Tombstone Tuesday – Walter Sikora, 1922-1963

Sikora – Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington, New Jersey. Photo copyright Genealogy Sisters.

Walter Sikora was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1922 and he died there on April 26th, 1963. He was buried on April 30th, 1963. Walter, also called Fiddles, was only 41 years old. His wife, Margaret Doran Sikora is also buried in this plot at Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington, Bergen County, New Jersey. Margaret was buried there June 4th, 1967.  Margaret, also called Margie, was only 45 years old when she passed on.

Walter’s parents were Bronislaw “Benjamin” Sikora (1895-1947) and Julia Centarska Sikora (1894-1951). His parents had emigrated from Poland around 1913. Walter’s siblings were: Andrew, Joseph, Genevieve “Jennie”, and Mary Adele. Joseph died as a young child. Walter’s parents, and his siblings and their spouses, are all buried at Holy Cross Cemetery.

Holy Cross Cemetery has a good online search. When you visit the cemetery there is a place to check in the office for where your loved ones graves are located. The office staff gives you a map to find the correct area. There is also a link online if you want to submit a genealogy form. There are close to 130,000 internments in the cemetery and mausoleum, so getting the map first really helps as you drive around.

Walter’s brother Andrew married Adele Kwiatowski. His sister Mary Adele married Joseph Zigo, and his sister Jenny married Stanley Zalewski. They all lived near or in the Newark area of New Jersey.

These two photographs were taken at the Sikora apartment in the Ironbound section of Newark. On the back is printed “This is a Kodacolor Print” taken the week of April 23, 1951. Handwritten, “Andy & Adele, Easter Sunday – March 25, 1951. These two photos are really starting to fade. I love Walter’s joy and smile as he holds the baby.

Walter and Margaret Sikora, and son, with family  – Photo copyright Genealogy Sisters.

Andy & Adele Sikora with their baby – 1951

This is the funeral prayer card saved by my family. I love the artwork on front of this card. St. Benedict’s Roman Catholic Church is located on Barbara Street in Newark.

Tombstone Tuesday is a blogging prompt suggested by Geneabloggers. From the website and Facebook page there will be changes there in the near future. The Geneabloggers Facebook page will be called Abundant Genealogy, starting June 1st, and the webpage will also be changing. Many thanks to Thomas MacEntee for all he has done for the blogging community!

Copyright 2017 by Maryann Barnes and Genealogy Sisters.

Posted in Blog Prompt Series, Cemeteries, Centorska, Doran, Family Names, Funeral prayer card, Holy Cross Cemetery, In Memoriam, New Jersey, Newark, Sikora, Tombstone Tuesday | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Featured Obituaries – Stephen and Jean Pucilowski Mirota

Stephen and Jean Mirota are on the left, and their three sons are on the right. With Sophia and Joseph Mirota Sr., and Joe Mirota, Sr.  Photo copyright Genealogy Sisters.

“Stephen Mirota, 78, worked at Cyanamid

Toms River – Stephen W. Mirota, 78, died Monday (June 25, 1990) at Community Memorial Hospital.

Mr. Mirota was born in Cherry Valley, Pa., and had lived in Whitehouse station, Dunellen and Manville before moving to Toms River in 1980.

He had been a chemical operator for American Cyanamid in Bridgewater.

Surviving are his wife, Jean Pucilowski Mirota, three sons, Readington Township Mayor Stephen R. Mirota of Whitehouse Station, former Borough Councilman Victor Mirota of High Bridge and [omitted for privacy], and five grandsons.

Visiting hours are today from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at the Kearns Funeral Home in Whitehouse. There will be a funeral Mass at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Whitehouse Station [The Courier -News, Bridgewater, NJ, 27 June 1990, Wednesday, Main Edition, page 9. Accessed at on 9 May 2017].

Two hobbies that I remember Steve liked were gardening and fishing.  Wherever he lived he would have a beautiful garden with vegetables and flowers. When he was a young man, Stephen Mirota had worked as an accident clerk for the Jersey Central Railroad. The family had lived in Brooklyn, New York then. From the city, Jean and the three boys would take the train to visit with Steve’s family at Whitehouse Station. Her future sister-in-law, Stefie, would reminisce about seeing this pretty and frazzled mom with her three rambunctious sons, sharing a train compartment with her riding to the Whitehouse Station stop.

Jean Pucilowski Mirota, with her three sons, and her sister-in-law, Mary Mirota. Photo taken  on Sunday, 11 February 1945 at the Mirota farm. Photo copyright Genealogy Sisters.

“Genevieve Mirota, formerly of Dunellen

Genevieve Mirota, 87, a homemaker, died Friday (March 5, 1999) in Bumpass, Va.

She was born in Grodno, Poland, and had lived in Dunellen for 23 years, in Manville for five years and in Holiday City, Tomas River, for 16 years before moving to Virginia in 1997.

She was a member of St. John’s Roman Catholic Church in Dunellen. She was a homemaker.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Stephen W. Mirota. A son Stephen R. Mirota, the former mayor of Readington, died in 1993.

Surviving are two sons, Victor J. Mirota of Bumpass, Va., and [omitted for privacy]; a brother, Paul Pucilowski of Long Island, N.Y., five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

A funeral liturgy will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church in Whitehouse Station. Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at Kearns Funeral Home, Whitehouse [ The Courier -News, Bridgewater, NJ, 6 March 1999, Saturday, Main Edition, Page 12. Accessed at on 9 may 2017].

Genevieve was called Jean from an early age. Her other siblings were Mary “Mae”, who married Adolf Lewinski, and brothers Charles and Stanley (Stanley died in childhood). Although in the obituary it states she was a homemaker, I do remember Jean working at the Great Eastern Mills Discount Department Store, on Route 22 in North Plainfield, in the 1960s. Coming from Brooklyn, where she didn’t need a car, she learned to drive in New Jersey. She loved sharing photos of her beloved sons, daughter-in-laws, and grandsons, and she herself always enjoyed being photographed. Jean had emigrated from Poland with her parents, and her two older siblings, Mary and Charles, as a young child. Stephen and Jean Mirota are buried at St. Bernard’s Cemetery, in Bridgewater, Somerset County, New Jersey.

Jean Mirota with her parents, John and Amelia “Emily” Pucilowski (center). Left – Joseph and Sophia Mirota, Ted Lubas, and Joe Mirota, Jr. On the right Stephen Mirota (next to his in-laws) and Genevieve Mirota Lubas holding the baby. Photo copyright Genealogy Sisters.

IMG_1292Copyright 2017 by Maryann Barnes and Genealogy Sisters. All Rights Reserved.

Posted in Family Names, Family research, Mirota, Obituary, Pucilowski, St. Berrnard Cemetery | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Our lady of Lourdes Church and Shrine – Whitehouse Station, NJ

Doran children at Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, Whitehouse Station, NJ

I loved the shrine at our church when I was a child, and we often walked over from the church after Mass. My sister and I had to wear our Sunday dresses and hats, and our brothers also dressed in their Sunday best, since they were often serving as altar boys. My one brother is missing from the photo, so maybe he was the one that took it. The shrine still watches over Route 523 in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, by Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church. The shrine grotto was patterned after the one in Lourdes, France and was built by the parishioners.

One of the most significant events during Father Wade’s pastorate was the building of the grotto by the Holy Name men. Ground was broken on February 11, 1953, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and on November 7, 1954, Bishop Ahr dedicated the grotto [Source:

My mother had saved a newspaper clipping from when the shrine was blessed in 1954.

The Courier-News, November 1954. Photo by Harland S. Frost.

This below was saved from the Centennial Year of Our Lady of Lourdes.

I love seeing the baskets of flowers all over the shrine, and even on the very top. I remember singing Immaculate Mary at many Novenas, and that is printed on the back of this four page devotion.

This photo below of the grotto is more current, but I think my family’s black and white photo shows the size and scope of the stonework better.

Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, Whitehouse Station, NJ. From –  Michael Krull, The Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen, Editions de Signe, Strasbourg, France, 2005, page 139. Book in possession of Maryann Barnes.

It is mind boggling to think of how the parishioners donated so much time, labor, and the equipment to build the shrine. How the men hauled the large boulders from the nearby Cushetunk Mountain, and then fitted all of the rocks together. Such are labors of love!

Happy Sunday! Copyright 2017 by Maryann Barnes and Genealogy Sisters.

Posted in Blogger, Churches, Doran, Family Names, Family research, Locations, New Jersey, Our Lady of Loudes, Whitehouse Station | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments