Irene (Vesper) Ciccarino, nee Duffy, went home to Jesus on January 29, 2020 at age 89. She was surrounded by her loving family. Irene was born to Irene Woods Duffy and William Duffy on July 23, 1930 in Jersey City, New Jersey, where she was raised in a loving home with her brother Bill. Irene raised her family in Roselle where she was an active parishioner at St Joseph the Carpenter. She was involved in Marriage Encounter and Cursillo for many years. She also served as a Girl Scout Leader for a number of years. Irene had the gift of hospitality and shared that gift generously, always having an open door to her home and lots of delicious food in her kitchen.
Throughout her life, Irene had a steadfast faith in God. She lived out her faith by loving and serving her family, her church and her community. She was a true inspiration and blessing to everyone who knew her. Irene and her husband, Frank Ciccarino married in 1992. They lived in Scotch Plains and were active parishioners at Our Lady of Lourdes in Mountainside. Highlights of her contributions include founding the Perpetual Adoration Chapel, to which she was very devoted. Irene was a member and prefect of the Rosary Altar Society. She was also a recipient of the Archdiocesan Sesquicentennial Jubilee Medal. Irene and Frank served together as volunteers at Center for Hope Hospice for many years, sharing her gift of hospitality, as always.
Irene will be remembered for her loving heart, her generous spirit, and her ability to bring out the very best in the people she encountered. She always had a plan, always had a smile and always had a kind word. She was an optimist, loved beauty and brightened every situation. Her enduring passion was her family. Nothing rivaled her devotion to and love for them. She leaves us with a hand written love story to embrace and pass on to future generations.
Irene joins her parents Irene and Bill, her husband, Frank and her daughter, Susan, in Heaven. She is survived by a large and loving family: Mark Vesper and his wife, Maria; Dan Vesper and his wife, Patty; Mike Letnik, Frank Ciccarino and his wife, Karen; Paul Ciccarino and his wife, Maryann; Tom Ciccarino and his wife, Pam; Jim Ciccarino and his wife, Christine and Father Chris Ciccarino. There are twenty beautiful grandchildren: Michael, Liz, Ally, Jeremy, Erik, Grant, Jack, Lauren, Stephen, Trevor, Austin, Brianna, Anthony, Brent, Nicholas, Tyler, Patrick, Christopher, Andrew and Julie. Irene also had four adorable great-grandchildren: Antonio, Surianna, Giovanni, and Logan. She is also survived by her loving brother, Bill, and many nieces and nephews.
Visiting hours will be on Friday, January 31 from 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm at Higgins & Bonner Funeral Home in Westfield. The Funeral Mass will be at Our Lady of Lourdes in Mountainside on Saturday February 1 at 9:30 am.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Perpetual Adoration Chapel at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Mountainside, New Jersey.
To send flowers to Irene's family, please visit our floral section.