Gerald Spatola O'Connor, 63 of Newark passed away on November 16, 2021.
Family, friends and colleagues are invited to attend a Funeral Mass for Gerald at St. Lucy's Church, 118 7th Ave. Newark on Friday December 17 at 12 PM. Interment will follow at Immaculate Conception Cemetery.
Gerald Spatola O’Connor was a fourth generation member of the Spatola family. He was the son of the late Agata V. Spatola and Patrick J. O’Connor and the grandson of the late Gerardo J. Spatola Jr. and Rose DeCapua Spatola. He was also the nephew the late of Bina Spatola.
Gerald had been actively working to carry forth his family's Italian-American traditions from the time of his Grandfathers passing in 1975. At the young age of 17 years old he took on the task of successfully reactivating the St. Gerard Men’s Society to continue with the Spatola family’s devotion to the Feast of St. Gerard at St. Lucy’s Church in Newark, NJ.
He was an important part of the community efforts of the St. Gerard Men’s Society and St. Gerard Ladies Guild working to organize the St. Gerard Men’s Society Rolling Raffle, St. Gerard Ladies Guild and Men’s Society Communion Breakfasts and the St. Gerard Ladies Guild Baby Brunches. More recently he organized the “Taste of Italy” fundraisers to benefit the St. Gerard Plaza Capital Campaign.
Gerald attended the Sacred Heart Grammar School in Bloomfield, NJ and then Seton Hall Preparatory School in South Orange, NJ where he was named a member of the National Honor Society. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from St. Peter’s College in Jersey City, NJ and went on to receive his Master of Arts Degree from Fordham University in the Bronx, NY. He also received a Certificate in Filmmaking from the New York University School of Continuing Education.
Gerald had diverse experience in the workplace from the Non-Profit sector as Community Director for the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation and as Assistant to the President Patrick J. O’Connor of the American Academy McAllister Institute where he graduated in 1980 as a Licensed New Jersey Funeral Director.
He also had experience in the Communications Field as a graduate student Intern with WCBS-TV Channel 2 News as well as with the United Nations Department of Public Information. He was also a graduate student Intern and Production Assistant for WWOR-TV Channel 9 News, and a graduate student contributor for WRUV 90.7 FM radio Fordham University.
Gerald also served as a Public Relations Assistant with the Archdiocese of Newark and as a Group Marketing Manager with Emerging Professional Sports Teams in the New Jersey Meadowlands. He also contributed as freelance writer for the Daily Record Newspaper.
His work experience extended itself as a Service Professional with Automatic Data Processing where he worked as a Senior Client Support Specialist. He also proudly served as a Funeral Director for the Spatola Funeral Home.
Gerald had been a member of the Federation of Italian American Societies of New Jersey from the time he was a teenager and has been honored with the Federation’s “Faithful Service Award”. He was also an At-Large Member of the Order of the Sons of Italy, a member of Lions Club International and a Third Degree member of the Knights of Columbus.