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Anthony P. Cafaro

Anthony P. Cafaro Obituary
Anthony P. Cafaro
A Man for All Seasons
Anthony P. Cafaro, a man for all seasons, passed away peacefully at the Center for Hope Hospice in Scotch Plains, N.J., on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. He was 89 years old.
Friends and relatives are invited to the Leonard-Lee Funeral Home, 301 E. Blancke St., Linden, N.J., on Friday, March 20, 2020, from 2 until 7 p.m. Entombment will be in St. Gertrude Cemetery for immediate family members only due to the restrictions imposed by the Archdiocese of Newark. A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Michael's Church, Cranford, N.J., at a later date. Please visit leonardleefh.com.
A devoted husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend, Anthony faithfully served his country, his community, his trade and union, and his family. From the innocence of youth to the horrors of war, and the joy and contentment of a loving family and loyal friends, he was truly "a man for all occasions, whether happy or serious."
Anthony Cafaro is survived by his amazing wife of 65 years, Ann, with whom he was blessed with five children; his sons: Anthony with his wife, Hayley; John with his wife, Denise; Joseph with his wife, Kitty; and Michael with his wife, Shelon, and his daughter, Patricia. He was also blessed with nine grandchildren: John Michael and Angelina, Laura and Jill, Kayne, Krystal and Bella, and Cassidy. Justin, the oldest grandchild, predeceased his grandfather.
Anthony Cafaro was born to Louise and Ciro Cafaro, and he was also blessed with an older brother, Joseph Cafaro, who predeceased Anthony in March of 2018, and with whom he shared a devoted brotherly love that lasted over 85 years. Anthony is also survived by his sister-in-law, Eleanor Cafaro; nephew, David Cafaro, and niece, Caroline Cafaro, whose love and devotion knew no bounds.
Anthony Cafaro was also blessed to have been the stepson of Pasquale Caggiano and to have been a member of the Caggiano family, including the siblings of Pasquale Caggiano and their progeny who are too numerous to mention, but who are integral to this man's legacy. Anthony Cafaro was also blessed with having married the daughter of Mary DePalma (nee Nigro), and having married into the Nigro family, including the siblings of Mary Nigro and their progeny, who are too numerous to mention but who are integral to this man's legacy.
Born at home in Brooklyn, N.Y., Anthony lost his father at five months of age and, with Louise, he and his brother, Joseph, resided with their grandfather, aunts and uncles on 70th Street and 13th Avenue in a traditional Italian-American setting. Anthony's character was forged on the streets of Brooklyn and by working for the family business.
After his widowed mother met Patsy Caggiano at the San Gennaro festival in Little Italy, N.Y., Anthony and his brother moved to Linden, N.J., where he began his life with the Caggiano household. He continued his development in Linden where he attended #6 School, #8 School, McManus Junior High and Linden High School, where he played football and ran track.
The innocence of his youth included fast cars, football games, hot summer nights and moonlight dances. This innocence was shattered by the call to war and, after graduating in 1949, Anthony enlisted in the Army in 1950, completed his basic training in Fort Dix, and was sent to the Korean War.
Anthony served honorably in the Korean War, where he fought at Porkchop Hill, for which he earned the Bronze Star, and he also earned an Infantry Combat Battlefield Badge and Sharpshooter Badge. He held the rank of platoon sergeant; he exemplified bravery in battle and loyalty to his comrades in arms.
He was a lifetime member of the Army's 5th Regiment and remained in contact with his comrades until his death. In addition to being a Korean War veteran, he was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Disabled Veterans.
The tragedy of war was transformed to the exhilaration of civilian life when Anthony returned to New Jersey at the age of 22 and began to live his American Dream. It started one moonlit evening at the dance hall in South River, N.J., when he met the love of his life, Ann DePalma.
Anthony Cafaro would want you to believe that she asked him to dance, but the truth is, he fell in love with her that evening. Whether they were at the beach or in the mountains, they dreamed of the possibilities of life. When he brought Ann home to meet his family and received his family's blessing, they married and continued their love story. Their love for each other has lasted the test of time and has served as an example to their children. Ann Cafaro was the woman of his dreams, and they devoted their lives to each other.
Anthony Cafaro's passion for life, his love for his family, and his compassion for others was as strong as steel. Aptly, Anthony was a proud 50-year member of the Ironworkers Local #480 and Local #11. He remained active in the trades decades after he retired, working as a high school liaison for the building trades well into his eighties. His allegiance to his union members mirrored his loyalty to his comrades in the armed services.
A resident of Cranford for over 50 years, he was a member of St. Michael's Church. A patriot, a hero, a family man and a loyal citizen and member of society, Anthony Cafaro was the epitome of strength, gentleness, wisdom and compassion. He lived life to the fullest and he contributed mightily to the American spirit. Anthony Cafaro was devoted to his family and friends, and was truly a man for all seasons.
Published in Star-Ledger on Mar. 19, 2020
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