Dr. Mario Verna
1937 - 2018
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Dr. Mario Verna

Tenafly - Dr. Mario Verna died on December 3, 2018, following a long illness. Since 2013, he resided at Sunrise Cresskill, having earlier lived for more than 30 years in Tenafly and distinguished himself as a surgeon at Hackensack Medical Center. Dr. Verna was born in 1937 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where as a youth he was active in the Catholic Action movement alongside Jorge Bergoglio, who would later become Pope Francis. Dr. Verna studied medicine at the University of Buenos Aires, graduating in 1961. Two years later, he married Ana Estela Blanc, a native of Mendoza, Argentina, and the two emigrated to the U.S., settling in Bergen County. Dr. Verna began his medical career at Hackensack, and he and Mrs. Verna had three children from 1964 through 1969. In 1970, the family moved back to Argentina, but following the political upheaval that led to the country's Dirty War in the mid-'70s, they returned to New Jersey. Dr. Verna went back to work at Hackensack and eventually developed a specialty in breast surgery. In 1993, he founded the facility's Institute for Breast Care and served as its director until he retired in 2008. Following his medical career, Dr. Verna indulged his lifelong passion for poetry by collecting his works in the self-published anthology "Poesías." He was an avid storyteller who loved to regale friends and relatives with jokes, anecdotes, and reflections gleaned from a life that spanned continents, cultures, generations, and world-changing events. He was a regular attendee of the New York City Opera and Ballet, and he had a deep appreciation for Argentine soccer, which he regarded as more of an art form than a sport. He will be remembered for his acute sense of humor, his generosity, and his openness toward all who crossed his threshold. Pope Francis expressed his sympathies and personal remembrances of Dr. Verna in a phone call to the family. He fondly recalled his time with Mario ("El Flaco") when they were young and said he would pray for him at the next Mass. The Pope added: "This is the age when we are called back." Dr. Verna is predeceased by his wife, Ana Verna, who died in 1994. He is survived by his sister, Nelly Verna, three children and their spouses, and six grandchildren. Visitation Friday from 5-8 PM at Barrett Funeral Home 148 Dean Dr., Tenafly, NJ 07670. Funeral Service, Saturday 10 AM at the funeral home. Interment Brookside Cemetery, Englewood, NJ. In lieu of flowers, the Verna family kindly requests donations to Alzheimer's New Jersey. For more information visit www.barrettfuneralhome.net.

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Published in The Record/Herald News on Dec. 6, 2018.
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8 entries
July 29, 2020
Saddened by his passing. Recalling my first encounter in 1988. This photo is the man I met and remember. Dr. Irani suggested Dr. Verna after suspicious mammogram. This man was wonderful, bedside manner & very calming. Rest In Peace. My condolences to his family.
Joyce A. Horning
October 4, 2019
My sincerest condolences to the entire family. Dr. Verna was a fantastic man! although I worked with him after his diagnosis, he was a true gentleman with an amazing personality!
July 10, 2019
Mario Marzana
May 2, 2019
Dr. Mario Verna you will be deeply missed.
R .I.P.
Evelyn Sampaon
December 12, 2018
My deepest condolences to the Verna family. May the God who "binds up the brokenhearted and comforts all who mourn" help your family during this most difficult time. Isaiah 61:1,2
December 7, 2018
Al my family is really sad knowing you will no be around anymore.
Blessing to you in heaven and thank you very much for your passion with the medicine and your generosity.
Doris Posadas
December 6, 2018
I went to Dr. Verna many years ago. He was a wonderful, kind, compassionate doctor and human being. Absolutely THE BEST! My condolences to his family. May in rest in peace!
Carol Seaman
December 6, 2018
About 24 years ago, my mammogram was "suspicious," and I was recommended to see Dr. Verna for further testing. He was so compassionate, friendly and professional. THANK GOD ALL WAS WELL. I am sorry to see he has passed and that he had a long illness. Rest in Peace. Barbara Carfagno.
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