Obituaries

Gaetano Troiano
B: 1922-10-15
D: 2015-05-25
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Troiano, Gaetano
Carmela Castellano
B: 1927-12-26
D: 2015-05-24
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Castellano, Carmela
Joseph Scolza
B: 1925-02-22
D: 2015-05-24
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Scolza, Joseph
Ernest Schadtle
B: 1944-08-01
D: 2015-05-23
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Schadtle, Ernest
Margaret Donahue
B: 1916-09-24
D: 2015-05-21
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Donahue, Margaret
Domingo Guzman
B: 1946-01-14
D: 2015-05-21
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Guzman, Domingo
Peter McHugh
B: 1940-05-26
D: 2015-05-20
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McHugh, Peter
Catherine Compitello
B: 1916-02-20
D: 2015-05-20
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Compitello, Catherine
Doris Aragon
B: 1937-04-06
D: 2015-05-18
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Aragon, Doris
David O'Sullivan
B: 1940-12-27
D: 2015-05-17
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O'Sullivan, David
Catherine Essig
B: 1916-01-11
D: 2015-05-17
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Essig, Catherine
Nunziato Calapa
B: 1936-01-01
D: 2015-05-17
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Calapa, Nunziato
Pearl Adams
B: 1931-02-07
D: 2015-05-16
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Adams, Pearl
Millie Torrisi
B: 1924-07-07
D: 2015-05-14
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Torrisi, Millie
Michael Boggi
B: 1941-07-03
D: 2015-05-14
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Boggi, Michael
Laura Devaney
B: 1953-02-25
D: 2015-05-14
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Devaney, Laura
Frances Russo
B: 1940-05-24
D: 2015-05-12
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Russo, Frances
Phyllis Kopelman
B: 1947-11-01
D: 2015-05-12
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Kopelman, Phyllis
Anthony Torres
B: 1937-08-19
D: 2015-05-11
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Torres, Anthony
Alfonso Dorado
B: 1945-05-01
D: 2015-05-11
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Dorado, Alfonso
James Woodley
B: 1929-02-05
D: 2015-05-11
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Woodley, James

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Visitation

A "viewing" means to have an open casket.

A "visitation" is when the body is laid out in the casket (which may be open or closed) before the service so that mourners may come to "visit."

A visitation offers a chance for people to "pay their final respects" to the deceased. Just as important, the visitation can be a time for mourners to meet and console each other in a more informal setting than at the funeral.

You can schedule a visitation for as little as half an hour on the day of the service, or it can last for several days before the service.

The visitation can be restricted to just close friends and family, or be open to the public. You can even have a combination of private and public hours.

Is there a special ceremony?

As part of the visitation, you can arrange a formal ceremony, an informal ceremony, or none at all. The formal ceremony might be a brief service with the saying of the rosary (for Catholics) or prayers for the dead led by a mourner or member of the clergy.

The term "wake" is sometimes used to describe the reception after the funeral or memorial service.

Traditionally, though, a wake means the friends and family keeping watch by the body before it is safely buried, especially through the night. (Hence the term "wake.") In some families, there is much drinking, feasting and storytelling during the vigil.

For those who are comfortable with it, an informal storytelling session can be a wonderful way to remember the person.

The stories don't all have to be solemn, nor do they all have to show the person as a saint. We often love people as much for their flaws as for their strengths.

Remember, too, that laughter is as much a sign of strong emotion as tears or anger.

And if the person had a good sense of humor, there are bound to be some funny stories.

This sharing can be a rich and powerful experience. You might even want to record this event to play it again later.