July 1, 1954 – November 16, 2015. 

Dennis John Birmingham passed away on November 16, 2015, in Plainsboro, NJ after a short illness. He was 61 years old.

Dennis was born in Boston, MA in 1954 to the late Denis W. Birmingham, and Joan E. Birmingham.   He spent his childhood in Medford, MA and Denville, NJ, where he graduated Morris Knolls High School in 1974.  Since graduating Morris Knolls, Dennis held various jobs, including his favorite as a Security Guard and working at Easter Seals.  Dennis was an avid bowler, golfer, and loved going to the movies. He was a dedicated fan of all the NY/NJ sports teams, but especially the Yankees.

Dennis is survived by his girlfriend, Jackie Stymest; his brother, Mr. Gary Birmingham (Maryland); his sister, Mrs.  Ellen Kugel (North Carolina); his Aunt & Uncle, Mr. & Mrs. Richard Birmingham (New Jersey), and his Aunt, Mrs. Mary Keating (Massachusetts).

A  Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Our Lady of the Mount Chapel in Warren, NJ on Saturday, November 21, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. A family burial service will follow at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in East Hanover, NJ. 
 Age 86

Carl "Ditty" Conti of Raritan, New Jersey, passed away on November 9 at the age of 86. Carl was born in New Haven, Ct on February 15, 1929 and graduated from Somerville High School in 1948 He was the owner of Conti Jewlers in Somerville from 1947-2004. 

This loving, sweet man, beloved by all and known for his honesty and generous heart is predeceased by first wife Catherine and daughter Pamela. Surviving are his wife Brunella Saltarelli, sister Rita Conti Johnson, and 8 grandchildren, David Reyes, Elisabeth and Michael Bowser, Jessica, Joseph, Stephanie, Samantha and Nicholas Saltarelli. 

Funeral Service will be held at 10am on Thursday, November 12, at the Cusick Funeral Home, Somerville, followed by an interment at St. Bernard Cemetery, Bridgewater. Visiting hoursfrom 5pm-8pm on Wednesday, November 11, at the funeral home. 

In lieu of flowers, donations in his name may  be made to The Michael J. Fox Foundation, Parkinson's Research, PO Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014

Age 61

Loretta J. Pietrowicz died November 6 at home in Somerville. She was born in Hoboken and had resided in Somerville for 17 years. Loretta was the Office Manager for Schwan Cosmetics in Piscataway.

She was a member of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Charismatic Prayer Group Fatima in Piscataway and Immaculate Conception Church in Somerville. Her community theatrical career began in 2001 as a member of St. Ann's Theatre Group and most recently as part of the JP II theatrical ministry at Immaculate Conception. 

Surviving are her husband, Joseph, two sons David and Thomas, a sister Patty Castrovilla and brother-in-law and sister-in-law Michael and Donna Pietrowicz. 

Visiting hours from 6pm-9pm on Tuesday, November 10, at the Cusick Funeral Home, Somerville. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 9:30am on Wednesday, November 11, at the Immaculate Conception Church, Somerville.

Age 58

Sharon R. Powlish died October 24 at RWJ at Somerset in Somerville. Sharon was born in Lancaster, PA. and resided in Bridgewater for over 30 years. She graduated from St. Peter's Nursing School in New Brunswick and then continued working there for 9 1/2 years.. Surviving are her husband Michael, her sister Diane Devonshire (husband George) , her sister-law- Debbie Chiselko and nieces and nephews. Visiting hours will begin at 5pm and conclude with a Funeral Service at 8pm on Wednesday, October 28, at the Cusick Funeral Home, Somerville. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Sharon's memory to "Wounded Warriors"

Age 95

Frances V. Dallessio, 95, of Somerville, NJ, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, October 21, 2015, surrounded by her three generations of family.  Born in 1920 in Brooklyn, NY, she has been a Somerville resident since 1926.  She was a graduate of Somerville High School and a parishioner at Immaculate Conception Parish.  She is predeceased by her parents, Francis and Raffaela (Bianco), sisters Ann Macchi and Mary, and brother Thomas.  She is survived by her sister, Jean Lucas, also of Somerville, ten nieces and nephews, and 16 great nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours from 2pm-5pm on Sunday, October 25, at the Cusick Funeral Home, Somerville. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 9:30am on Monday, October 26, at the Immaculate Conception Church, Somerville. Interment to follow at church cemetery.
Age 93
Jackson, NJ

Dolly Thompson, 93, of Jackson, NJ, passed away on October 13, 2015, surrounded by her family.  Born on November 5, 1921 in Dunellen, NJ, Dolly resided in Somerville for 56 years. 

She was employed by RCA, in Bridgewater NJ, as Group Leader.  After 25 years she retired at the age of 57.  While at RCA she was the Human Relations Chair for the IUE AFL­ CIO Union. Fighting against injustices in the labor movement, she met the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and was instrumental in organizing 6 buses of union members to attend the 1963 March on Washington.  

Throughout her lifetime, Dolly was involved in numerous civic organizations.  She was a past President and life member of the National Council of Negro Women; member of the NAACP Somerset Chapter; the NJ Black Issues Convention; National Black Caucus on Aging; Rainbow PUSH Coalition; and many other organizations that focused on equality for all people.  

As a former long time member of St. Paul Baptist Church in Somerville, she belonged to the Busy Bee Auxiliary, and the Senior Choir.  She loved to sing and plan events.  In 1998 she relocated to Jackson, NJ and became a member of Hope Cathedral, where she was an active member of the Seasoned Saints. 

Dolly was known for her love of God, sweet spirit, genuine smile, love of all people, and most of all her unconditional love of family.  A true matriarch, she is survived by her four daughters, Joyce Blair Clark of Jonesboro, Georgia; Sherry Moore of Jackson, NJ; Gloria Clark and Mary Lou Scott Clark of Somerset, NJ; along with 8 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews and relatives.  

Family and friends are invited to attend a visitation on Monday, October19th from 6­-8:00 pm at Cusick Funeral Home, 80 Mountain Avenue, Somerville.  The funeral service will be held on Tuesday, October 20th, at the First United Methodist Church, 48 West High Street, Somerville, with visitation at 10am and service at 11am.  Interment will follow at the New Cemetery in Somerville, with the repass at the First United Methodist Church.
Age 25
Formerly of Bridgewater
Meryl Anne Wasilewski, 25, of Bridgewater, passed away in her apartment in Ft. Lauderdale, FL on Sunday, October 11, 2015, just two weeks shy of her 26th birthday.
Born in New Brunswick at St. Peter’s Hospital, Meryl grew up in Bridgewater and graduated from Bridgewater Raritan High School in 2007. She attended Raritan Valley Community College for two semesters. 
Meryl was full of life and her infectious laugh and deep empathy for people was a magnet for friends. In recovery, Meryl had celebrated two years of sobriety in April of this year.  She was very active with the recovery community in south Florida, specifically through Pathway to HopeTreatment Center in Ft. Lauderdale. She often spoke of her addiction experience to groups at the center and other recovery meetings in south Florida. She was also a sponsor,helping other addicts through the recovery process.
In recent years, Meryl had become quite an accomplished player of the ukulele. She wrote songs and performed at clubs and coffee houses in Florida. Both an avid animal lover and an environmentalist, Meryl’s goal was to return to college and pursue a degree in environmental studies. 
In addition to the many adoring friends she leaves behind, Meryl is survived by her mother, Gail, sister, Dana, and father, Alfred. A Memorial Service will take place at 2 pm, on Saturday, October 24, at Good Shepard Lutheran Church, 300 Union Ave, Somerville, NJ 08876. 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to the Natural Resources Defense Council, www.nrdc.org or to The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, www.drugfree.org

Age 63

Beverly a. Bakunas died October 9 at home. She was born in Elizabeth and resided in Branchburg since 1970. 

Beverly was the President of the Parkway Pilots and was a lifelong car enthusiast and motorhead, known throughout the classic car world. Classic car shows and cruise nights were a family affair with Beverly, who extended her feelings of these encounters to her grandson Ryan. 

Surviving are her beloved husband Glenn, sons Bryan and Kevin and Kevin's wife Katy and their son Ryan, her brother John Nalberczinski and his wife Patty and nephew Christopher and his wife Lora. 

Visiting hours from 5pm to 8pm on Wednesday, October 14, at the Cusick Funeral Home, Somerville
Age 65

William "Billy" Jones passed away on September 29. He was born in Somerville and a life long resident. Surviving are his sisters Mildred Henry and Lillian Dalambert and a host of nieces, nephews and friends. A Funeral Service will be held 11am on Monday, October 12, at Paul Baptist Church, 85 Hamilton St., Somerville. Interment to follow at the New Cemetery, Somerville
Age 74   

Edward G. Zwickle died October 6 at Hunterdon Medical Center. He was born in Somerville and lived there most of his life before moving to Flemington 9 years ago. Ed was employed for Thuls Auto Parts for over 30 years at various locations in Somerset County and was an Army Veteran serving from 1959 until honorably discharged in 1962. 

Surviving are his siblings Thomas Zwickle and Lillian Ibach, a niece Kelli and a nephew Thomas and 2 great nieces and 1 great nephew. Funeral Services are private.

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