Grace Aqualina
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Grace A., a lifelong resident of Hackensack, passed away peacefully on Thursday, September 26, 2013, at the age of 70 years. Prior to retiring in 2001, Grace was a beloved elementary and middle school teacher in the Hackensack school system for 37 years. She was a published author of memoirs and short stories, was an accomplished artist and had an adventurous spirit. She was a graduate of Ladycliff College of Highland Falls, NY where she received her Bachelor Degree and Columbia University in New York City where she received her Masters Degree. She was a parishioner of Holy Trinity R.C. Church of Hackensack and served as a Eucharistic Minister at Hackensack University Medical Center where she was a member of the Bio Ethical Board. She was a member of the New Jersey Educational Association, the National Educational Association and the Bergen County Educational Association. Beloved daughter of the late James and Betty Aqualina. Dearest sister of Marie Consalvo and her husband Joseph of Woodcliff Lake. Loving aunt of Christine Klecanda and her husband Robert of Woodcliff Lake, Philip Consalvo and his partner William Easterling of New York, and Elizabeth Hoogendoorn and her husband Gerard of River Vale. Cherished great-aunt of Alyssa, Joris, Robert, and Kathryn. Grace is also survived by many, many loving friends. The funeral on Monday, September 30th, at 9:45 AM, from the G. Thomas Gentile Funeral Home, 397 Union Street, Hackensack. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Holy Trinity R.C. Church, 34 Maple Avenue, Hackensack, at 11 AM with entombment following at Hackensack Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Sunday from 2-4 and 7-9 PM. Memorial donations to the Villa Marie Clare, 12 West Saddle River Road, Saddle River, NJ 07458, would be appreciated. To send condolences, directions, or further info visit

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Published in The Record/Herald News from Sep. 27 to Sep. 29, 2013.
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22 entries
October 1, 2013
Ms. Aqualina,
I remember you from Jackson Ave school,you were always a kind and caring person. Thanks for being you.. RIP Your now at peace and in heaven.
Maria Alvarado
September 30, 2013
I neglected to add my town information in my message - Carolyn (Church) Turkstra, East Sandwich (Cape Cod), MA
I know the angels are rejoicing to have Grace, one of their own back in their midst!
September 29, 2013
I am so sorry to hear that Grace passed away. She was a classmate and a friend for many years. Her caring ways and sparkling personality will always be remembered. My condolences to her family.
Suzanne Carley Wagner
September 29, 2013
I too was a HHS classmate of Grace's, class of 1960. I remember her as a sweet,fun-loving, and kind young woman, who was ready to befriend all who came into her sphere; the testimonials in this book of remembrances bear that impression out. Unfortunately, we lost touch after those high school years, but through mutual friends I eventually learned of her struggle with cancer and she was added to my prayer list.
Although she was unable to make it to our 50th class reunion, I did have the opportunity to visit with her when a group of Hackensack friends got together at Rudy's for lunch. A group photo was taken and it is displayed in my bedroom, a treasure and reminder how fast time slips by. I think Grace would have been a true and faithful friend had our paths not diverged; I mourn the lost opportunity as I celebrate all she accomplished and contributed in her life.
In sympathy, Carolyn (Church) Turkstra
September 29, 2013
We met as mutual friends of our dear friend Pat O'Day and attended all of the O'Day kids weddings. She was a good friend who will sorely missed. My condolences to her family and many friends!
September 29, 2013
I am so sorry to hear this very sad news. I went to State Street and HHS with her and we connected again on the 50th reunion committee. She was a warm, and vibrant person who had the ability to make everyone feel so comfortable in her presence . My condolences to her family and friends.
Carolyn Kristal
September 29, 2013
I will truly miss you "Auntie" Grace. You were, and ALWAYS will remain an inspiration to me and all who were lucky enough to have met you. Whenever I was around you, you made me feel so specia! Rest now, and know you will be forever in my heart. Xoxo
Tara Bonino
September 29, 2013
Grace and I were colleagues at Hackensack Middle School for many years. She is one of Hackensack's most beloved teachers. It was an honor to have worked on the same team. Even after her retirement from teaching we continued to get together for breakfasts and lunches - to reminisce and revel in our careers and friendship.
Bob Eldridge
September 28, 2013
I was so sorry to hear that Grace passed away. We met at HHS and were both herald trumpet players in the band. We had such fun times together laughing at our attempts to play the trumpet. Our class of 1960 has lost a wonderful person. I know she is at peace now.
Mary Lea Heydon Burden
September 28, 2013
Grace and I were dear friends in State Street as well as through high school and college. I am so very sorry to hear that she passed away.
Sandra Alvaro Smith
September 28, 2013
What a life of dedication: to her church, to Hackensack, to her teaching, to her friends and to every student whose path crossed hers. There couldn't be a better legacy. So many of us in the class of 1960 left our "home town." Grace remained and shared her gifts with all. We have lost her too soon.
Claire Dalrymple
September 28, 2013
Grace and I worked together as teachers at Jackson Avenue School for many years, and at the Middle School, as well. I will always be in awe of Grace's outstanding skills as a teacher, and of her complete devotion to her students. As a friend, Grace never failed to put a smile on my face; she had a way of making you feel like the most important person in the world. Marie, my deepest sympathy goes to you and your family. I feel privileged to have known your wonderful sister.
Suzanne Oratio
September 28, 2013
I'm so sorry to that Grace has passed away. She's an HHS classmate whom I remember dearly.
Robert Krone
September 27, 2013
Grace & I were at State Street Junior High in Hackensack more than 50 years ago. We have several friends in common. We went to the school's 9th grade graduation dance together in 1957. When I heard she was sick several years ago I sent her note. She sent me a such a beautifully written reply that I knew her parents chose just the right name in calling her Grace. I only learned tonight how accomplished she was. I know her valiant struggle was long & hard these last years. This evening at dinner our family said a prayer giving thanks for her life and that she may repose in peace.
Paul Wackerbarth
September 27, 2013
Marie and Joe, Noticed that my name did not appear on my previous guest book remarks. Hope you remember how Grace and I used to torture your dad to let Grace stay out late! I only wish I knew she was ill.
Donna Perrapato Lowe
September 27, 2013
Dear Marie, My deepest sympathy to you and your family. Grace was a very special person,an outstanding teacher and role model to all who were priviledged to know her. She had a profound influence on Mike & Steve. I have fond memories of our talks and the trip to Spain we shared. Claudia Thompson
September 27, 2013
Claudia DoCampo
September 27, 2013
Miss Aqualina - I still can't call her Grace after 40 years! There are not enough words to express what a wonderful teacher and person she was. I am so grateful to have had her in my life. Loving and kindest thoughts to her family, know that you and Grace are in the hearts of so many.
Tracy DeFreitas
September 27, 2013
My thoughts are with all of you during this time.
Claudia DoCampo
September 27, 2013
My thoughts are with all of you during this time. Even though I never met Grace in person I feel as if I knew her through Philip...and now miss her too.
Claudia DoCampo
September 27, 2013
Marie and Joe, My deepest sympathy to you and your family. I was shocked to here of Graces' passing. Grace and I had a special bond since we both started our teaching career in Hackensack. I always think of her with a smile on my face and a quiet giggle.
September 27, 2013
Grace was one of my oldest friends. We first met at State Street Junior High in 7th grade where we became "best friends" until I moved from the area. We have kept in touch for all those years. I love and admire her for her courage and the good life she led. I will miss her very much. God Bless you Grace!
Sandra Stevens-Melin
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