Obituary of Anthony Raffaele
We are sad to announce that our father, Anthony Raffaele of Fort Lee, NJ, passed away peacefully after a short hospital stay. He was 90 years old.
Anthony was a loving son, husband, father, uncle, cousin, neighbor, friend, boss and mentor. He was born in North Bergen New Jersey to Mary and Bartolo Raffaele, and was the youngest of four sons. Always working, providing, and saving from a young age, he proudly kept the beautiful butterfly inlaid tray he gave to his mother as a gift bought with his very first dollars made working at a candy store at the age of 13. From that point on, he spent his life providing for and taking care of those he loved, always with a joyful heart and a smile. His boundless energy and determination, coupled with his devotion to his family and business, kept him going through many years of hard work and joyful times. A man with warm sweet spirit, a heart of gold, and a will of steel, he rarely tired.
He served his country during the Korean War, where he was trained and then worked making Crystal radios. After his service, he joined his brother Bart Raffaele as his business partner in 1955 in Raffaele’s Pharmacy on Anderson Avenue in Cliffside Park,NJ. He attended pharmacy school in the evenings, working at the pharmacy by day. He graduated from Fordham University with his BS in Pharmacy in 1960. Raffaele’s Pharmacy was his second home, where he served his community and made wonderful memories with his beloved brother and business partner, Bart, and all the employees who meant so much to him.
When he met his wife Josephine, he knew he had found the one. He married her in a beautiful ceremony, which included the setting free of live doves from their wedding cake, in 1961. They raised two children together in a warm and loving household in Fort Lee, New Jersey, also enjoying summers on the beautiful East End of Long Island fishing, boating, clamming, and crabbing. A home filled with family, friends, neighbors, and lots of seafood being prepared, made for joyful summers. If he was “getting his jobs done” around the house, he was a happy man. Bountiful holidays shared with family, with delicious food prepared by his devoted wife, were always a part of the loving home he provided.
He was a founding member of the Cliffside Park Men’s Club where he enjoyed playing poker and spending time with lifelong friends. He had been a talented baseball player in his younger years, and even tried out for the Yankees, remaining a lifelong fan. Also a devoted Giants fan, he attended many games throughout the years.
In his later years, he enjoyed telling stories of the old days, and enjoying wonderful times with his devoted son taking cruises, watching Giant and Yankee games, doing whatever jobs he could do around the house, and mowing the lawn on his John Deere mower. His daughter had learned to make his mother’s Gigi recipe, a fried Sicilian desert native to his father’s birth place in the Aeolian islands, and he was always thrilled to eat nothing but a large bowl of them for days. A little white fluff ball of a pup named Snuggles brought him endless joy and love in the years after his wife passed, and he adored his “ grand puppy” with all his heart.
He has survived by his children, Marisa and Robert Raffaele, and his beloved Bichon, Snuggles.
Per his wishes, the funeral will be a private ceremony with only close family members present. Anthony was a devout Catholic, and we know prayers of any faith, or lighting of a candle in his name, would have meant a lot to him.
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In Loving Memory
1932 - 2023
McCorry Brothers Funeral Home is a family owned and operated funeral home known for our relaxed and accommodating atmosphere. We are compassionate and caring and can assist in every aspect of your families needs when the death of a loved one occurs.
780 Anderson Avenue
Cliffside Park, NJ 07010
Paul W. McCorry, Manager - N.J. Lic.#4337
Vincent P. Conforti, Director - N.J. Lic. #5055