2003-09-05 / Obits



Ana Celida Guzman

Ana Celida Guzman, a Far Rockaway resident, passed away on August 31 at South Nassau Communities Hospital. She was 74.

Guzman was survived by her husband Arturo.

Interment was at Nassau Knolls Cemetery.

Vanclive Alonzo

St. Joseph Johnson
Firefighter, Pro Football Player

Vanclive Alonzo St. Joseph Johnson aka "Van," a New York City Firefighter and former National Football League (NFL) player, passed away on August 22. He was 42.

Johnson was born on February 9, 1961 to Ruel Alonzo and Geraldine Elizabeth Johnson, in Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. He was a Cub Scout and Boy Scout and played football in high school. Johnson went to college on a football scholarship and in 1984 was drafted by the NFL team the New England Patriots. He would play pro ball for two years.

In January of 1994, Johnson joined New York's Bravest and spent his career with the Fire Department in Ladder Company 135 in Glendale. Johnson was a union delegate and searched for survivors on September 11. In August of 1994, Johnson married Portia Smith.

Johnson passing follows a short battle with cancer.

Johnson was preceded in death by his parents and by a sister Sheree.

He is survived by his wife, Portia; children Vanclive II, Jessica Nicole, George Alonzo, Sheree Mynett and an unborn son; his maternal grandmother, Enid "Beebs" Whitley; sisters Donzalee Akiboh of Houston, Texas, Jacqueline Lewinson of Bear, Delaware and Marjorie Taffe of Toronto, Canada; mother-in-law Virginia Barnes; father-in-law Karl Smith; brothers-in-law Michael Akiboh I, Sidney Lewinson, Donovan Taffe, Karl Smith, Jr. and George Smith; sisters-in-law Patricia Barnes, Debra Hinnant and Jacqueline Shine; ten nephews; eight nieces; very special aunt Doreen Smith, and others.

A funeral mass was held at St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church. Interment was at Maple Grove Cemetery.

William J. "Billy" Polye

William J. "Billy" Polye, a 40-year resident of Rockaway Park, died on August 14.

Polye was a warehouse worker, a veteran of the United States Navy, a member of the Teamsters Union and the Knights of Columbus.

Polye is preceded in death by his wife Janice Polye. He is survived by his daughters, Maureen and Susan Polye; his sister, Alice Goldfarb; his brother Michael Polye; devoted friend Peggy Englishby; brother Michael Polye; grandson James "Jamie" McKay and 17 nieces and nephews.

Visitation was at the Denis S. O'Connor Funeral Home. Interment was at Gate of Heaven Cemetery.

Marzellar Spencer

Marzellar Spencer, a Rockaway Beach resident, passed away on August 24. She was 84.

Spencer, a widow, was a nurse.

She is survived by her children Doris, of Rockaway Park, Patricia and Audrey.

Services were held at Bethel A.M.E. Church in Arverne with interment at Long Island National Cemetery.

Mary Kate Spinosa
Retired NYC Teacher

Mary Kate (nee McMorrow) Spinosa, a longtime Rockaway resident, passed away on August 28.

Spinosa, a native of co. Leitrim, Ireland, was a retired teacher for the New York City Board of Education. She was a parishioner at St. Francis de Sales Church.

Spinosa was preceded in death by her husband Felix Spinosa.

She is survived by daughters Eileen Mariani (Paul) and Donna Murray (John); grandchildren Christine Testa, Kathleen Mullen, Laura Lopez, Fr. Paul Mariani S.J., Mark Mariani and John Mariani; great grandchildren Kevin Mullen, Julianna Mariani, Matthew Testa and Abigail Lopez.

Visitation was held at the Denis S. O'Connor Funeral Home. Interment was at St. John's Cemetery.

Marian E. Thurmond
Former Cook

Marian E. Thurmond, a long time Far Rockaway resident, passed away on August 27. She was 95.

Thurmond was born in Thoroughfare, Virginia, in 1908. She was married to Thomas Thurmond-they were both members of First Baptist Church, in Far Rockaway. Thomas preceded his wife in death in 1984.

Thurmond is survived by an aunt, Betty Berry and a godson Matthew Ashley, Jr. and others.

Funeral services entrusted with the Lawrence Funeral Chapel.

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