Matthew J. Connell, Jr., 86 of Westwood, New Jersey (formerly of Bergenfield) died peacefully on January 20, 2024. He was Born on March 26, 1937 to Irene and Matthew Connell. Matt is survived by his loving devoted wife of 57 years, Janet Connell. He was the proudest of fathers to his surviving three children, Christine Fogel (Richard Fogel), Lauren DiGennaro (Michael Stack) and Kevin Connell (Fiona Connell) and his beloved grandchildren Lauren, Jenna, Joshua, Celeste, Bella, Matthew, Jake, and Mia and great grandson Lane, always whipping his wallet out any chance he got to show pictures of his children and grandchildren and brag about their accomplishments.
He is predeceased by his parents, and his beloved Sisters Connie Grindley and Eileen Cella whom he loved telling stories of their antics growing up.
Matt was born in Jersey City but always added that he was conceived in California. He graduated Cliffside Park High School and continued his education at Fordham University where he earned his Pharmacy Degree. He was employed at Teaneck Drugs and went on to open his own pharmacy, Betty Lee Drugs in Bergenfield for 20 plus years. Matt and Janet shortly after selling the Pharmacy opened a Hallmark store and ran it together for 5 years.
He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, The Department of Health, St. Johns Parish Council, The Pharmaceutical Society, the Knights of Columbus, March for Life, Rotary and many other service and community organizations throughout the years. Matt and Janet became Eucharistic Ministers for St. John’s the Evangelist (Bergenfield) and would bring Communion to the residents at what was then called Woodcrest. It was a very rewarding ministry and had to end with the Pandemic.
Matt was truly a man of God. All that he did flowed from the love he had for his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His devotion to the Blessed Mother was his great love and comfort. He would say his rosary every day. His last stay in the hospital when he couldn’t speak, somehow he kept reciting the Hail Mary. One of the many things that gave him much comfort was his involvement in the Cornerstone for Men at St. Johns. The connection and love and caring that he received from his Cornerstone brothers was a great blessing.
He was a diehard Giants fan and he attended two Super Bowls.
He was generous with his time and devoted himself to service in many ways. He led by example, instilling the importance of love, faith, honesty, loyalty, family and strong work ethic. We will forever miss his optimistic attitude, his merciless dad jokes, his amazing memory and storytelling abilities and his generous soul.
Family and friends are invited to visit Wednesday, January 24th from 3pm-7pm at Riewerts Memorial Home, 187 S. Washington Avenue, Bergenfield. A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Thursday, January 25th at St. John’s the Evangelist Church, 29 N. Washington Avenue, Bergenfield. Repast at Knights of Columbus, 61 Armour Place, Dumont immediately following mass.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, Bergenfield; Church of the Assumption, Emerson or any crisis pregnancy center