Edward A. Kowalenko
Lebanon - Edward A. Kowalenko, founder and esteemed former funeral director of the Bridgewater Funeral Home, died on Monday, December 2, 2019, at the Rolling Hills Care Center in Lebanon. He was 92. Ed was born and raised in Newark, NJ, to his parents, Alexander and Victoria Kowalenko. He enlisted in the US Navy during WWII and was aboard the heavy cruiser, USS St. Paul 73, in the Pacific area under Admiral William “Bull” Halsey. After being honorably discharged in 1946, a true patriot, when the Korean War started, he reenlisted in 1952 and served one more year in the US Navy. Ed graduated from the American Academy of Embalming in Boston and worked at a funeral home in Roselle, where he met his soon-to-be-wife, Eugenie. They married in 1953 and were happily married for 66 years. Ed and Eugenie lived in Roselle for five years before coming to Bridgewater, where together they fully renovated the ‘Windsor Mansion’ and opened the Finderne Funeral Home, what is known today as the Bridgewater Funeral Home. After 37 years of owning and operating the funeral home, they retired in 2001 and moved to Lebanon. Ed was a communicant at St. Mary of Czestochowa Church in Bound Brook, Holy Name Society, Leisure Club, Clinton Senior Citizens, Bridgewater Senior Citizens, VFW Post 2290 in Manville, American Legion Post 12 in Somerville, past president of the Bridgewater-Somerville Lions Club, charter member of the Knights of Columbus of Our Lady of the Hills 5959 in Martinsville, 4th Degree Knights of Columbus Assembly 653, life member of the Manville-Hillsborough Elks 2119, life member of the Finderne Fire Company, and over 50-year member of the NJ State Funeral Directors Association. Ed will be sadly missed by his family and all who knew him and will always be remembered for his patriotism, intelligence, patience, loyalty, dedication, and compassion to the families he served as a funeral director. He was always eager to volunteer whenever needed. In addition to his accomplishments and community involvement, Ed enjoyed his family, fishing, gardening, and going to good restaurants. Ed is predeceased by his siblings; Peter Kowalenko, Estelle Turnowicz, Florence Pawlowski, Helen Vane, and Jean Ziolkowski. He leaves behind to cherish his memory his beloved wife and business partner, Eugenie P. Kowalenko, of Lebanon; his son, Brent Kowalenko, and his wife, Holly, of Branchburg; his daughter, June Romero, and her husband, Gregory Sr., of Annandale; his grandsons Gregory Romero, Jr., of Madison and Dr. Kyle Romero and his wife, Erin, of Jacksonville, Florida; his step-granddaughter, Lauren Baker, of Piscataway; and his brother, Dr. Alexander Kowalenko, of Clark. Services will be private. A funeral mass will be offered at 12 noon on Saturday, December 7, 2019, at St. Mary of Czestochowa Church in Bound Brook. Burial will follow at Somerset Hills Memorial Park in Basking Ridge. In lieu of flowers, a donation to Wounded Warriors, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, or the Humane Society would be greatly appreciated.
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