Cover photo for Jerry Arena's Obituary

Jerry Arena

d. March 22, 2024

Normandy Beach

Jerry Arena age 84 of Normandy Beach, NJ passed away at home on March 22, 2024.

Jerry was born in the Ironbound section of Newark and resided there for over 20 years. He worked for the Carpenters Union and the Newark Housing Authority. He excelled as a skilled carpenter and built several houses and apartment buildings. Jerry had settled in Lyndhurst and eventually made Normandy Beach his home, where he lived for the last 44 years in the house he built himself.

Jerry served in the Air Force during peacetime and was a member of the Eastern Atlantic States Carpenters Union.

Jerry’s greatest love was his family. Being a loyal, caring husband, he spent 24 years with his devoted wife Manana Tsilikishvili, who saved his life multiple times, whom he cherished and with whom he built a happy, peaceful home. Beyond his immediate family of his wife and stepdaughter Tina, Jerry and Manana generously welcomed visitors and hosted dinners for the relatives and friends. 

Among his many pastime activities, Jerry loved to travel with Manana. They traveled together to Mexico, Cayman Islands, all around Florida, spending a number of long winter months in the sunny state. Jerry loved sharing his love of Italy with Manana, whether through Italian cuisine or traveling all around Italy. Jerry enjoyed spending time at the beach, and taking daily strolls near the ocean with his family members and a long time friend and cousin Joe Vizzoni. Moreover, he enjoyed using his hands to build things, was passionate about the United States, politics, business and conversations with family, relatives and friends, especially his long time friend Rich Trawinski.

Jerry had a great sense of humor, and was always available to offer guidance and a helping hand. Jerry's genuine warmth and generosity endeared him to all who knew and loved him, and he will be profoundly missed.

He is survived by his wife Manana Tsilikishvili, and stepdaughter Tina Khaladze. He eagerly anticipated the arrival of his newborn granddaughter, Sophia. Jerry is also survived by his loving niece and nephews Lisa Hovaniak, Larry Taccone, Gerry Taccone and Michael Arena, as well as many cherished cousins, great nieces and great nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents Antonio and Marianna Arena, brother Joseph Arena, sister Mary Taccone and niece Christine Wurzer.

Family and friends are invited to attend a visitation for Jerry at the Galante Funeral Home, 2800 Morris Ave. Union on Tuesday April 2 from 3-7 PM. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Newark on Wednesday at 10:30 AM. Entombment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jerry Arena, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, April 2, 2024

3:00 - 7:00 pm

Galante Funeral Home-Union Location

2800 Morris Ave., Union, NJ 07083

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Wednesday, April 3, 2024

10:30 - 11:30 am

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church

259 Oliver St, Newark, NJ 07105

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Wednesday, April 3, 2024

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