montreal, Canada before attending Northeastern University and the University of California, Santa Barbara. She loved living in beautiful places including Sun Valley and Boise, Idaho for many years as well as Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Meadows of Dan, Virginia, and Nantucket, Massachusetts before relocating back to New Jersey where she was living at the time of her death.

Her creativity was legendary. She worked primarily in interior design, where her hallmark was the ability to create interesting but highly functional interiors, always with whimsical elements. She hated pretense and would never allow a client to pursue a beautiful design that would not withstand the onslaught of kids, dogs, and normal life. A lifelong animal lover, she always had a menagerie of cats and dogs, and may be the only human being ever to teach a cat to fetch.

Robin Doris Mahns (nee Heggie) of Shrewsbury, NJ passed away unexpectedly on 4.7.22.  She was born in Long Branch, NJ in 1966 and grew up in New Shrewsbury, now Tinton Falls, NJ.  Robin’s father passed away when she was very young.  Robin’s maternal grandmother (and extended family) helped to raise her, her four sisters and brother so her mother could work several jobs to support them.  This instilled an intense respect for the importance of familial support which permeated her life.  She maintained many friendships with classmates stretching back to kindergarten.  During her childhood, Robin was actively involved in Girl Scouts achieving the Gold Award.  A family friend asked Robin to consider participating in the Tinton Falls Country Fair Queen pageant in 1982, which she reluctantly agreed to do, and won the crown.

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Bruce S. Thompson, Owner & Manager, NJ LIC #3740

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