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Caroline Connell


Caroline H. Connell, age 88, of Wayne, passed away peacefully with her loving family close by her side, on Monday, October 2, 2017.

Born at Mountainside Hospital in Glen Ridge, Caroline grew up in Bloomfield. She graduated from Bloomfield High School with the Class of 1946, and wasting no time, the following week, Caroline reported to her first full-time job as a secretary for Prudential Insurance Company in Newark.

Caroline met her future husband, Ray, also a Bloomfield High graduate, in Ray’s neighborhood, across the street from Holsten’s Ice Cream Parlor on Broad Street in Bloomfield (site of famous last scene from the Sopranos TV Series). One of their first dates together was a trip to the local movie theater to see Gone with the Wind. On Saturday, November 19, 1949 they exchanged their wedding vows at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Bloomfield with a reception following at the former Robinhood Inn in Clifton (now the Regency). Caroline was just twenty years old at the time. After the wedding, they enjoyed a weekend honeymoon in New York City. Caroline and Ray’s first home was a little apartment in Richfield Village in Clifton.

Working a total of four years for Prudential Insurance, Caroline left her secretarial position for what she considered a much higher calling - staying at home to take care of her firstborn – a baby girl which she and Ray named Karen. Sharon arrived less than a year later.

In 1953, the family moved to Wayne and Caroline has remained there for the last 64 years. The blessing of children continued with Jim arriving the following year and then Mary Beth, Danny and David all in a row shortly after. Caroline had her hands full. When her youngest son David was old enough, Caroline returned to the workplace where she was a sales associate in the housewares department of the former Bamberger’s Department Store in the Willowbrook Mall in Wayne. In all, she worked there a total of ten years.

Caroline was a dear wife and mother who quietly went about her business lovingly caring for her family and taking care of her home. Her spare time was most enjoyed curling up with a good book, a daily perusal of the latest news in the newspaper and challenging herself with daily crossword puzzles. She always had a cup of tea in hand and collected tea pots, along with music boxes. For many years, she and Ray went to shows twice a year at the Montclair Operetta Club where she was a longtime season ticket holder. She was a huge fan of Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune and everyone that was close to her knew not to call Caroline on the phone when those two shows were airing. She simply would not answer! She was the best friend of every two and four-legged creature that would come into her yard. Feeding them regularly, she certainly gave Snow White a run for her money.

Caroline’s faith in God was an integral part of everything that she thought about and did in life. A founding parishioner of Our Lady of the Valley Church in Wayne, she and her husband Ray were always active in the life of the church, serving on various committees. For as long as her health would allow, she always faithfully attended daily mass, and even when her kids were little, she’d get up early to go to the 6:30 morning mass so she could be home again before they awoke.

Caroline will be remembered for being the kindest and gentlest of souls. Her children will testify that in all of their lives, even to the present, they never ever heard their mom yell at them (or anyone). Rest in peace “Sweet Caroline”.

Caroline was the beloved and devoted wife of Raymond until his passing in 1998. She is survived by her six dearly loved children: Karen Connell of Montclair, Sharon Ferguson and her partner Terry Ow of Santa Cruz, CA, James Connell and his partner Valerie Hrabal of Kinnelon, Mary Beth Sullivan and her husband Steve of Wayne, Dan Connell and his wife Helen of Mapleville, RI, and David Connell of Lincoln Park; eight cherished grandchildren: Danny Sullivan and his wife Caitlin, Erin Marrero and her husband Davy, Allison Connell, Kevin Sullivan, Sean Connell, Laura Kane and her husband Mark, Kaitlin Connell, and Lauren Connell; one precious great-granddaughter Lily Marrero; one dear brother: Charles Wolski and his wife Ellen of Dawsonville, GA; and one dear sister: Lee Toth and her husband Bob of Salisbury, NC.

Caroline’s family would also wish to express sincere thanks to Zenny, Caroline’s compassionate and dedicated caregiver for the last three years.

Friends may visit with the family on Thursday, October 5, 2017 from 4-8 PM at the Vander May Wayne Colonial Funeral Home, 567 Ratzer Road, Wayne.

Funeral services will be held at 9:00 AM on Friday, October 6, 2017 from the funeral home then to Our Lady of the Valley R.C. Church, 630 Valley Road, Wayne, where a 10:00 AM Mass will be offered.

In lieu of flowers, those planning an expression of sympathy in Caroline’s name are asked to consider Catholic Charities USA, P.O. Box 17066, Baltimore, MD 21297-1066, or online at

Guest Book


One of the kindest and thoughtful neighbors anyone could have, she was always smiling and had a good word for everyone, She will be missed and fondly remembered, May she Rest In Peace, Steve & Hilda

Steve & Hilda Cielusniak


With my Deepest Sympathy to all my cousins. Caroline was a BEAUTIFUL person. She will be missed. May she Rest In Peace. Please save me a remembrance card. I have all the departed Wolski's together -Much love, Bernadine (Bi)

Bernadien (Volski) Kanakis

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