In Memory

Thomas Bentkowski

Thomas Stephen Bentkowski, 76, of Cranford, N.J., passed away on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. Visiting hours will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at the Higgins and Bonner Echo Lake Funeral Home, 582 Springfield Ave., Westfield, N.J. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, at 11 a.m. at Calvary Lutheran Church, 108 Eastman St., Cranford. Entombment will follow at Somerset Hills Memorial Park in Basking Ridge, N.J. Tom was born in Newark, N.J., and grew up in Irvington, N.J. He graduated with high honors from Rutgers University and the American Savings and Loan Institute. He served in the Naval Reserve and held a master plumber's license. He was a member of the Polka Maniacs, Brick Elks, Irvington Optimist Club, Trailblazers Hunting Club, Warren County Rod and Gun Club and The Polish Cultural Foundation. Tom was predeceased by his daughter, Lisa, and his parents, Stephen and Helen (Landa) Bentkowski. He is survived by his beloved wife, Barbara Bentkowski; daughters, Lynn and her husband, Greg Rapuano, Ilona and her husband, Chris Lelli, and Renee and her husband, Louis Lelli; six grandchildren, Hunter Lelli, Robert Lelli, Stephen Rapuano, Kirsten Lelli, Matthew Lelli and Brandon Rapuano, and sisters, Lorraine Pelter and Rita Holloway, as well as many nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, contributions to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital , or the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society would be appreciated.

Published in Star-Ledger on February 12, 2013