2005-11-18 / Obits

Donald Alfred Ventura Jr. Pastor, Lighthouse Corporation CEO

  • Pastor Donald Alfred Ventura Jr., a lifelong Rockaway resident and active community member, died November 12. He was 42.
  • Ventura was born on February 17, 1963 in Carib Indian, Belize. He served his country in the U.S. Army from 1981 to 1982, when he was honorably discharged, ranking at E-1. He was a pastor and church affiliate to the Brooklyn Tabernacle and Sword of the Spirit Church, and was Associate Minister at Brooklyn Rescue Mission, Battalion Pentecostal Assembly and Azusa Christian Temple of Salvation.

    In 1997, he founded the not-for-profit Lighthouse Corporation, a Judeo-Christian volunteer emergency services organization that works with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Office of Emergency Management and the Office of Homeland Security. Through the Lighthouse organization, scores of emergency medical technicians have been trained. Lighthouse has received numerous commendations and awards from national figures such as Governor George Pataki, the Mayor’s Office, New York City Council and Congressman Gregory Meeks.

    Pastor Ventura is survived by his wife, Jennifer; son, Elijah; sisters, Margaret and Elizabeth; brothers, Peter and Charles; sister-in-law, Adria; nephews, Charles Jr., and Nigel Vasquez; niece, Briany Spaine; very special friend, Pastor Leslie N. Oliver; and many other relatives and friends.

    Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Jeremiah C. Gaffney’s Funeral Home. Visitation and a service were held at the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Far Rockaway. Interment was at Rosehill Cemetery in Linden, New Jersey.

    Enice Eunice Carby

    Health and Social Care Worker

    Enice Eunice Carby, a Rockaway resident for more than 20 years, died November 4. She was 66.

    Carby, a health and social care worker, was born on August 15, 1939 in Bangor Ridge, West Indies. She was the pastor of Springfield City Mission Pentecostal Church, worked in prison ministry and was a Chaplain at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital.

    She is survived by her siblings, Roy, Melvina, Sylvania, Cynthia and Winston; aunts, Elaine and Garret; uncle, Hubert; and many relatives and friends.

    Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Jeremiah C. Gaffney’s Funeral Home. Visitation and a service were held at International Pentecostal City Mission, Inc. Interment was at Washington Memorial Park in Coram, New York.

    Minnie Hawkins

    Financial Analyst

    Minnie Hawkins, a longtime Rockaway resident, died November 10. She was 80.

    Hawkins, a financial analyst, was born on December 6, 1924 in Crawfordville, Georgia.

    Hawkins was preceded in death by her daughter, Ethel Hamp.

    She is survived by her sons, Barry Kelly (Nancy) and Karlton Kelly (Daphne); 10 grandchildren, Randal, Kevin, Tremayne, Kareem, Tareeka, Ismael, Samori, Kimaya, Earl and Geneve; nine great-grandchildren; two sisters, Ethel Harper and Gertrude Hughes (John); two sisters-in-law, Mary Kelly and Nellie Winfield; close friends, Lovinia Curtis, Roberta London, Vickie Mackie and Margie Simmons (Earl); and many relatives and friends.

    Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Jeremiah C. Gaffney’s Funeral Home, with a service at Gaffney’s Friendship Chapel. Interment was at Amityville Cemetery.

    Michael Godfrey James

    Chef

    Michael Godfrey James, a Rockaway resident for more than 20 years, died November 6. He was 53.

    James, a chef, was born on February 14, 1952 in Linden, Guyana.

    He is survived by his wife of 28 years, Roberta; daughters, Jewel and Seandell; son, Michael; brothers, Samuel and George; sisters, Chrissy Little, Marie Louise James, and Michelle Thornhill; and many relatives and friends.

    Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Jeremiah C. Gaffney’s Funeral Home. Visitation and a service were held at John’s McManus in Brooklyn. Disposition was held at Greenwood Crematory in Brooklyn.

    Marion Leslie Levine

    Social Worker

    Marion Leslie Levine, a Rockaway resident for more than 30 years, died October 30. He was 81.

    Levine, a social worker, was born on April 15, 1924 in Houston, Texas. He also served his country in the U.S. Navy.

    He was preceded in death by his daughter, Lisa Levine; and son, Marion Levine Jr.

    Levine is survived by his first wife, Myrtle Watkins; second wife, Anna Stephenson; daughter, Myrtle Patrick (Gregory); son, Jewell Levine (Brenda); seven grandchildren, Gregory Patrick, Jr. (Lakiesha), Sherman Patrick, LaShaunda George (Joseph), Tina Martin, Needra Patrick, Jacob Levine, and Lisa Ann Levine; step-grandchildren, Lorenzo, Michael, David and Joseph; great-grandchildren, Gregory Patrick Jr. III, Keshon Patrick, Jaylin George and Shaun Patrick; and many relatives and friends.

    Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Jeremiah C. Gaffney’s Funeral Home, with visitation and a service at Gaffney’s Friendship Chapel. Interment was at Calverton National in Calverton, New York.

    Ann M. McEwen

    Retired Executive Secretary

    Ann M. McEwen, a lifelong Rockaway resident, died November 15.

    McEwen, a retired executive secretary at the New York State Courts, was born in Manhattan. She was past president of the Knights of Columbus Columbiettes, part of the Rockaway Council, a St. Edmund’s Altar Rosary Society member and a St. Edmund’s Library volunteer.

    She was preceded in death by her husband, George F. McEwen.

    She is survived by her son, George M. McEwen; daughter, Georganne M. Smith; sister, Catherine R. Walsh; ten grandchildren; and eleven great-grandchildren.

    Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Denis S. O’Connor Funeral Home. Visitation will be held on Friday, November 18 from 2-5 p.m. and 7-10 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Edmund’s Church in Breezy Point on Saturday, November 19 at 9:45 a.m.

    Catherine O’Neill

    Homemaker

    Catherine O’Neill, a Rockaway resident for 50 years, died November 14.

    O’Neill, a homemaker, was born in Arklow, County Wicklow, Ireland.

    She was preceded in death by her husband, Denis O’Neill.

    O’Neill is survived by her daughter, Margaret Leonard; son, William O’Neill; eight grandchildren; and ten great-grandchildren.

    Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Denis S. O’Connor Funeral Home. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Camillus Church on Friday, November 18 at 10 a.m. Interment will be held at Gate of Heaven in Valhalla, New York.

    Joseph Michael Pena

    Student

    Joseph Michael Pena, a Far Rockaway resident for 12 years, died November 14 after a six-year illness with Ewing’s Sarcoma. He was 14.

    Pena, a seventh grade student at Lawrence Middle School, was born on October 10, 1991.

    He is survived by his mother, Crystal Ann Winters (nee Nieves); stepfather, Robert Winters; sister, Corin Winters; grandparents, Yvonne and Carlos Nieves and Robert and Ann Winters; aunts, Blanca Nieves and Jennifer Winters; and uncle, Carlos Nieves.

    Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Meserole Funeral Home in Inwood. A Funeral Mass was celebrated at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Inwood. Disposition was at Fresh Pond Crematory in Middle Village.

    Florence M. Velez

    Receptionist

    Florence M. Velez, a Rockaway resident for 27 years, died November 16.

    Velez, a receptionist, was born in Manhattan.

    She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard Velez.

    She is survived by her daughter, Arlyn Kelly (Donald); sisters, Mary, Joan and Terri; granddaughters, Brianne and Cara; and many nieces and nephews.

    Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Denis S. O’Connor Funeral Home. Visitation will be held Saturday and Sunday, November 19 and 20, from 2-5 p.m. and 7-10 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Thomas More Church in Rockaway Point on Monday, November 21 at 9:30 a.m. Interment will be held at Calverton National in Calverton, New York.

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