Dorothy Barcellona, mother of Father Thomas Barcellona, dies


Dorothy Mae (Merkler) Barcellona, 88, of Woodbridge, mother of Father Thomas Barcellona, died Dec. 25.

Born in Staten Island, Mrs. Barcellona grew up in Perth Amboy.  She worked in S & S Whites in Staten Island. In Woodbridge, she was a parishioner of St. James Church, and was an officer with the Parent Teacher Association of St. James Elementary School, where her children attended.  She also was involved with the Woodbridge Democratic Organization; Woodbridge Police Wives Organization, while her husband, Nazareth (“Bud”), served with the Woodbridge Police Department; AARP; and Woodbridge Senior Citizens.

She was also a member of the Shawl Ministry of St. James Church; she loved to crochet, and made afghans for friends and family, while also donating them to various organizations. She loved doing word find puzzles, and was an avid New York Yankees fan.

Mrs. Barcellona was predeceased by her husband, “Bud,” in 1993; her parents, George and Carolena (Kaelin) Merkler; her son, Anthony, in 2004; her sister, Loretta Bucciante, in 1995; and a daughter-in-law, Bonnie Barcellona, in 2000.

Besides Father Thomas Barcellona, she is survived by six other children, George of Fairview, Pa.; John and his wife Donna of Woodbridge; Linda Ann of Woodbridge; Edward and his wife Caroline of Iselin; James “Jay” and his wife Colleen of Sewaren; Peter of Port Reading; and a daughter-in-law, Valerie Barcellona of Fort Meyers, Fla.

She is also survived by 15 grandchildren: Katrina Barcellona Calzat, Jessica, Nicholas, Anthony, Amy, Ashley, Adam, Karen, Michael, Brianna, Julianna, Nazareth, Sarah, Anthony, Alyssa, and one great-grandchild, Nathan Calzat; and several nieces and nephews, Carol Goetz, Jean Furman, Jack Furman, Joan Napolean, Joseph Testa, Anthony Testa, Patti Giovenazzo, and Diane Wuestefeld.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Tuesday, Dec. 29 at St. James Church in Woodbridge.  Entombment followed at St. James Mausoleum.

Donations may be made in Dorothy’s memory to the St. James Food Pantry, 148 Grenville Street, Woodbridge, NJ 07095, or the Haven Hospice at JFK Medical Center, 65 St. James Street, Edison, NJ 08818.  To send online condolences, visit