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In Memoriam

By David Wildstein, November 24 2021 8:31 pm

Richard J. McCormack, a longtime Hudson County Welfare Department employee and a Democratic county committeeman from Jersey City, died on November 20.  He was 62.  A former Jersey City Zoning Board vice chairman, McCormick had been diagnosed with Juvenile Onset Diabetes at age 13 and spent more than 20 years advocating for increased funding and diabetes research.  He was a freelancer for the Jersey Journal, NJ.com and TapInto Jersey City.

John Sarafian, who became the first Democrat to win a River Edge council seat when was elected in 1970, died on November 15.  He was 87.  A U.S. Army veteran, Sarafian became active in politics as an opponent of the Vietnam War.  He served as a Central Bergen Democratic leader in the 1960s and beat Republican John Iannone by over 300 votes.  He was re-elected to a second term in 1973.

John Armeno, who served as a Hopatcong councilman for 24 years, died on November 23.  He was 83.  A U.S. Army veteran, Armeno spent 29 years as an East Orange police officer, retiring as a captain.  He later served as Sussex County Undersheriff and as warden of the county jail.

Lynn Steckley, a former Watchung school board member, died on November 21.  She was 84.

Donald Burkat, who held senior public affairs positions with Prudential Insurance and Merkt, died on November 19.  He was 91.  Burkat served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.   In the 1990s, after his retirement, he successfully lobbied the New Jersey legislature to fund an expansion of court-appointed special advocates (CASA) to all 21 counties.

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