James J. Crisona
Mass of the Resurrection was held at Our Lady of Peace Church in Manhattan on Saturday, September 6 for former civic leader, borough president and State Supreme Court Judge James J. Crisona, who died on September 4 at age 96.
James Crisona lived most of his life in Arverne and in Neponsit. He had the distinction of being elected state senator, assemblyman, borough president and to the judicial bench with bipartisan support.
Instilled with civic pride as a teen, James often recalled that his father, an immigrant shoemaker, was an astute observer of the local political scene. He often sought his father's advice on how to better the plight of the downtrodden in Rockaway.
The Crisona family came to Rockaway in 1909 via Brooklyn and soon opened a shop. James, one of eight children, was schooled at home and at P.S. 44, and attained top academic honors at Far Rockaway High School, graduating in the Class of 1923.
Devoted to his family, James worked full-time while graduating from New York University School of Commerce in 1928. He enrolled in the night classes at New York Law School, receiving his degree in 1931. He was admitted to the bar in 1932.
At his family's urging, he sought public office and was elected the local assemblyman on the Democratic line in 1945. In 1947, he was elected Democratic district leader of the Rockaways, and held that post for more than a decade. In 1954, he was elected to the state senate and despite an Eisenhower sweep borough-wide, was reelected overwhelmingly in 1956. As one of the few Democratic incumbents to be returned to office, borough Democratic leaders asked Crisona to run for Borough President in 1957. Crisona defeated the incumbent Republican, James A. Lundy and was sworn in as the borough's exec on January 1, 1958.
As a vacancy developed in the State Supreme Court, James sought the judgeship, and was appointed to the bench in 1959. He served until 1976. His career as an attorney spanned five decades, representing, at times, the Hudson and Manhattan Rail Road, the Phoenix Campbell Company, and Shearson Smith Barney.
A younger brother, Frank, joined him in public service and later was elected Queens district attorney.
Survivors include daughters, Claire Cascella and Cynthia Crisona; granddaughters, Elizabeth Auran and Nancy Cascella and four greatgrandchildren. His wife of 55 years, Claire Peysson Crisona, died in 1990.
A public showing was offered at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home, Manhattan, on Friday, September 5. Interment was private.
James P. Byrne
James P. Byrne, a Rockaway Beach resident for 40 years, passed away on September 9.
Byrne was born in Manhattan, and was a parishioner at St. Rose of Lima. He worked as a building manager in commercial real estate for St. John's University. Byrne also served in the military.
Byrne was preceded in death by two brothers, John and Terrence Byrne.
He is survived by his wife Virginia (nee O'Connor) Byrne; son James Byrne; daughters Laura O'Connor and Nancy Woods; brother William Byrne; and sisters Doreen Hullihan and Eileen Amen.
Visitation was held at the Denis S. O,Connor Funeral Home. Interment was at Calvary Cemetery.
William Murphy, a Belle Harbor resident for more than 30 years, passed away on September 9.
Murphy was born in Shivdella, Ireland, Co. Leitrim. He was retired from his work as a mechanic for Brooklyn Union Gas.
Visitation will be this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, September 13 and 14, from 2-5 and 7-10 p.m. at St. Francis de Sales, where Murphy was a parishioner. A funeral mass will be held on Monday, September 15, at 9:45 a.m. - also at St. Francis. Interment will be at St. Charles Cemetery on Monday.
Murphy is survived by his wife, Bridget (nee Conheeney) Murphy; sons Owen, John, William and Patrick Murphy; daughters Mary O'Malley and Helen Doda; son-in-law Michael Doda; daughter-in-laws Galina and Rosemary Murphy; son-in-law Patrick O'Malley; grandchildren Mary Grace, Kieran, Conor, Michael and Liam.
Morris Williams, a 30-year Belle Harbor resident, passed away in Las Vegas Nevada on August 25. He was 84.
Williams was born in Maine on July 29, 1919. While living locally, he owned a furnace and welding company. Williams, who had served in the United States Army, resided in Vegas for the last 19 years. There he worked for the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino.
Williams is survived by his wife, Evelyn; son Norman Williams, of Las Vegas, Jack Williams, of Broad Channel; daughter Elaine Khatib, of Brooklyn; and sister Annette Chall; five grandchildren: Ari Billings, of Las Vegas, Michael Billings or San Francisco, Jayson Williams of Las Vegas and Brian and Patrick Williams, of Broad Channel.
Funeral services were held at Davis Paradise Valley Funeral Home with interment at Paradise Memorial Gardens.
Willie Clark Hines
Construction Worker, USCG
Willie Clark Hines, a Rockaway resident for most of his life, passed away on August 15. He was 70.
Hines was born in Dansville, Virginia. He worked in the construction business as a drywaller, and served in the United States Coast Guard.
Hines is survived by his wife, Alice; sons Willie, Jr., Phillip (Sonny), Christopher, Anthony (Tony), Joseph, Edward, Andre and Alex; daughters Patricia and Sherry Hines, and Tracy McDonald; son-in-law Darren McDonald; daughter-in-law Crystal (Hines) Wheeler; 39 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; brothers Otis and Arthur Lee Plunket; sisters-in-law Shirley Barbra; and nieces, nephews and friends.
Funeral arrangements entrusted with Jeremiah C. Gaffney's Funeral Home. A funeral mass was held that Gaffney's Friendship Chapel. Interment was at Calverton National Cemetery.