Sunday’s Obituary – Edward Ogar – Died 11-November-2010

Relationship to me: brother-in-law of sister, uncle of nephew

Published in the New Jersey Herald on November 11, 2010 and also found online at

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-7-38-11-pmEdward S. Ogar STILLWATER — Edward S. Ogar, 55, of the Swartswood section of Stillwater Township, died Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010, at home.Born in Queens, N.Y., Mr. Ogar lived in Colorado and Las Vegas, Nev., before moving to Swartswood in 1991. He was a self-employed carpenter. The son of the late Casimir Charles and Dorothy Helen Fremer Ogar, Mr. Ogar is survived by two brothers, Alan Ogar and Thomas Ogar, both of Stillwater; one sister, Carol Roof, also of Stillwater; two nephews and two nieces. A funeral service will be held at 5 p.m. on Sunday at the Smith-McCracken Funeral Home, 63 High St., Newton. Visitation will be held Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. at the funeral home.



Sunday’s Obituary – Myrtle (Dennis) Strait – Died 08-October-2005

Relationship to me: wife of 1st cousin, 2x removed

The Strait folder in the vertical files of the Sussex County Historical Society, Newton, New Jersey, had this obituary newspaper clipping. It was published in the New Jersey Herald, 09 October 2005.


“Myrtle Strait” – OCALA, Fla. — Myrtle D. Strait, 77, died Saturday at Newton Memorial Hospital.  Born in Franklin, N.J., to the late George and Iva Dennis, Mrs. Strait had lived in Hope, N.J., and Stroudsburg, Pa., before moving to Florida.  She was predeceased by her son, Michael, in 1991.  Mrs. Strait is survived by her husband of 59 years, Warren; three sons, Dennis of Hope, Bruce of Springville, Pa., and Jeffrey of St. Augustine, Fla.; two daughters, Roxana Greene of Ocala, Fla., and Laurie Strait of East Stroudsburg, Pa.; eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.  Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Pinkel Funeral Home, 31 Bank St. (Route 23), Sussex.

52 Documents in 52 Weeks #51 – William Strait’s Baseball Career

Person of Interest: William Charles Strait
Relationship: Father

Source Citation: Newton Bisons baseball team, ca. 1955; digital image 2016, privately held by William Strait, Lafayette, New Jersey, 2017. William sent this to his daughter Jodi Lynn in August of 2016. The original is in good condition and is an 8 x 10 inch black-and-white photo with a thin border.

Document Description: This photo of the Newton, New Jersey, Bisons baseball team is a digital copy. The original is an 8 x 10 inch black-and-white photo. Digital copy is clear and shows the photo was not cropped. Fifteen young men are pictured along with their baseball equipment. They are all wearing uniforms and caps. A baseball backstop can be seen on the left side of the photo.

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-11-27-16-amDocument Scan/Transcription:
The only lettering on this photo refers to the name of the baseball team on the front of the uniforms: Bisons.

Analysis: Dad’s birthday is close to this posting date so I thought I’d make this week’s post about him! And it’s a short one since this is right smack in the middle of the holiday season.

Photographs are a great jumping off point for asking questions while talking to (or interviewing) family members. In this case, my father sent me the photo which prompted a brief discussion about his short-lived baseball career.

According to Dad, there were four teams that played against each other during the summer break.  The teams played at the Memory Park ballfields in Newton, Sussex County, New Jersey, located on Straway Boulevard. The same ballfields are still in use today and the community swimming pool is located in the same park.

Dad played the outfield and alternated between center, right and left outfield. He played for two summers. There were two local leagues, the Babe Ruth League and the Little League. If you were good enough, you were moved up and got to play in the American Legion League.

Dad gave me the names of the boys in the photo as he remembers them.
Back row, left to right: ——- Philhower, Bob Greene, William Strait (Dad), Bill Rabbs, ——-, Dick Bunker, Jimmy Treelore, Tommy Salsa.
Front row, left to right: Dave Yetter, Wayne Savacool, ——- Scott, ——-, Larry Tallman, Tommy Remark, Donnie Smith.


Photos can get discussions started about your family members and their activities. Ask about the items found in the photo like props, clothing, alien spacecraft, buildings, signs, cars, other people, hairstyles, and objects. Ask some questions and then be quiet! Listen to what they’re saying. Also, don’t be too rigid in what you’re looking to get them to say. Sometimes letting the conversation and questions run their own course can yield some of the best information. You might learn something new!

Sunday’s Obituary – Joseph M. Guirreri – Died 30-May-1980

Relationship to me: Paternal step-grandfather

Joseph’s second wife Beatrice (Repsher) Strait had this newspaper clipping from an unnamed newspaper in her collection.


Joseph Guirreri – Joseph Guirreri, 66, of 43 Lincoln Place died Friday in The Beth Israel Hospital Newark. Born in Brooklyn, he lived in Newton all of his life. He had been an employee of the Ludlow Paper Co., Stanhope, retiring 14 years ago. He was an army veteran of WWII. He was a member of the American Association of Retired Persons No. 44 of Newton and St. Joseph’s Friendship Club of Newton. He is survived by his wife, Beatrice; one daughter Mary Ann Ulmer of Newton, one stepdaughter Mercedes M. Scabet of Newton; one stepson, William C. Strait of Newton; one sister, Mrs. Rose DeStefano of Orlando, Fla.; two grandchildren and three step grandchildren. Funeral services will be held Monday at 9:30 a.m. fromthe Smith-McCracken Funeral Home, 63 High Street, Newton to St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, Newton, for a 10 a.m. Mass of the Resurrection. Burial will be at Newton Cemetery. Friends may call Sunday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m.

Sepia Saturday – December 2017 – Do You Hear What I Hear?

The prompt picture I’ve chosen from Sepia Saturday for December is a view of a snowy and very empty playground. It is their number 398 which is out of sync with my ending 2016 Sepia Saturday numbering. I chose it for December because it looks like a school playground to me. I also chose it because there aren’t many snow days here in Tucson. Growing up in Newton, Sussex County, New Jersey, however, I do remember snow days when school was called off.

It would go something like this:

Jill and I shared an upstairs bedroom. We’d been excited the night before because there was talk of a large snow storm heading our way. Could it be that there wouldn’t be school the next day? Before bedtime, we kept peeking out the front windows, using the street lamp to check for any detectable signs of snow. Every few minutes we’d have our noses pressed up against the chilled, single-pane windows looking out over the front porch.

“Enough,” Mom had said. “Get upstairs to bed. Make sure you brush your teeth.”

The next morning Jill and I woke up.

“Are you up?” Jill whispered.
“Yes, do you think it snowed?” I asked.

We both scrambled out of bed to the windows. They were covered in frost. A good sign! We peeled back the curtains to see a beautiful, pristine blanket of white covering everything.

“Do you think it’s enough?”
“Looks like it and I don’t see the snow plows,” Jill said. “It’s still pretty early. We should get back into bed before we get into trouble.”

Climbing back into our beds, where it was warm and snuggly, we whispered back and forth about what we’d do for the day if school was called off. So many plans but still no solid confirmation that school was closed.

Then we heard it! Blaring out over the town, the fire department siren, sending the signal that school was closed for the day. I’m sure my parents were rolling their eyes. The kids would be home for the day. Dad would have to shovel and plow. There would be snow tracked in all over the kitchen floor.

But us? Now that the whole house was awake, we jumped out of bed. It was time to put those plans into motion.

A scene from The Christmas Story movie.

After breakfast, we dragged out from the downstairs closets everything we’d need for the day outside in the snow. Boots. Check! Mittens. Check! Snow suits. Check! Scarves. Check! Heavy socks. Check!

Mom made sure we were bundled up enough and that our snow suit pants legs were tucked securely into our boot tops. I think we probably looked like Ralphie’s little brother from The Christmas Story movie. We trundled out the door to retrieve the Flexible Flyer from the shed in the backyard. Once we had that, it was a short walk to the best hill we knew about. The neighbor’s driveway out behind Dad’s wood-shop. Of course, once at the top of the hill, an argument ensued about who got to go first. Jill won this time. Onto the sled she went.

A Flexible Flyer

The first trip down the hill was uneventful. The snow wasn’t packed down enough to really get any speed going. Jill dragged the sled back up to the top and it was my turn. A little better this time and we alternated for a while. Then, things got fun. With the snow packed down and a track established, the Flexible Flyer lived up to the “Flyer” in its name.

Steering a Flexible Flyer is a skill. If you’re sitting on it, you can use your feet to push the cross bar on the front to send the sled either left or right. Or, if there’s a rope tied to the cross bar on the outside edges, you can steer it like a horse. The really brave (or crazy) souls lie flat on their stomachs and use their hands to steer it; racing down the hill head first.

Each trip down brought something new:
“Yikes, watch out for the tree!”
“Did you see how hard I hit that snowbank?”
“Ha ha ha, you fell off way too soon.”
“Dang, the rope broke. We need Dad to fix it.”
“Let’s try going down together now.”
“Bet you can’t ride it backwards!”

After a while, our feet got cold and we were feeling some hunger pangs. We tramped back to the house, dragging the sled behind us. Mom made us stamp the caked snow from our boots. Then, off came all the clothing. Most of it got draped over the iron heating vents to dry out while we ate our favorite winter meal. Tomato soup (Campbell’s of course) and grilled cheese sandwiches. The best on a cold, snowy day.

Just as we were finishing lunch, we heard someone coming up on the back porch. Patty, my best friend from a few houses down, was at the door. She shuffled around in the kitchen, waiting for us to bundle up again. It was fort building time.

By now, Dad had finished plowing the horseshoe-shaped driveway. In front of his wood-shop, large piles of snow were awaiting our attention. We spent some time arguing about which side to dig into first. Once decided, we used our plastic, summer beach shovels to carefully cut away at the snowbank. We really didn’t get tunnels and chambers like we envisioned but we did end up creating enough of a depression for protection against an attack.

Like a snowball attack. We started chucking snowballs at each other. We raced from behind one tree to the fort then off to another tree. Snowballs mostly whizzed past the intended target but occasionally they hit their mark. “OW!! That one hurt!” Soon, we were all out of breath and tired from running around in snow up to our knees. Besides, it’s cold out here. Time to head back inside.

This time, from Mom, we heard a very stern, “That’s it. If you come inside, you’re in for the rest of the day!” We looked at each other and decided that we were definitely done for the day. Our mittens were wet, our feet cold, and our noses were running wildly. No school, playing in the snow and we could fill up the rest of the afternoon with inside games. Who could ask for a better day?

Sunday’s Obituary – Carrie E. Strait – Died 31-March-1993

Relationship to me: indeterminate. I haven’t connected her husband Alonzo Strait to the family tree yet.

This obituary is in the vertical files, Strait folder, of the Sussex County Historical Society in Newton, New Jersey.

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-7-06-36-pm“Carrie E. Strait, 91, worked at hospital” – Wharton – Carrie E. Strait died Wednesday at Dover General Hospital after a long illness. She was 91.

She was born in Netcong, where she lived until moving to Wharton 17 years ago.

Mrs. Strait worked in the laundry of Dover General Hospital of 35 years, retiring in 1989.

She was a member of the Dover General Hospital Auxiliary.

Her husband, Alonzo, died in 1964.

Survivors include two sons, Arnold of Oneida, N.Y., and George of Dover; two daughters, the Rev. Roberta Pacini of Philadelphia and Norma Smith of Wharton; seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Arrangements are by Bermingham Funeral Home, 249 S. Main St., Wharton.


Sunday’s Obituary – David Hunt – Died 25-September-1870

Relationship to me: 1st cousin, 4x removed

The obituary was published in the Sussex Register, 06 October 1870. Found in the newspaper stacks at the Newton Historical Society. It’s a short and sweet death notice.


DIED – HUNT – In Andover (of typhoid fever) on the 25th ult., David L. Hunt, Esq., aged about 36 years.