The Fair Haven schools community is in mourning over the loss of a treasured lunch aide — Josephine Menna.
Memorial services begin today at 3 p.m. at Thompson Memorial Home in Red Bank for the woman who began her career in the borough at 78, serving up students, teachers and the community a lot of love, a little bit of advice and some homemade gifts, a flood of social media comments conveyed.
Revered as a “beloved lunch aide and friend,” Josephine “Josie” Menna, a longtime Red Bank resident, “passed away peacefully” on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, aptly joining her husband Tommy to whom she was married for 32 years, her obituary said.
Josie Menna was aunt of Red Bank Mayor Pat Menna, who paid tribute to her on Facebook upon her death:
“Lent began this evening with the arrival in Heaven of my 90 something aunt, Josephine Figaro Menna, whom I affectionately called the honorary mayor of Garfield Place in Red Bank. She was the wonderful widow of my uncle Thomas Menna, co owner of the legendary West Bergen Market and the mother of Gregory and Gary Figaro. An extraordinary woman and person of boundless charity and good will still delivering meals to housebound ‘seniors’ at her age every week and bringing the eucharist to those who were immobile and could not attend Mass.”
Family was the center of Josie Menna’s life, according to her obituary. Though family, as many Fair Havenites saw it, extended for Josie to the kids and teachers in the lunchroom and beyond.