Carol “Cookie” Gubernat
Carol “Cookie” Angela Gubernat (née Martine), 86, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, friend, and teacher transitioned to Eternal Life on March 12, 2022, surrounded by her loving family and friends. By her own wishes, there will be no viewing; the family will have a private Mass of Remembrance in her honor.
The only daughter of Helen (née Radoniewicz) and Nicholas Martine, Carol grew up with many loving relatives in their close-knit Italian-Polish families. Her childhood was filled with laughter and joy while spending time with extended family and cousins Jean, Marion, Bobby, Edwin, Richard, and Donny. She attended Catholic elementary school in East Orange, followed by four years at St. Aloysius High School in Jersey City. She was a proud 1957 graduate of College of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station, NJ where she taught after graduating. This was followed by a year in Virginia as an elementary school teacher. Returning to NJ, she took a job in the Irvington School District where she made many lasting friendships. During her teenage years, she met Theresa Benn (née Cook) with whom she became life-long friends. Their enduring 70-year friendship extended to their husbands and children, who remain steadfast in their friendship and devotion.
Carol married Francis “Frank" Gubernat in 1960 and shortly after moved to Colonia where they lived for 44 years, raising daughters Martine and Gabrielle on a small cul-de-sac where neighbors became extended family, even to this day. During that time, she was active in the girls’ elementary school PTA (including being President for a few years), and later became a substitute teacher in the Woodbridge Township high schools. She learned to type braille so that she could transpose articles and books, enabling people with vision impairment to enjoy the pleasure of reading. Throughout their marriage, Carol and Frank enjoyed participating in the arts and music culture, attending Elderhostel and Alumni College events, traveling domestically and in Europe, and spending time with family and friends. Always active, Carol enjoyed walking, riding her bicycle, and swimming at the local YMCA. As her nickname implies, she was a wonderful cook! She even had a pasta machine and made the most delicious pasta dishes, with homemade meatballs and sauce as well. Her Italian Easter bread and Greek baklava were enjoyed by all around the holidays. She regularly attended Sunday and weekday mass at St. John Vianney Roman Catholic Church in Colonia.
In 2006, Carol and Frank moved to a condo in Basking Ridge in order to be closer to their daughters and beloved grandson, Benjamin, whom she babysat — and spoiled — daily for the first five years of his life. For nearly the last five years of her life, she resided in the Chelsea at Warren’s Country Cottage memory care wing, where she was assisted by the caring and loving resident aides, and where she was visited nearly every day by her devoted husband Frank and her loyal and loving daughters Martine & Gaby.
We will deeply miss Carol’s joyful presence, positive attitude, devotion, and deep love for her family and friends, but we are confident that she will live on in spirit through countless people whose lives she touched and who have been inspired by Carol’s wonderful traits. We are blessed and our lives have been enriched because of Carol. She shared with us her time, joyful laughter, treasured and enduring friendships, fabulous food, heartfelt council, and above all her unconditional and never-ending love. Her legacy and generosity will also live on through her brain and tissue donation to the Mount Sinai NIH Brain and Tissue Repository, where research into brain diseases will help innumerable others for generations to come.
Carol is survived by Frank, her husband of nearly 62 years, daughters Martine and Gabrielle, grandson Benjamin, daughter-in-law Sue, son-in-law Peter, as well as many family members, nieces and nephews, cousins, and friends. She filled our lives with love and laughter.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Carol’s name to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (https://alzfdn.org).
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