Joseph J. Archutowski, 91

Joseph J. Archutowski died on Thursday, Aug. 30 at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick.
Born and raised in The Bronx, ­Joseph was a resident of South Plainfield since 1961. Until his retirement, Joseph worked for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development chief appraiser.
He proudly served with the United States Army during WWII and the Korean War. A charter member of the South Plainfield Knights of Columbus, Joseph was also active with Our Lady of Czestochowa Church.
He enjoyed reading and will be remembered as a family man and for his witty one liners.
Surviving are his wife of 61 years, Margaret (Kane); six children, Joseph and wife Cynthia, Stefanie Stewart and husband Donald, Andrew, Jean Johnson and husband Carl, Paul and wife Joy and Patricia and husband John Lee.
He will also be missed by 10 grandchildren, Meredith, Daniel, Alison, Joseph, Michael, Olivia, Gabriella, Peyton, Leon and Giselle; and two great-grandchildren, Hazel and Lincoln.
Funeral services were held at McCriskin-Gustafson Home For Funerals followed by a funeral Mass at Our Lady of Czestochowa RC Church.

Gerald Sirois, 75

Gerald Sirois died on Monday, Aug. 27 at Overlook Medical Center in Summit.
Born in Eagle Lake, Maine to Lawrence and Maria Sirois, Gerald was a resident of South Plainfield for many years.
He enlisted with the United States Navy at the age of 18 and served during the Vietnam War aboard the USS Forrestal CVA-59. After his honorable discharge, Gerald was a proud member of Local 475 in Warren.
His main hobby was soaking up knowledge on all subjects. A selfless man who helped many people throughout his life, Gerald was a constant caregiver to his sick wife Karen who will cherish forever his constant, kind, and faithful devotion to caring for her.
He was predeceased by two siblings, Leo and Exilia.
Surviving is his wife of 36 years, Karen (Rathje) of South Plainfield; a son, Joseph Vaughan and wife Susana and their children, Andrea, Nicole and Kenny, who have been a constant source of comfort to him.
In addition, he is survived by eight loving siblings, Stella, Rella, Sylvia, Linda, Ronald. Elsie, Carol and Richard; and countless grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews and in-laws.
Funeral services were private and under the direction of McCriskin-Gustafson Home For Funerals.

Julius Freitag, 75

Julius Freitag passed away on Tuesday, Aug 21 at Haven Hospice located within JFK Medical Center in Edison.
He was born in Newark and grew up on the North Side, graduating from Bloomfield Technical School in 1960. He later resided in South Plainfield for many years before moving to Seaside Park in 2000 and settling in Toms River in 2010.
Employed at the ExxonMobil plant in Edison as a chemical engineer, Julius retired and later worked as a school bus driver in Ocean County.
He loved to be with family and friends, spending time alongside his beloved wife, Eileen Patricia (Butler), and he was heartbroken when she died in February of this year. He was also preceded in death by his parents, John and Lillian (Angrisani).
Julius leaves behind a son and daughter-in-law, Jason and Christine Culver of South Plainfield; three grandchildren whom he adored, Kirsten, Samantha and Justin; and several nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and dear friends.
Funeral services were held at McCriskin-Gustafson Home For Funerals followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at the Church of the Sacred Heart.
Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to The Popcorn Park Rescue, P.O. Box 43, Forked River, N.J. 08731.

Doris Ann (Kelber) Merkler, 87

Doris Ann (Kelber) Merkler of Bayville passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 21 after a long illness.
Doris was born in Cranford and spent most of her younger years in Elizabeth and Roselle Park. Doris graduated in 1948 from Roselle Park High School and won numerous awards for her fun personality and loving spirit.
Growing up, Doris was very close to her grandmother, Amanda Venable, who played a very significant role in her life.
After high school she went on to work as a switchboard operator for Bell Telephone before settling down and marrying Raymond Merkler, her husband of 66 years whom she married in 1952. Early in her marriage, Doris joined her husband overseas in France while he was serving in the U.S. Army. While in France she made lifelong memories and friends and gave birth to the first of six sons.
Doris and Ray eventually settled in Colonia where she dedicated her life to raising her boys Douglas, Stevie, Eddie, Bobby, John and Paul. The boys, Ray and her family were everything to her.
She was a remarkable cook, homemaker and enjoyed preparing meals for her family and friends.
Doris had a special love for nature and animals–dogs, cats, birds and ducks. She especially loved her cat, Bailey, who kept her company in her elder years.
Doris and Ray retired in 1992 and moved to Hendersonville, N.C., and after 15 years, returned to their roots in New Jersey.
Doris’s smile would light up a room–she loved hearing jokes, laughter and spending quality time with her grandchildren.
She will forever be remembered by her family as a caring, non-judgmental person who would always see the good in everyone.
She was predeceased by her parents, Joseph and Mildred Kelber; a brother, Charles Kelber; and a sister, Jean Fielding.
Surviving are her husband, Raymond of Bayville; a brother, Donald Kelber and wife Karen of North Brunswick; six children, Douglas and wife Terry of Blairstown, Steve and wife Stacy of South Plainfield, Edward and wife Maureen of Lexington, Ky., Robert and wife Doreen of South Plainfield, John of Glenwood, N.Y. and Paul and Maryann of Hillsborough; 10 grandchildren, Jennifer Wilson and husband Melford, Robert Merkler Jr. and wife Billy Jean, Derek Merkler and wife Courtney, William Merkler and wife Ashley, Alexa Merkler, Tucker Merkler, Hannah Merkler, Morgan Merkler, Claire Merkler and Anthony Carlson; and four great- grandchildren, Grace, Nolan, Sawyer and Harrison.
The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the Spring Oaks staff for the love and care their mom received over the last year.
A private cremation and memorial service will be held for the immediate family.
Doris’s final resting place will be near her parents at St. Gertrude’s Cemetery in Colonia.



Russell Dilley, 55

Russell A. Dilley died on Sunday, Aug. 28 at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick. Funeral services were held at McCriskin-Gustafson Home For Funerals.

John C. Tapscott, 65

John C. Tapscott died on Friday, July 29 at JFK Medical Center in Edison. Funeral services were held at Mc­Criskin-Gustafson Home For Funerals.

Christa M. Levourne, 23

Christa M. Levourne died on Friday, July 22 in Lakewood. Born in Plainfield, For additional information, please visit Christa’s interactive webpage at

Patricia Ann Yanick

Patricia Ann Yanick passed away Tuesday, July 19 at home surrounded by her devoted family.  In the lieu of flowers, donations may be made to United War Veterans Council Inc., One Centre Street, 22nd Floor, Room 2208, New York, N.Y. 10007 or at

Lauren Nicole Krizan, 22

Lauren Nicole Krizan, 33, passed away on June 27, 2016 in Phoenix, Ariz. Please visit Lauren’s interactive web page at

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