Montclair Senior of the Month: Sam Debnam

Friday, Nov 03, 2017 3:45pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Sam Debnam (pictured with his wife, Maurice)

How old are you? 96

Where were you born? Bloomfield, NJ

When did you move to Montclair? 1935

Why did you move to Montclair? My parents purchased a home.

Are you currently employed? If so, doing what? If you had a career, what was it?
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Remembering George Miller

Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 1:18pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

George H. Miller Jr. of Montclair, at 84 years passed on October 15, 2017. Born in Newark, NJ on August 21, 1933 the son of George H. Miller, Sr. and Anne Twyman. George was the brother of Joan Leister and David K. Miller.

“Big George” as he was known to his many friends was a graduate of Delbarton Prep School and was one of the “Fighting Irish” having attended Notre Dame University. He was a man that was very involved in his faith being a Eucharistic minister and commentator at Immaculate Conception Church and was currently attending St. Cassian’s Church. Continue Reading

Remembering Vincent La Selva

BY  |  Thursday, Oct 12, 2017 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Distinguished American conductor Vincent La Selva of Upper Montclair died on October 9, 2017 at the age of 88 in Cleveland. The cause was complications from dementia.

Maestro La Selva was the founder of New York Grand Opera in 1973, which for 39 years offered fully-staged opera productions free to the public, most of the productions in Central Park. Since the opening performance May 23, 1973 of La bohème, Maestro La Selva led 55 operas in upwards of 350 performances. Over the years, these performances were attended by more than three million people. In 2001 Mr. La Selva finished an unprecedented eight-year cycle of the complete Verdi operas — all 28 of them — performed in chronological order with a special performance of Verdi’s Requiem at Carnegie Hall. He continued to perform Verdi and Puccini operas in Central Park until 2012 and symphonic concerts at Carnegie Hall and at the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew in New York City. Continue Reading

Montclair Senior of the Month: Shirley Cobert

Monday, Oct 02, 2017 11:45am  |  COMMENTS (0)

How old are you? 94
Where were you born? New Brunswick, NJ
When did you move to Montclair? 1965
Why did you move to Montclair? Because of the school system for my children.
Are you currently employed? If so, doing what? If you had a career, what was it? I edited for Collier’s Encyclopedia and Holt Publishing, then left when my son was born. I went back to work and did freelance editing, then edited college textbooks for 13 years until my retirement at 70.
How have you been engaged in the community? I am a member of the League of Women Voters. I used to be the membership chair and was active in registering voters. I also edited the League’s newspaper and was on the International Relations Committee. I also actively volunteered with the Adult School of Montclair. I was on the trip committee, edited their catalogs, and helped in the office.
What are some of the most important lessons you feel you have learned throughout your life? To be sympathetic and concerned about people. And to be an active member of whatever community I’m in.
What is your mantra or words you live by? That I’m going to be here tomorrow.
What are your plans for future? How does Montclair fit into these plans? I plan to stay here.


If you know of a Montclair senior who should be featured, please call Katie York, director of Senior Services/Lifelong Montclair, at 973-509-4967.

R.I.P. Alberto Romilo Comini

Saturday, Sep 16, 2017 8:15am

Alberto Romolo Comini, 76, died on September 12 surrounded by his wife and best friend, Kathleen Giuffra Comini, and by his three treasured children.

Born in 1940 in Imperia, Italy, the oldest of three children of Gesualdo and Iris Comini, Mr. Comini lived the years of his youth in Rome. In 1960, he boarded a boat to New York City to start his life as an American, first in Arlington, Massachusetts, then in New York City, and finally in Montclair, New Jersey, where he and his wife of 55 years have resided ever since. Continue Reading

Montclair Chess Player Wins Honors, Cash At 45th Annual World Open

Tuesday, Jul 11, 2017 1:30pm

Daniel Cruz of Montclair, assistant camp director at Montclair Cooperative School’s 2017 Summer Chess Camp, won 7th Place honors and a cash prize of $600 in the under 1400 United States Chess Federation rated section at the 45th Annual World Open, sponsored by the Continental Chess Association in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 29 through July 4th.

Daniel Cruz of Montclair is assistant camp director at Montclair Cooperative School

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Dr. Huston Memorial Recognizes Physician Posthumously As Healthcare Heroes Award Finalist

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2017 3:45pm

Jan Huston-Pryor, M.D., medical director of the Hackensack Meridian Health Mountainside Medical Center Breast Health Program and a Mountainside Medical Group physician, has been named a finalist, posthumously, for Physician of the Year in the 2017 NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes Awards. The Healthcare Heroes program honors individuals and organizations that are making a significant impact on the quality of healthcare in New Jersey.

The announcement was made by John Fromhold, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health Mountainside Medical Center, at a memorial service in her honor on May 23, 2017. Addressing her family, team members, patients, and friends, he also said, “Dr. Huston was a pioneer in women’s breast health. Jan’s affiliation with Mountainside Medical Center was a constant source of pride for myself and all of her colleagues at the hospital. Her immeasurable commitment to her family, to her patients and to the community-at-large ensures that while she will be greatly missed, she will never be forgotten. Let us remember that the power of one person can truly change the lives of many.”

Denise Zbar, VP Physician Services, Jonathan Pryor, spouse, John Fromhold, CEO, and Reverend Richard Sommers

Rev. Richard Sommers began the memorial service by reminding everyone how much she loved her husband, family, and profession. While we grieve her untimely death together, we celebrate the privilege to have had known this remarkable woman. Diane Hoffman, a general patient of Dr. Huston’s practice said, “Dr. Huston floated into a room with that huge glowing smile on her face and she made you feel like anything was possible.”

Her husband, Jonathan Pryor, said Jan was an angel on earth. Her patients and friends knew she was always there for them. Having adopted 10 children, taking care of the 170 million orphans in the world was her personal mission. Jonathan ended his tribute to his wife with a quote by Mother Teresa, “Do ordinary things with extraordinary love.”

In her nomination and selection as a Healthcare Heroes Finalist by an esteemed panel of independent judges, Dr. Huston-Pryor was described as a dedicated physician and an extraordinary person who served as medical director of the Mountainside Medical Center Breast Health Program and as a Mountainside Medical Group physician. She was a beloved colleague, a valued mentor and a strong advocate for women’s health.

Dr. Huston began her career as a nurse, practicing for several years and then attending medical school. She served as a vascular and general surgeon, until her professional calling led to providing diagnosis and surgical treatment of breast disease. In 1999, she founded her own practice to offer patients access to skilled female specialists with a heightened sensitivity to the physical and emotional needs of women with breast health concerns. A leader in her field, Dr. Huston was an early proponent of the evidence-based approach to medicine now being widely embraced by colleagues.

She was a key investigator for a study of the BreathLink test, using chemical biomarkers to evaluate the rapid point-of-care breath test for breast cancer. Known for her kind-hearted communication and genuine enthusiasm for the health and well-being of others, Dr. Huston is remembered for coaxing an easy laugh or a smile from those around her. With skill, care and commitment to her patients, she consistently made a positive and meaningful difference in the lives of her patients, their families and the communities she served.

Dr. Huston also led a personal life of great meaning and purpose. She was a mother of 12 children, from elementary school into adulthood, and a grandmother to four. She and her husband, Jonathan, adopted 10 children from other parts of the U.S. as well as Mexico, Russia, China, Guatemala and Ethiopia.

The Healthcare Heroes Awards recognize health care professionals in nine categories, including Physician of the Year, Hospital of the Year, Innovation Hero, Nurse of the Year, Education Hero, Volunteers, Public Health and Workplace Wellness. The winner in each category is announced at a ceremony held at The Palace at Somerset Park in Somerset, New Jersey on June 20th.

R.I.P. Alexander Booth Patrick

BY  |  Monday, May 22, 2017 10:00am

Alexander Booth Patrick, 57, of Cape Coral, FL, passed away at his home on May 13, 2017.

Born on March 11, 1960, Mr. Patrick was raised in Upper Montclair, NJ and attended The Mount Hebron School (now The Buzz Aldrin School) in Upper Montclair, Montclair High School, Millbrook Preparatory School, Millbrook, NY and Mitchell College, New London, CT, where he studied Engineering.

Mr. Patrick, fondly known to his family and many friends as “Sandy”, was a member of The Montclair Hockey Club, Bradford Bath & Tennis Club, The Montclair Riding Academy and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. He enjoyed ice hockey, horseback riding, skiing, waterskiing, sailing, fishing, parasailing, piano and guitar. He was an extremely gifted pen and ink sketch artist and a fine craftsman and carpenter. Continue Reading

A DeCamp Bus Driver’s Musical Ode to Montclair

BY  |  Monday, May 01, 2017 2:15pm  |  COMMENTS (1)

Riders of DeCamp bus No. 66 between Montclair and NYC might view the trip as a daily necessity, but the bus’ driver, Clifford M. Blackwell, finds it inspirational.

He’s been driving the 66 bus for the last seven years, the latest stop in a 38-year career as a bus operator, and his route drove him to write and record a jazzy local tribute, “My Old Town Montclair.”

The song is four minutes of swinging vocal jazz, and Blackwell says it’s inspired by the people who ride his bus each day: “The song chronicles the great accomplishments, achievements, and popularity of this little extraordinary, diverse community of wonderful professional people.”

Blackwell lives in Union with his wife Marceline (they have four adult children), and for more than 45 years he’s been a church musician and songwriter. “I was surrounded by music throughout my childhood,” he says. “My mom loved and sang opera and grew up in the Greater Bethany Baptist Church of Newark. My father also grew up in Bethany and loved jazz, 40s big bands and pop, and he was an avid listener of WBGO jazz radio.” Continue Reading

R.I.P. Robert Kelly, Owner of Montclair’s Stockpot

BY  |  Tuesday, Apr 11, 2017 10:48am  |  COMMENTS (2)

Robert “Bob” Kelly with his mother Bess at the Stockpot in 2012.

Robert “Bob” Kelly, who owned and operated the Stockpot in Montclair, died Monday. Kelly owned the Stockpot, which closed in 2013, with his partner, Robert Penta.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, April 13, 2017, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, followed by the funeral services at 12 noon, at The Dangler Funeral Home of West Orange, 340 Main St., West Orange, N.J. Interment will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Hanover, N.J.

Featured Comment

Sad. Let's hope that this is not its "Last Tango." One of the most beautiful and iconic buildings in town. Valentino, Garbo, Keaton must have played there.

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