2006-03-17 / Obits

John William DiffendaleFormer Roxbury Resident

John William Diffendale, a resident of Barefoot Bay, Florida, formerly of Roxbury, died March 11. He was 85.

Diffendale summered in Roxbury as a child and later raised his family there. He was a member of the community's Mayor's Committee as well as the Moonshiners of Roxbury. Diffendale, a brewery worker for the Joseph Schlitz and F.M. Schaefer brewing companies, relocated to Barefoot Bay after his retirement.

Diffendale was preceded in death by his father, William "Doc" Diffendale and his mother, Emilia (nee Schweikert) Diffendale.

He is survived by his wife, Rosemary (nee Needham) Diffendale; brother, William Diffendale; children, Rosemary, Eileen, John Jr. and Patrick; grandchildren, Michael, John, Erin, Theresa, Kristen, Kathleen, Joseph, Lauren and Brian; and great-grandchildren, Kathleen and Ashley.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Denis S. O'Connor Funeral Home. A Funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Francis de Sales. Interment was at Pinelawn Cemetery in Farmingdale, Long Island.

Alicia Gray-Brown

School Aide

Alicia Gray-Brown, a lifelong Rockaway resident, died March 3. She was 30.

Gray-Brown, a school aide, was born on May 6, 1975 in Far Rockaway. She was also a member of Highway Church of God in Christ.

Gray-Brown was preceded in death by her mother, Josephine Gray; brother, Bedia Jr.; sister, Carolyn; and great-nephew, Tiwan.

She is survived by her husband, Kevin; father, Elder Bedia L. Gray; sisters, Lovie Jean Gray of Detroit, Michigan, Betty Jean Cole of New York, Fannie D. Stevens, Tammy Stevens of Starkville, Mississippi, and Gloria Susan Williams (Billy) of Orlando, Florida; brothers, Elder Sylvester Gray (Lyrill), and Elder Larry Gray; mother-in-law, Arletha Lewis; brother-in-law, Gregory Holliday; sister-in-law, Simone Huggins (Marlon); children, Kevin J. Brown Jr. and Simone Sharee, Derisse, Denice, and Erica; nephews, Xavier, Ricky, Corey, John, Larry, Orion, Sylvester, Jr., Jerome, Michael, Mark, Shaun, Calvin, Alfonso, Chris and Ivan; uncles, Minister David Holland, Jerry Holland, Freeland Holland and Elder James L. Holland (Jean); aunts, Ida Davis, Emma Pelt (Elder James Pelt); and many relatives, friends and co-workers.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Jeremiah C. Gaffney's Funeral Home. Visitation was held at the Far Rockaway Cathedral. Interment was held at Amityville Cemetery.

Randolph Griffin


Randolph Griffin, a Rockaway resident for more than 10 years, died March 8. He was 53.

Griffin, a custodian, was born September 17, 1952 in Johnston, S.C.

Griffin was preceded in death by his sister, Betty Price; and brother, Allen Green.

He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.T. Griffin; wife, Deidre; four children, Isis Tucker-Rushdan, Shaheim, Shalamar and Shanice; daughter-in-law, Stephanie Griffin; son-in-law, Jibril Rushdan; stepsons, Sabu Jr., Sonny and Sean; granddaughter, Angel; sisters, Lillie Dobbs, Dorothy Maynard and Cheryl Griffin; brothers, W.T. Griffin, Jr., Sirrhan Griffin and Joseph Griffin; sisters-in-law, Louvina Green of Washington, D.C. and Julia Griffin; brothers-in-law, John Dobbs, Jr., Robert Price and Ronald Maynard; uncles, James Green and Floyd Green of Washington, D.C.; and many other relatives and friends.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Jeremiah C. Gaffney's Funeral Home, with visitation at Gaffney's Friendship Chapel. Disposition was held at Oxford Hills Crematory in Chester, New York.

Edward J. Mills

Longtime Broad Channel Resident

Edward J. Mills, a longtime Broad Channel resident, died March 14. He was 81.

Mills, who was born in Jackson Heights, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was assigned to Ladder 121 in Rockaway Beach during his career with the New York City Fire Department, from which he was retired. He was also a member of the FDNY Anchor Club. For 40 years, Mills served as secretary treasurer of the Rockaway Knights of Columbus Council. He was a parishioner at St. Virgilius, where he served as an usher and was a member of the Holy Name Society and the Parish Council.

Mills was preceded in death by his wife, Rosemary; son, Edward; and daughter, Mary Anne.

He is survived by his second wife, Patricia; 11 children; 25 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Hillebrand's Funeral Home in Broad Channel. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Virgilius on Friday, March 17, at 9:30 a.m. Interment will be at Pinelawn Cemetery.

Leslie Nadine Oliver


Leslie Nadine Oliver, a Rockaway resident for over 20 years, died February 19. She was 47.

Oliver, a minister, was born on June 14, 1958 in Manhattan. She was a member of the Lighthouse Corportion and the Five-Fold Covenant Fellowship.

Oliver was preceded in death by her father, Teddy; grandmother, Vertie; special friend, Apostle Donald; brother, Robin; and niece Taisha.

She is survived by her sons, Timothy, Gabriel and Michael; grandsons, Jaleel and Unique; mother, Sylvia; siblings, Jeanne, Onaje, Patty, Pam, Addie and Ronald; aunt, Pat; uncle, Bernard; nieces, Raven, Namibia, Ayanna and Juanita; nephews, Darren, Sam, Philip, David, Noel, Ishima, Joseph, Toure, Aaron, Anthony and Kevin; extended family, Niamo, Naseesa, Lisa, Carmen, Monica, Faith, Andre, Kari, Phoebe, Michael, Angie, Cheyenne, Jared, Maya, Denise, Warren and Dorothy.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Jeremiah C. Gaffney's Funeral Home.

Visitation was held at the First Church of God in Far Rockaway. Interment was held at Rosedale Cemetery in Linden, New Jersey.

Thomas M. Seiferheld

Self-Employed Contractor

Thomas M. Seiferheld, a Rockaway resident for 28 years, died March 2. He was 39.

Seiferheld, a self-employed contractor, was born on November 16, 1966 on Long Island.

He is survived by his mother, Claire A. Seiferheld (nee Geiger); father, James Seiferheld; two sons, Sean and Thomas James "TJ" Seiferheld; brother, James Seiferheld (Fran); sister, Lenora Gresser (Michael); and seven nieces and nephews.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Denis S. O'Connor Funeral Home.

A Funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Genevieve Church in Roxbury. Disposition was held in Middle Village.

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