OBITUARY

Benedict Gambardella

February 23, 1926November 26, 2018
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Benedict Gambardella of West Orange died peacefully on Monday November 26, 2018 surrounded by his family at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston New Jersey at the age of 92.

Visitation will be held at the LaMonica Memorial Home, 145 E. Mt. Pleasant Ave., Livingston, N.J., on Friday, November 30, 2018 from 5-8 pm. The funeral commences at the funeral home at 9:30 am on Saturday, December 1, 2018 with A Mass of Christian Burial being offered in St. Raphael’s Church in Livingston at 10:30 am. The Entombment will follow at Hollywood Memorial Park in Union.

Born in Newark, New Jersey on February 23, 1926, Ben also lived in Glen Ridge and Bloomfield before moving to West Orange.

Ben graduated from Barringer High School in Newark and then entered the United States Army during the Second World War. Part of the “Greatest Generation,” Ben completed his service in 1946. Thereafter, Ben entered Seton Hall University where he graduated in 1951 with a degree in Business Administration.

Upon graduation from Seton Hall University, Ben worked at the former Newark Evening News in the Circulation Department as District Manager before joining the sales department at Hollywood Memorial Park in Union New Jersey in 1955 as a family sales counselor where he became known as “The Legend”.

For more than fifty years Ben served multiple generations of families at the time of their greatest need. On October 1, 2005 in celebration of Ben’s 50 years of service, the main mausoleum at Hollywood Memorial Park was dedicated to him. Ben would retire in 2010 and enjoy life with his family.

He was, throughout his life, a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend. His wife Lucy (nee Russoniello) passed away in 1976 leaving him a single dad. His greatest joy in life was his family to whom he was devoted and who loved him greatly in return. His granddaughter April Gambardella gave Ben i.e. “Gramp” great joy in the latter years of his life. He can be credited with teaching her how to be a checkers champion, and how to never forget to ask a waiter to not be bashful with the bacon when ordering a grilled cheese sandwich. Beloved by so many, Ben had a quick wit and love for life that was infectious to everyone that had the pleasure of knowing and loving him. No matter where you went with Ben it seemed as though there would always be someone there with a “Hey Benny! How’s it going?” Always looking at the positive side of life, at any family dinner you would be sure to hear him say with a glass of champagne in hand and a grin on his face, “May the best of this year be the worst of next year!” His humor and compassion stayed with him until he passed away.

Ben was predeceased by his wife Lucy (nee Russoniello}, his parents Alfonso and Frances Gambardella, his sisters, Pauline Ruggiero, Angela DeVincentis and Ann Gambardella, and his long time companion Roseanne Laico.

He is survived by his children, Rosemary Gambardella, Frances Gambardella and Benedict Gambardella and his wife, Linda, his brother Alphonse Gambardella and his wife Ida, his granddaughter April, and many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Center, P.O. Box 1893, Memphis, Tenn. 38101-9950.

Services

  • Visitation Friday, November 30, 2018
  • Funeral Mass Saturday, December 1, 2018
  • Entombment Saturday, December 1, 2018
REMEMBERING

Benedict Gambardella

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Diane Spezza

November 30, 2018

Uncle Ben touched so many people’s lives and he will be missed. Thank you for sharing your wonderful family photos.

Melinda Middlebrooks

November 29, 2018

To quote L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz", “...a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.” This is a sign of a life well-lived. When my middle child graduated from college and was trying to find a job, he was lucky enough to be hired by Hollywood Memorial Park where he was mentored by “The Legend”. Always a kind word and a quick smile, Mr. Gambardella was the type of man called a "Mensch" in Yiddish, "a person of integrity and honor". Mr. Gambardella was certainly an honorable man. Billy Graham once said that "the greatest legacy one can pass on to one's children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one's life, but rather a legacy of character and faith." Character and faith were certainly the hallmarks of Mr. Gambardella's life. Pope Francis gave us guidance in November of last year by saying that “[h]ere, therefore, is the meaning of being wise and prudent: it is not to wait for the last moment of our life to cooperate with the grace of God, but to do it already, from now.” The Grace of God. Such powerful meaning and wonder. After many decades of assisting other families at this time of transfer into God's Grace, Mr. Gambardella is now in the presence of the Almighty and I have every faith that he has received his Heavenly Crown. We all know that our earthly lives will end. But, as believers, we are given the amazing promise that comes only to those who come to God through Jesus: “And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life” (1 John 2:25). Rest in peace in your eternal life....until we meet again.

Janice Gurzo

November 29, 2018

My deepest sympathy to you and your family. Rest in peace.

FROM THE FAMILY
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