2002-07-20 / Obits


Josephine Johnson
Chief of Staff
Con. Gregory W. Meeks

Josephine Johnson
Chief of Staff
Congressman Gregory W. Meeks

Josephine Johnson, born, raised, and educated in New York City, passed away on the morning of July 4, 2002. Johnson was diagnosed with colon cancer back in February 2000, and battled the disease up until the time of her death.

Her opportunity to become involved in politics came in 1984, when Reverend Jesse L. Jackson ran for President of the United States. She was asked to work on his campaigns in the Rockaway area. That same year, her former Pastor, Reverend Wade Richmond, appointed her Political Chairperson/Community Liaison for St. John Baptist Church in Rockaway. Her political activities have included, but are not limited to, organizing Voter Registration Drives, serving as Rockaway Campaign Office Manager, Election Day Operations, and Organizer/Manager. She would later go on to serve as Chief of Staff for Congressman Gregory W. Meeks.

She is survived by her children, Joanne, Lesley, Pamela and Jameel; sons-in-law, Steve, Neal and Tyrone; daughter-in-law Cheryl; brothers George, Morris and Joseph; sister, Emily; twelve grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.

Funeral arrangements were handled under the direction of Jeremiah C. Gaffney's Funeral Home, Inc.

Samuel Ginsberg
Auto Salesman

Samuel Ginsberg, a 27-year resident of Rockaway, died on July 10, 2002 at the age of 92.

Samuel worked as an auto salesman for most of his life. He was part of, and worked closely with, several clubs (organizations), which include the Dayton Towers East-Senior Citizens Club, where he served as President for 20 years; Temple Israel; and the Golda Meir Chapter of Hadassah.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Miriam.

He is survived by his children, Phyllis Vogel, and Dan and Allen Ginsberg; 8 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren; and 2 sisters, Molly Seewald and Sara Ostrom.

Interment under the direction of Gutterman Funeral Home of Rockville Centre was held at New Montifore Cemetery in Farmingdale, New York.

Edmund F. Koli
World War II Veteran

Edmund F. Koli, a long time resident of Rockaway, passed away on July 9, 2002 at the age of 85.

Edmund, a veteran of World War II, served in North Africa and Italy. He was captured at Anzio on May 23, 1944, and was a POW at Oflag 64 for the remainder of the war. He was later awarded the Bronze Star.

He was a graduate of Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and spent many years as an employee of the New York City Department of Personnel. As a Rockaway resident for over 60 years, he was active in several community groups, including the Hammel Holland Seaside Civic Association and American Legion Post 272. He was a Deacon at the First Congregational Church, and President of their Men's Club. He helped the community fight against the city's plans to tear down homes in the Holland area to build Beach Channel High School in 1966.

He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Hazel (Peggy); two sons, Eric and James; and a grandson, Jordan (Jake).

A memorial service will be held at the First Congregational Church on Saturday, August 10, at 2 p.m., followed by collation.

Jermel Kevin McDonald

Jermel Kevin McDonald ("Smiley") passed away on July 6, 2002 at the age of 16.

Jermel attended P.S. 197, J.H.S. 226, Hillcrest High School, and most recently Far Rockaway High School. He was a member of the Macedonia Baptist Church, where he served on the Usher Board, the Male Chorus, and the Youth Choir. He also served as a devotional leader.

He is survived by his parents, Tracey and Darren McDonald; siblings, MSSN Willie R. McDonald, United States Navy, Quinntin T. McDonald, and Shawnna L. McDonald; grandmothers, Alice Hines and Diane McKoy; grandfathers, Willie C. Hines and James McKoy; godfathers, Michael Bruce and Anthony Heyward; godmothers, Tanya Ramos and Le-Shun Buckley; 17 uncles; 11 aunts; 6 great uncles' 4 great aunts; and numerous cousins, relatives and friends.

Interment under the direction of the Gilmore's Funeral Home, Inc. was held at Pinelawn Memorial Park in Farmingdale, New York.

Edward F. Sheehan, Jr.
Postal Employee

Edward F. Sheehan, Jr., a resident of Broad Channel, coming from Brooklyn, died on June 29, 2002 at the age of 72.

Edward was a postal employee for many years, and served two years in the Korean War. He was a past Post Commander and a VFW organizer in Broad Channel. He brought delight to children and adults in the community by playing Santa Claus at different organizations and hospital for over 25 years.

He is preceded in death by his son Peter.

He is survived by Frank Sheehan, Edward F. Sheehan, and other loving relatives.

Interment under the direction of Hillebrand Funeral Home, Inc. was held at Cypress Hills National Cemetery.

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