Umberto “Al” Ferri passed away peacefully at home on June 19, 2023.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a visitation for Al at the
Galante Funeral Home, 2800 Morris Avenue, Union, New Jersey, on
Thursday, June 22, from 3-7 PM. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at
Saint James Church in Springfield on Friday at 10 AM. Burial will
follow at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield.
Born in Sora, Frosinone, Italy, Al and some of his family eventually
came to the United States and settled in Jamaica, Queens, New York.
After graduating high school, he was drafted into the U.S. Army as an
MP and served in the Vietnam War.
Al would later meet and marry the love of his life, Elizabeth. The two of
them settled in Jamaica, Queens , during which time Al was attending
St. John's University. They then, along with their two young children,
Robert and Heather, moved from Queens to Elmont, Long Island. After
a few years, the family then relocated to Union, New Jersey, when Al
had taken a job at Wakefern Food Corporation in Elizabeth.
Al was a lifelong Wakefern employee before working his way up to
becoming Vice President of Produce and Floral in 1995, by which time
the family had moved to Springfield, New Jersey. Al served on the
board of directors for the New Jersey Agricultural Society and the
Produce for Better Health Foundation. Al would go on to serve as a Vice
President and a director of the Eastern Produce Council, of which he was
voted “Man of the Year” in 2005.
After retiring from Wakefern, Al continued to work in the produce
business by going on to work at FreshLine in Mahwah, NJ.
Aside from his life in the produce industry, his true passion was horses
and thoroughbred horse racing. Al could usually be found at the
Meadowlands racetrack or spending his summers in Saratoga Springs,
Everything Al did was with a smile, whether he was giving you a tip in a
race or dropping off a case of delicious doughnut peaches or figs.
But nothing made him smile more than enjoying time with his family
Al is survived by his wife, Liz, of 53 years; his son Robert Ferri and
wife, Jill; his daughter Heather Ferri and his three precious and most
beloved grandchildren, Lily Pravda, Ryan Ferri and Nico Faiella.
Al is also survived by his brother Loreto Ferri and his wife Mary, his
brother Peter Ferri and his wife Sandy, his sister Rocca Fortunato and
her husband Phil, his brother-in-law Robert Kireiev and his wife
Margaret, and many beloved nieces and nephews. Al was predeceased
by his sister Loreta Ferri, his brother Benedetto Ferri, and his sister
In lieu of flowers, donations could be made to the Wounded Warrior
Project or Anna House-Belmont Child Care Association.