Boniface 'Ben' Damiano Bureau chief with state agency, onetime South Orange police lieutenant and traveler who made pilgrimages to Catholic shrines, 'the consummate patriarch' Boniface "Ben" Damiano, 84, of Monroe Township, N.J., passed away at his home on Feb. 12, 2017, after a battle with lymphoma. Visitation will be on Saturday, Feb. 18, from 8:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church, 251 Franklin St. Hightstown, N.J. followed by a Funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Entombment is at Holy Cross Cemetery, 840 Cranbury South River Road, Jamesburg, N.J. Ben was born on Oct. 20, 1932, in South Orange, N.J., the son of the late Boniface and Bettina Damiano, who were Italian immigrants. He graduated from Union High School in 1950 and served in the United States Army during the Korean War. After his service, Ben joined the South Orange Police Department and achieved the rank of lieutenant while attending Seton Hall University to earn a bachelor's and a master's degree. During his undergraduate years in college, he met the love of his life, Leonora, his wife of 57 years. Ben and Leonora married in August 1959 and were blessed with four children. In 1970, Ben took a position as bureau chief with the New Jersey Division of Human Services, where he worked until his retirement. Ben's greatest joy was his family. As the consummate patriarch, he enjoyed storytelling, games, sports, and music; his love of life was always on full display. Throughout the years, Ben and Leonora traveled the world, visiting Canada, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Israel, Ireland, France, and Mexico. Devoutly Catholic, they made pilgrimages to Lourdes, Fatima, Guadalupe, the Holy Land and the Vatican, even meeting Pope John Paul II. Ben is survived by his wife, Leonora, and their children: Diane (Steven) Fisher, Karen (Steve) Petrucelli, Thomas (Megan) Damiano, and Judy (Walter) Loving; his sister, Anne (Norbert) Wasileski; 13 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents; his sister, Rose Sowerbrower, and brother, Anthony Damiano. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital or St. Anthony of Padua RC Church to go towards children's ministries. Online condolences may be left at barlowzimmer.com .
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