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Orestes Cembrola
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Obituary for Orestes "Rusty" Cembrola

Orestes “Rusty” N. Cembrola , 97, passed away on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at Abingdon Care and Rehab Center in Green Brook.

Born in Plainfield on May 13, 1920, Orestes was the son of Ciro and Amalia Cembrola who immigrated to the United States from Dragoni, Italy in 1912. His family owned and operated a hardware store and gasoline service station in the Netherwood Section of Plainfield and had seven children; Antoinette, Carmen and Mary Cembrola, Ernestine Plasco, Daisy Mathe and Peter and Orestes.

Upon graduating from Plainfield High School, Rusty enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force and was stationed at the Eglin Air Force Base just outside of Pensacola, FL. During that time Mr. Cembrola was assigned to Airplane and Engine School at the New England School in Boston, MA. Following graduation, Rusty returned to Eglin Air Force Base where he became an auxiliary field trainer, specializing in air and ground gunner performance to U.S. Air Force Pilots; our allies and the 1st Tuskegee Airmen.

In 1945 Mr. Cembrola, was honorably discharge as Master Sergeant and joined the active reserves. While with the active reserves, he was stationed at Floyd Bennet Field in Brooklyn, NY and was called into active duty during the Korean War. Mr. Cembrola was then assigned to the McDill Field in Tampa, FL. where he joined the 305 Bomb Squad. In addition he received all of his technical training on airplane engines from the Wright Aeronautical School in Paterson.

After serving our country Rusty worked for the US Navy Resale System in Brooklyn, NY as a Procurement and Services Specialist. He was also employed as investigator for the N.J. Sales Tax Bureau as well as an Insurance Agent for John Hancock Insurance Co.

As a resident of the City of Plainfield, Rusty served three terms on the city council from the 1st Ward. As a city councilman, Mr. Cembrola was proud he was able to facilitate several city projects including a new high school, library, police station, Tract Nice and Madison Park. As a result of his accomplishments, Rusty was presented a Key to the City by the Mayor and Council at a luncheon by the Kiwanis Club where he was cited for his outstanding and distinguished service to the city of Plainfield.

An active member of the South Plainfield American Legion Chaumont Post 243 and the Somerville DAV Chapter #16, Mr. Cembrola was a former member of the former North Plainfield Italian American Club, Plainfield’s Unico, Westfield Knights of Columbus Council #1711, Crusaders Athletic Club, Cedarbrook Football Club and the Holy Name Society at St. Bernard’s RC Church in Plainfield, where he also served as an usher.

In addition, Rusty was an avid reader, a lifetime fan of both the NY Yankees and NY Giants and a designer of Tiffany Lamps.

He is predeceased by his first wife Rose DeNapoli Cembrola; daughter, Deborah Calvin and granddaughter Cara Rose Jennings.

Surviving are his wife Joan; daughter, JoAnn Jennings of Hickory, NC; grandson, Christopher Jennings of Hickory, NC; two granddaughters, Raven Murray and Rosa Calvin of FL. and two great grandchildren, Nicolas and Brandon Jennings. Also surviving are seven stepchildren, Nancy Sullivan Leslie, John Sullivan Jr., Michael, Theodore and Patrick Sullivan, Susan Sullivan Marlowe and Joan Marie Sullivan Geyer, 16 step grandchildren, 6 step great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, September 17, 2017 from 2-6pm in the McCriskin – Gustafson Home For Funerals 2425 Plainfield Ave. South Plainfield, NJ 07080.

Relatives and friends are invited to gather for the funeral mass at St. Bartholomew’s The Apostle RC Church, Scotch Plains on Monday, September 18, 2017 at 10AM.

Mr. Cembrola will be laid to rest at Hillside Cemetery, Scotch Plains.

At the request of the family, please refrain from sending flowers and make a donation in Rusty’s memory to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital 501 St. Jude Way Memphis, TN 38101. Contributions will find cures for children with catastrophic illnesses through research. His hope is that someday a cure will be found so these children can have a long and active life.
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