Alumni Award Winners 2016
Beth Fowler Witham
Joseph Michael "Mike" Lemaire
Marianne Custer Moore
Sister Alice Cardillo, a Maryknoll Missioner, was born in Sayre, PA. She grew up in Rutherford NJ and graduated from St. Mary Grammer School in 1959 and St. Mary High School in 1963. She attended Caldwell College for one year and worked for another year before deciding to enter Maryknoll at its Topsfield, MA, novitiate on September 2, 1965. She earned a B.A. degree in Community Service from Mary Rogers College, Maryknoll, NY and following graduation was sent to Seoul, South Korea. After two years of focused language study, Sister Alice began work at the Maryknoll Nursing School in Pusan where she assisted in promoting health education and disease prevention.
In 1974, Sister Alice returned to the States and attended nursing school at Bergen Community College. She received her R.N. in 1976 and worked part-time at Hackensack University Medical Center. In 1977, she returned to Korea to work at the Maryknoll Hospital in Pusan and the National Leprosy Hospital on So Rok Do (island). On So Rok Do she professed her Final Vows in 1978.
In 1980, Sister Alice was sent to Ko Chang, Korea, to a small farming village, where she again tended to patients afflicted with leprosy and their families and formed basic Christian communities among the local residents. Sister Alice returned to the United States in 1988 to help care for her elderly parents. When she was not needed at home, she worked at Maryknoll as a clerk, as a nurse in the health department and in the Sisters’ Promotion. For many years, she worked in the Archives Office at Maryknoll, in Social Services, and in the Residential Care units for the elderly and ill Sisters. She completed graduate studies in Thanatology at the College of New Rochelle Graduate School, while interning at Calvary Hospital, Bronx, NY.
Currently, Sister Alice serves elderly Maryknoll Sisters at the Maryknoll Sisters Center Home Care and volunteers at Calvary Hospital in their Pastoral Care Services for patients with advanced cancer. In 2014she received a Certificate of Appreciation from Calvary Hospital for her 11 years of volunteer service. She is appreciated by all for her upbeat, gentle spirit.
As a member of the choir, she also graces the Church of St. Mary with her lovely voice at the 9 o’clock mass every Sunday.
Ed Fugit is a retired Senior Foreign Service Officer. In a 28-year career, mostly overseas, he specialized in political affairs and Political-Military Relations. Ed worked in Africa, Europe, South Asia and the Middle East. He devoted 17 years to work in or on Central and Southern Africa, including several years as Charge d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe. His last overseas posting was in Islamabad, Pakistan in the early 1990s. He ended his active career as the Political Advisor to the Commander at US Central Command at MacDill AFB in Tampa. Subsequently he worked on counter-terrorism with the Joint Special Operations Command at Ft Bragg (JSCOC) then returned to Central Command to support the POLAD during the early months of the Afghanistan operation in 2002 and the early months of the Iraq operation in 2003. He served in the US Army from 1967-70, including a tour in Vietnam as an assault helicopter pilot, and remained in the US Army Reserves, where he retired as a LTC. He was awarded the Silver Star and Distinguished Flying Cross for his service in Vietnam. He has a MS Degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and is also a graduate of the National War College in Washington, DC.
Dr. Michael E. Loreti is a Sports Medicine doctor in Bergen County and he has served as the school physician for St. Mary’s High School for 22 years. Dr. Loreti has been a presence at St. Mary’s since his graduation in 1974. He was inducted into the St. Mary’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000 and has been a figure at all high school football games and most of the St. Mary’s fundraisers since his graduation.
Dr. Loreti was an outstanding athlete throughout his high school career where he earned the respect of his fellow athletes along with being voted as an All-American in football. His passion for St. Mary’s has allowed him to maintain friendships as well as successfully helping the school raise funds to keep the school spirit alive and well.
After graduating St Mary’s, Mike attended Seton Hall University on a football scholarship. Upon graduation from Seton Hall he completed his medical school training at St. Georges Medical School in Grenada. He is a medical consultant for the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority where he has covered college and professional games including SuperBowl XLVIII, NFL Championships, Stanley Cup Finals and NBA Championships as well as the Final Four. Mike has a thriving practice in Paramus and Garfield and owes his success to his spiritual values and work ethic that he learned at St. Mary’s.
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Paul J. Connolly
Paul J. Connolly, a resident of Sun Valley, passed away on Sept. 22, 2015, of natural causes.
He was born in Passaic, N.J., on May 13, 1937. He grew up in Wood-Ridge, N.J., and graduated from St. Mary’s High School in Rutherford, N.J., the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton Business School.
Paul is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and served in England and Okinawa, Japan. Among his responsibilities in England, Paul manned the “Red Phone”—the telephone used to initiate military responses during the Cold War.
Early in his career, Paul was employed by RCA Corp. in New Jersey, but in the 1970s he made his way to California, where he lived in San Francisco and managed a software development firm in Silicon Valley, supplying sophisticated software programs to NASA and other government contractors. Paul was regarded highly for his mentoring management style and for his determination to do the right thing: He pursued (and won) a contract appeal in the California Supreme Court when he believed his company’s lawful rights were violated.
It was in California that his two passions for sailing and skiing were ignited. He spent many winter weekends in Squaw Valley where he shared a rental house with several of his Silicon Valley friends.
Paul owned a sailboat on San Francisco Bay, and in addition to cruising and racing around San Francisco, his sailing adventures took him as far north as the Inland Passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia and as far south as Catalina Island off Los Angeles. In 1984 he entered a single-handed sailboat race from San Francisco to Hawaii, but had to return to San Francisco after several days on the ocean because of a fuel leak from his diesel generator.
In the 1990s, he retired and moved to Sun Valley. He loved Sun Valley with a passion. Over the years, he wore out many pairs of skis on his runs down Bald Mountain. Many evenings with friends were spent around dinner tables at the private homes of friends and at local restaurants.
Paul loved to read and was always up to date on issues of the world and of Sun Valley. The Community Library (which he generously supported) was one of his favorite spots. He was a daily regular at Tully’s and later at Starbucks where the issues of the day were discussed and decided upon. He always had insightful comments to add to the conversations, as well as a wonderful sense of humor. In addition, from 2004 to 2005, Paul served on the Sun Valley Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee, which drafted the 2005 Sun Valley comprehensive plan.
Paul is survived by his sister, Ann T. (Connolly) Curran and her husband, Christopher F. Curran IV of Chester, Vt.; six nieces and nephews; nine grandnieces and nephews; and four great-grandnieces and nephews.
Paul has requested that there be no memorial services for him.
Over the years, Paul became famous for answering “perfect” or “terrific” when asked how he was doing. Recently, he told many of his friends that he had “a terrific life.” Paul, we’ll all miss you.
Paul left his alma mater St. Mary High School $250,000.00.
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ST. Mary High School Welcomes home WWII Hero
St. Mary High School Pride was on full display yesterday as students, faculty, administration, Pastor Michael Kreder, along with alumni and representatives from a local veterans’ alliance, honored WWII hero and Silver Star recipient William Joseph Schneider, class of 1937. In recognition of Patriots’ Day of National Catholic Schools Week, Joe was honored by his Alma Mater with respect and admiration.
The packed auditorium stood in prayer and then together sang the National Anthem, led by Viet Nam veteran and alumnus James Cava class of 1966. The audience viewed a video of Major Schneider as he was presented the Silver Star for “gallantry in action” while flying as flight commander of an eighteen plane formation in a bombing attack against a heavily defended rail link at Dogna, Italy. Despite a heavy barrage of anti-aircraft fire, causing serious damage to his airplane and others, Major Schneider coolly and courageously directed the waves of his attacking bombers to the bomb release point, thus enabling all bombardiers to drop with great accuracy on the vital communications point.
“They called us the bridge busters. You have to fly the plane low and level in order to accurately hit your target which leaves you vulnerable to enemy fire,” said the 1937 graduate of SM. Alumni and Development Director Michael Sheridan ‘77 presented Major Schneider with the Distinguished Alumnus Award 2017. Joseph was the recognized by Rutherford Council President Frank Nunziato, also an alumnus of St. Mary ’84, declaring February 1 William Joseph Schneider Day in Rutherford.
Joseph then addressed the audience humbly and reluctantly accepting his most well deserved accolades, “Never in a thousand years did I ever think I would be honored like this.” Joe then spoke to the students about love and acceptance of one another. “We are all one in God’s eyes and let’s all be thankful for what we have.”
The assembly stood together once again and sang God Bless America. In a miraculous display of Gael Pride the students of SM lined up in single file and shook hands with their hero, all delivering a messages of “thanks.” “It was one for the record books, and one that everyone present will never forget,” said Sheridan.
Click Here to access the newspaper article about this special day
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