Part 1
Nocera Inferiore

Part 2
Castellammare di Stabia

Part 3 - Brooklyn

Frank & Elizabeth
Giuseppe & Petronilla
Ciro & Louisa
Carmela & Catello LaMura
Salvatore & Maria
Lanzara Ancestral Chart
Bonifacio Ancestral Chart
Lanzaro Ancestral Chart

Lanzaro Ancestral Chart

LaMura Ancestral Chart

Causes of Death
Email Me


Part 3 - Brooklyn
Ciro and Louisa

Last update 1/12/2019


Ciro and Louisa Lanzaro

Exactly two years after Giuseppe Lanzara’s death, on September 24, 1901, his son Ciro Lanzaro married Louisa Leier, daughter of Lawrence and Amelia (Nowasky) Leier. They lived in a small apartment over a store at 147 Conover Street in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, close to the dock area. It was a very poor, rough neighborhood. The notorious Al Capone was born and raised nearby and got his start as a small-time criminal and received the wound that led to his nickname, “Scarface,” in Red Hook. Capone's parents, Gabriele and Teresina Capone, were also from Castellammare di Stabia, and arrived in America around the same time as the Lanzaros and LaMuras. I have no evidence that they are in any way related to us.

Living with Ciro and Louisa were Ciro's widowed mother, Petronilla, and Ciro's brother Salvatore, until Salvatore's marriage to Maria Bellavigna in 1904. For a while, Petronilla's daughter Carmela and her husband, Catello LaMura, and their six children lived there with them.

These are Ciro and Louisa's 9 children:

Petronella - born December 13, 1903, in Brooklyn, exactly 11 weeks after Louisa and Ciro were married. I have copies of her birth and death certificates. Apparently, she was named after Ciro's mother, Petronilla (although her name is spelled Petronella on the birth certificate). Unfortunately, she had a very short life. She died at the age of 15 months from bronchial pneumonia on January 28, 1905, just 2 days before the birth of the second child, Joseph. This must have been a particularly difficult time for the young mother, Louisa, who gave birth to her second child a day after burying her first. Louisa was just 20 years old at the time.

On her death certificate, Petronella is identified as Patricia. We can only conjecture that Louisa may have accepted the traditional naming of her first daughter after the mother of her husband, but they obviously called her by the more modern sounding Patricia. She was buried in an unmarked grave at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn with her grandfather, Giuseppe Lanzara, who died in Brooklyn on September 20, 1901, at the age of 65.

Joseph - born in Brooklyn, on January 30, 1905.

Later in the year, Ciro moved the family across the street to 154 Conover Street.

Lawrence - born in Brooklyn, on December 21, 1906.

Catello - born in Brooklyn, on June 17, 1908.

in 1909, Ciro and Petronilla bought a 3-story brick and stone dwelling at 91 2nd Place in Brooklyn and moved everyone there. This was a much better neighborhood, outside Red Hook in what is today the Carroll Gardens section of Brooklyn.

Living with them, at least for a while, were newlyweds Adolph and Concetta Nori. Concetta was the daughter of Catello and Carmela LaMura. She and Adolph were married September 29, 1909 when she was 17 and he was 29. Ciro and Louisa were listed as witnesses on their marriage certificate. Adolph described himself as an electrical engineer but I have no idea where he worked.

Carmela – “Toots” is the only one of the siblings whose birth certificate I have not been able to locate. Her death certificate states she was born December 27, 1911, in Brooklyn, but I have other sources that say she was born in 1910..

Eugene - born in Brooklyn, on February 7, 1913.

On October 23, 1911, Ciro filed his Declaration of Intention to become an American citizen. He was 32 years old and described himself as dark complexioned, 5 feet 9 inches in height, and weighed 196 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. Like Al Capone, he had scars on his chin and forehead.

Ciro and Catello LaMura were business partners in the Elk Bottling Works, originally located at 590 Presidents Street in Brooklyn, and later moved to 631 Hicks Street. Their specialties were Orange Phosphate and Dr. Cristo’s Celery Tonic. Catello was also the inventor of an insect repellent called “KILLBUG”, which he tried to sell in Italy with some success. According to my father, Petronilla called Catello the “millionaire with broken nails”.

When Ciro's son Joseph was about 6 years old (1911?), he was left alone on the wagon while Ciro went inside some building on "business." A train came by and spooked the horses. They bolted with young Joe holding on for dear life. Eventually the wagon was stopped by some brave soul who stood in front of the wagon and waved his arms. The horses stopped and Joe went on to live and tell the story.

Ciro and Catello gave space in their shop for Mother Cabrini to set up a small schoolroom. Catello's daughters, Anna, Mildred (Millie) and Rose (Reggie) attended classes there and were actually taught for a short time by Mother Cabrini herself.

Ciro and Catello’s son Joseph LaMura also owned a movie theater in Brooklyn, the Loew’s Bayridge. Ciro's brother, Salvatore Lanzaro worked there as a projectionist. Unfortunately, the theater was located on the wrong side of town. People from the better side of town would not come to the theater because of its location.

By 1913, the business enterprises were proving to be anything but profitable, so Ciro and Salvatore decided to invest in a farm in NJ to provide extra income. They eventually bought a 35-acre farm in Morganville, a town in Monmouth County, NJ. The plan was for Salvatore to live on the farm and bring the produce (initially chicken eggs) back to Brooklyn where Ciro would sell it. While the sale of the property was pending, Salvatore continued to work at the movie house. On a very cold day in February, 1914, after working in the hot, sweaty projection room, Salvatore went outside in shirtsleeves to change the marquee. He subsequently caught pneumonia and died, according to his death certificate, on February 13, 1914, at the age of 39.

Ciro, faced with the death of his brother and a failing movie business, plus threats of extortion by La Mano Nera (Black Hand) against his soda-water business, moved his family, including 70-year-old Petronilla and 13-month-old Eugene, to the Morganville farm in April 1914.

In September of that same year, Concetta LaMura Nori, married to Adolph Nori in 1909 and living in the Brooklyn neighborhood that Ciro, Louisa and Petronilla had just left months before, wrote her grandmother Petronilla the following letter:

September 30, 1914

Dear Grandma,

Just a few lines to let you know that I am much better. I hope that you and everybody is in good health. Tuesday morning I went to the milk station with Mrs. O’Toole, and they weighed the baby. She weighs 13 pounds. They don’t want me to give her the bottle yet, until she gains. While I was writing, Cheala said that I should say “Hello Noni.” You forgot to take the sugar and bread. If nobody comes I will send it to you. Adolph is looking for the job for Gene. Monday Torr’s wife of the shop came and said that the Board of Health wants the stable fixed. If they don’t do it for the 1st October they will close the shop and have to go to court. She said if you want them to fix it they will keep the money off the rent. So let me know as soon as possible because she is coming up to my house for the answer. Dear Grandma Don’t worry about me, because I feel much stronger and I am doing my work. Tomorrow I will put up the curtains. I have more medicine to take and when I finish it I will go to the doctor. I will write to you as soon as I come from him and will let you know what he says. Best love and kisses to you, from me, Adolph and the children. Joe sends his best love and will write next week.

Best love to all.

From your grandchild

The baby she refers to is her second-born child, Adelaide Nori. I don't know who "Cheala" is, perhaps her first daughter Carmela (Babe) Nori, who would have been around three. "Noni" or Nonna, is the Italian word for "grandmother." "Gene" is Ciro who sometimes went by the name Eugene. Things must already be desperate down on the farm and Ciro has asked Adolph to find him work in Brooklyn, at least temporarily. I have no idea who "Torr" is, but I guess Ciro still rents the stable where they kept the horses for the soda wagons. "Joe" is almost certainly Concetta's brother, Joseph LaMura.

Three more sons were born, now at the farm in Morganville, but each died tragically at young ages.

Salvatore - born February 6, 1915, in the farmhouse in Morganville. I have his birth and death certificates. He was probably named after Ciro's brother who had died in Brooklyn one year before on February 13, 1914, at the age of 39. Twenty-two months after his birth, around December 18, 1916, little Salvatore fell over backward while sitting in a highchair built by Ciro. The baby hit his head on the floor. He lingered for a week before dying on Christmas morning, December 25, 1916. The official cause of death was listed as “cerebral spinal fever”. Ciro took the highchair and smashed it against the fireplace. Salvatore became the first resident of the family plot in St. Joseph's Cemetery in Keyport, NJ.

Salvatore - born March 19, 1917, in Morganville, 3 months after the other Salvatore died. I've only just discovered this Salvatore (January 2005). I have his birth and death certificates. Dad and Uncle Larry mentioned only one Salvatore. This one lasted less than 6 months. He died September 4, 1917, from Cholera Infantum, also called Summer Complaint: Common, non-contagious diarrhea of young children, occurring in summer or autumn. Symptoms are those of cholera. It was common among the poor and hand-fed (bottle-fed) babies. Death frequently occurred in three to five days. Probably due to food poisoning from spoiled milk as was most common in hot weather.

Typically, after a meal was served at the farmhouse in Morganville, food was covered and set aside (left at room temperature) for the next meal. Refrigerators did not exist. There were only iceboxes. Infants and small children who had been recently weaned from the breast hadn't had time to build up an immune system, as had the adults and older children. If the child was started on solid food during the cooler parts of the year, the chances of ingesting spoiled food was less than in the hot summer months.

In Salvatore’s case, the summer heat spoiled the food, his immune system was still too weak, and he became seriously ill. He suffered severe diarrhea and fever, and died within five days, on September 4, 1917. I believe this Salvatore is also buried in the plot in St. Joseph's Cemetery (it says so on his death certificate), but there is only one Salvatore on the headstone.

Louisa's brothers, Bill, Charles and Albert (whom Dad called Ollie), were unable to find work in New York City so Ciro offered to let them live and work on the farm in exchange for their meals and a place to sleep. That lasted about one year until they left and stayed at Heiser's house on Greenwood Road, past the Fariello farm. They then sued Ciro for wages and, according to Uncle Larry, they won. My father says he remembers his mother crying over this.

Louisa contracted tuberculosis in 1919 and was confined to a sanitarium in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, where she died more than a year later on July 16, 1920. She was 35 years old. She was buried in St. Joseph’s Cemetery with her two babies.

Francis / Frank - born June 7, 1918, according to his birth certificate. They probably realized it was bad luck to name any more babies Salvatore, but this one may have been named after Ciro's uncle, Francesco, who died in Brooklyn at the age of 47 on January 6, 1892. Francis is listed with the family in Morganville on the 1920 Federal census as nearly 2-year-old Frank, and Louisa mentioned him in her letters before she died on July 16, 1920. After several years of searching, I finally located his death certificate. It shows he died at the Metropolitan Hospital in Manhattan, NY, on September 15, 1921, about a year after his mother. He was 3 years old. Cause of death was bronchial pneumonia. Ironically, Ciro and Louisa’s last child died from the same disease as their first.

How did little Frankie get from the farm in Morganville to a hospital in New York City? His death certificate lists his residence as 941 Newkirk Avenue, in Brooklyn. This was the home of his grandmother, Amelia Leier, Louisa’s mother. Louisa contracted tuberculosis about a year after Frankie was born. She was sent to a TB clinic in Scotch Plains, NJ, where she stayed until her death over a year later. One can only conjecture that when it became obvious that Louisa was not returning home any time soon, the families decided it would be better for the baby to be with his 54-year-old grandmother in Brooklyn than on a farm in the “sticks”. Dad was 7 years old at the time, Toots was 8, Cat 12, Larry 13, Joe 15, Ciro 38, and Petronilla 76. Unfortunately, poor little Frankie would last only a year. The death certificate shows he was sick for two months before he died. He was buried in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Keyport with his two brothers Salvatore, and his mother.

For those of you who might be interested in knowing more about Louisa and her Leier family, I invite you to visit my other family history project at http://leiernowasky.com/.

Ciro, Petronilla and the remaining children continued their struggle to survive as farmers.


According to my father, Ciro had a "good appetite." He had all his hair and teeth. He had the habit of smoking a cigar or pipe on Sunday.

Compare Pensabene and his “1st Lieutenant”, an Irishman named Joe Feeney, would visit the family in Morganville about once a year. They brought enough food with them for the family to enjoy a feast and there were usually leftovers days afterward. Feeney would also bring along guns and would practice his marksmanship in the back yard.

Petronilla would make trips back to the city 2 or 3 times a year. She would stop at her adopted son Frank Crosetti’s house and he would have raw coffee beans that he gave to her. He got the coffee beans from the docks where he worked by “accidentally” bumping into the coffee sacks with his cart, then stuffing the loose beans in his pockets. Petronilla would bring the beans home, grind them and make coffee brewed in a makeshift pot made from an old coffee-can. The used grounds would go back in with the next batch of fresh grounds and the result was stronger and stronger coffee until she eventually threw the grounds out. This way she could stretch the beans to last much longer.

Dad and Uncle Larry called Frank Crosetti something that sounded like "Che-CHEEL". Years later I came across some notes that hinted his nickname was "Cicero" and the broken Italian pronunciation might have been "Che-CHEER-oh". Frank would come down to the farm to visit with a suitcase of wine. He would stay as long as the wine lasted, which he offered to no one else. He would take the trolley in Brooklyn and the ferry to Manhattan, then the train to Morganville.

In the November 1, 1922 issue of The Red Bank Register, the following article appeared: PARTY IN SCHOOLHOUSE - Hallowe'en Festivities Enjoyed at Spring Valley Last Week - All the pupils of the Spring Valley school in Marlboro township and many of their relatives and friends attended a Hallowe'en sociable in the schoolhouse Friday night. Each person was measured and an admission fee of two cents per foot was charged. The schoolhouse was trimmed with Hallowe'en decorations. The children had a joyous time with a fish pond and grab bag from which they obtained many prizes. Miss C. Griffin, a former teacher of the school, was at the festivities and she received a royal welcome. Dancing was enjoyed with music by William Phelan and Eugene Lanzaro. Refreshments of coffee and cake were served. Ice cream and soda water were on sale. The profits of the sociable will be used to buy a victrola for the school. Robert Doyle of Colt's Neck is the present teacher.

Eugene Lanzaro was actually Ciro, who often used the name Eugene. William Phelan was Arthur Phelan's father. Arthur married Carmela (Babe) Nori. This old schoolhouse, where my father along with several of his siblings and LaMura cousins attended school, was still standing when I took these photos in 1998 with Dad.

During the many years of plowing on the farm, Ciro and my father occasionally found Indian arrowheads and other Native-American artifacts, suggesting the area had once been a large encampment, perhaps of the Lenni Lenape (the true people) who were known to have lived in Monmouth County.

Whether it was an Italian custom or just something that evolved between Petronilla and Ciro, but my father told me that Petronilla held and controlled all the money in the house. She spoke very little English. According to my father, Ciro spoke English with no accent.

Joseph and Leona LaMura and their family lived across the road from the farmhouse. Joe LaMura Jr. once told me that when he was a small boy, he could hear Ciro and Petronilla arguing from across the road. His father warned him not to go over when he heard them arguing, so, of course, he went. All of the arguments began and ended the same: Ciro would take a glass from the cupboard and place it on the table. When Ciro decided the argument was over, he would take the glass and smash it against the wall.

Petronilla died in the farmhouse on July 22, 1934 at the age of 91. The cost for her funeral and burial was $562. For reasons that have been lost in time, Ciro did not have her buried in the same plot where his wife and three sons were. Instead, she went into another plot further south in the cemetery. After Ciro died in 1944, she was removed from her grave and placed with Ciro and Louisa. Years later, Ciro's sister Carmela ("Toots") was buried in the plot that had originally held Petronilla.

During the 1930's, Ciro and his sons, Joe and Larry, and other relatives were members of the St. Joseph's Catholic Church Choir in Keyport. On April 21, 1933, the choir presented an "Oriental Comedy" entitled "Jappyland", which was enthusiastically received by a record capacity crowd. The Emperor of Jappyland was performed by Ciro. Other cast members included 6-year-old Al LaMura and his 4-year-old sister, Leona. Quoting from the article in the Matawan Journal, "Those Japanese dolls, Alfred and Leona LaMura, were just too cute for words, and little Leona's version of "Fit as a Fiddle" would put many a larger performer to envy."

At the choir's 8th Annual banquet and party held at the Old Dutch Tavern in January of 1938, Ciro and his sons performed solos. Ciro sang "There's a Gold Mine in the Sky", Joe sang "Rosalie", and Larry "When Irish Eyes are Smiling." Millie (LaMura) Mastellone sang "O Sole Mio." Joe and Larry's guests for the evening were their wives, Evelyn (Winans) and Phil (Dellapietro), and Millie's husband, Charles Mastellone, was there, also.

On April 13, 1940, Ciro stated on a purchase order for a new tractor and plow that his 1940 crop consisted of 47 acres of vegetables, 5 acres of barley, and 1 acre of raspberries.

-------- Eugene Lanzaro and Ann Cannizzaro --------

On January 28, 1940, Leo Brown of Morganville married Amelia Patterson of Keyport. Although these people are not on our family tree, there were two others in attendance at the wedding who had a significant impact on me (and my sister). One of Amelia's bridesmaids was 18-year-old Ann Cannizzaro, and one of the ushers, a close friend of the groom, was 26-year-old Eugene Lanzaro, my father.

A few years later, on November 28, 1942, Eugene Lanzaro married Ann Cannizzaro. Ann was born in Keyport on October 2, 1921. Her parents were Salvatore Cannizzaro (1891-1953), from Militello, Sicily and Francesca Russo (1895-1968), from Grammichele, Sicily. The wedding took place at St. Joseph's Church in Keyport. Gene's brother, Larry Lanzaro, sang several songs before the ceremony. The maid of honor was Ann's sister, Frances Cannizzaro. The bridesmaids were two more of Ann's sisters, Minnie Johnston and Kit Feldman, plus Gloria Preston and Elinor Pasino. Another sister, Lillian Cannizzaro, was junior bridesmaid. Gene's brother, Joseph Lanzaro, was best man. Ushers were Minnie's husband, Bob Johnston, Gloria's husband, Ed Preston, plus Robert LaMura and John Babrisky. Following a reception at Balbach's Auditorium in Keansburg, the newlyweds left for a honeymoon in New York. Upon their return, they took up residence at Gene's home, the family farmhouse in Morganville. Living with them would be Gene's father, Ciro Lanzaro.

When Ciro died on December 19, 1944, Gene inherited the farm. I was born there one month later on January 27, 1945, and my sister Jeanne on November 17, 1948. Ciro was buried with his wife and three sons at St. Joseph's Cemetery in Keyport. Several months later, Petronilla was removed from her grave in another part of the cemetery and reburied in the plot holding Ciro and Louise. Ciro's funeral and burial cost $751. My father, in the course of executing Ciro's will, hired two local men, Frank Eckel and John Babriski, to appraise four vehicles that Ciro left. They determined that his 1928 Graham flat-bed truck was worth $15, his 1931 GMC truck $50, his 1937 Dodge 4-door touring car $300, and his 1939 Allis Chalmers Model B tractor $200.

In 1950, tired of farming with little profit, Gene went into business with his brother Joe. They built a general appliance and furniture store called The Bargain House on a portion of the farm next to our house.

On the Fourth of July, 1961, eleven years after opening the store, they had their first robbery and $2000 worth of televisions, radios, record players, and electronic equipment was stolen from the store. Since the entire township was covered by only one policeman, "Charlie the Cop," the State Police from the Keyport barracks investigated the robbery. There had been other robberies in the area, starting about 1958. People began locking their doors when they were away, something they never had to do before. This was the time that the world changed, forever. The township began the development of a real police department around 1962.

Mom and Dad, originally Brooklyn Dodger fans, were devoted to their new team, the New York Mets. They also loved stock car racing (as spectators), often cheering their nephew, Joe Lanzaro Jr., who raced at Old Bridge Raceway Park and Wall Stadium. True to his farming roots, Dad grew and tended a huge garden each year. Friends and relatives knew they could stop in to visit the farmhouse any time. You didn't have to call ahead or knock on the door. You just went in and called "Ann?", and Mom would welcome anyone and everyone with food and coffee and someone to listen to their stories.

Mom was a great cook and we usually had lots of relatives to share holiday dinners at the farmhouse. When the headcount at one Thanksgiving reached 32, everyone decided the custom had outgrown the abilities of those who had to work to make it happen, and subsequent affairs were greatly reduced.

After Joe died in 1985, Dad continued to operate the store alone until his death at 87 on July 2, 2000. Ann, who suffered from Multiple Sclerosis, died December 20, 2009. They are interred together in a mausoleum in St. Gabriel's Cemetery in Marlboro, NJ.

Ciro and Louise’s other children all married and produced another large branch of the family tree:

-------- Joseph A. Lanzaro and Evelyn E. Winans --------

Joseph A. Lanzaro wed Evelyn E. Winans on November 18, 1928 at St. Joseph's Church in Keyport. Evelyn was born April 26, 1907 in Newark, NJ. Her father was Jonathan Dayton Winans (1880-1927); her mother Louise S. Anderson (1886-1963). Following the wedding, a reception was held at the Raritan Inn. The newlyweds honeymooned in Washington, D.C., and upon their return, made their residence in Morganville.

For a more detailed history of the Winans family, click here.

Evelyn was working in the Jersey City office of the Central Railroad of New Jersey and living in the Freneau section of Matawan with her family when she and Joe married. Joe worked for the Hanson-Van Winkle-Munning Company in Matawan. In 1937, however, he was fired from the company for soliciting for union membership.

Joe and Evelyn lived in various towns around Morganville before finally returning and settling in a home not far from the original family farm. Joe organized the first Morganville First Aid Squad, in 1951, and was its first president. He also served on the Marlboro Township Council in the 1960's and was elected Mayor on the Democratic Party ticket in 1963. He was also a member of the township Planning Board and a member of the Board of Education for six years. He was director of welfare and police director while serving as a councilman. He served as Democratic municipal leader for eight years, and was past president of the Democratic Club. He was a Boy Scout leader for many years. In his spare time, he helped his brother Eugene at the Bargain House. Evelyn was a member of the Morganville First Aid and Rescue Squad Ladies Auxiliary and the Morganville Volunteer Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary. She was a member of the Morganville Social Club for 30 years, and also belonged to the Harmony Club in Freehold, and the St. Clement's Senior Citizens organization in Matawan.

● ● ● ● ● ●
Joe and Evelyn had 5 children:

Joseph Anthony Lanzaro, Jr., born in Keyport, NJ on February 26, 1930. By the age of 20, Joe was working in the automobile industry, a career that would span 60 years. He was last employed by Tom's Ford, Keyport for many years. He is a Korean War Veteran who served in the United States Air Force. On April 19, 1952, Joe married Eleanor Malkiewicz. Eleanor was born June 19, 1932. They have two sons and two daughters. Besides their four children, Joe and Eleanor have six grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. The family knows Joe affectionately as "Pop."

Joe is a life member of the Morganville First Aid Squad, and a member of the Garden State Vintage Stock Car Racing Club. He received the Pioneer Award for recognition and appreciation for his contributions and success in the early years of Stock Car Racing. Aside from racing cars, he enjoyed going to Daytona International Speedway as well as Pocono and Dover to watch NASCAR races.

Joe and Eleanor's youngest son married Patricia Bertola on June 15, 1992, the bride's 27th birthday. Patricia was born in Brooklyn on June 15, 1965, the daughter of Donald Bertola and Sandra Cohen. Tragedy struck the couple when Patricia died at the age of 31 on March 12, 1997, leaving behind two young sons. She is buried at Old Tennent Cemetery in Manalapan, NJ.

On March 5, 2011, shortly after his 81st birthday, Joe passed away. He is interred in the St. John Mausoleum at St. Gabriel's Cemetery in Marlboro, NJ.

Joe and Eleanor's youngest daughter, Lori, passed away in Melbourne, Florida, on November 10, 2014, after losing her long battle with cancer. She was 53 years old. Lori was born May 8, 1961 in Neptune, NJ. As a child, she spent endless hours fishing and crabbibng with her brothers and cousins. She participated in Marlboro Pop Warner as a cheerleader. Before graduating from Marlboro High School, Lori was a member of the High School gymnastic team, then went on to attend Trenton State College. She worked as a gymnastics coach at Alt's Gymnastic School and as a bake and cake decorator for Acme Supermarkets.

Louise Marie Lanzaro, born in Freneau on March 4, 1932. As a teenager, Louise was a Rockette, and performed at various venues around the country and in South America with many prominent stars of the day. She sang and danced professionally, once appearing at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City.

Louise was working for Murial's Frocks in Keyport when she married Peter Peterson on February 28, 1954, at St. Joseph's Church in Keyport, NJ. Her sister, Patricia Gentile, was matron of honor. My sister, 5-year-old Jeanne Lanzaro, was the flower girl. Pete's cousin, Kenneth Levine, was ring bearer. Pete's brother, John Peterson, served as best man. A reception followed at the Portuguese Club in Perth Amboy. Following the wedding reception, the newlyweds honeymooned at Niagara Falls. When they returned from their wedding trip, they resided at 148 Jackson Street in Matawan.

Pete was born in Woodbridge, NJ on December 23, 1929, the son of Peter H. Peterson and Ingelov Olsen. He served in the U.S. Navy and worked for J. Rich Steers Construction Company in New York. Pete and Louise have one son and three daughters.

Louise also drove a bus for Milu Bus Service until she retired at the age of 72. She loved bowling, playing solitaire, Monmouth Park Racetrack, and Frank Sinatra. Her real hobby was collecting Santa Claus figurines. On November 9, 2015, Louise passed away at the age of 83. She is interred in a mausoleum at Marlboro Cemetery in Morganville.

Patricia Mildred Lanzaro, born December 20, 1933. Patty married Vincent Gentile on September 20, 1952 at St. Joseph's Church in Keyport. Patty's sister, Louise Lanzaro, was her maid of honor. Bridesmaids were Mary Farrell and Jane Bennett. My sister, nearly 4-year-old Jeanne Lanzaro, was the flower girl. Vinnie's brother, Camillo Gentile, was best man. A wedding reception for 200 guests was held at the Lithuanian Club in Freehold. A three-tiered square wedding cake was the table centerpiece, and music for dancing was furnished by Jack Norman and his orchestra, of Perth Amboy. Following the reception, the newlyweds honeymooned in Washington, DC. They made their residence on Johnson Avenue in Matawan upon their return.

Vinnie, the son of Daniel Gentile and Clara Sardella, was born in Matawan on March 1, 1931. He served in the U.S. Air Force, including two years in the Pacific Theater during World War II (That statement was taken from the wedding announcement in the September 25, 1952 issue of the Matawan Journal. Since Vinnie was 13 years old when WWII ended, I have some doubt). Actually, he served in the Air Force during the Korean War, enlisting on March 21, 1949 when he was 18, and was discharged nearly four years later on November 3, 1952, two months after the marriage.

At the time of their marriage, Patty was working for the Bendix Corporation in Eatontown, NJ. They have two sons.

Vinnie died September 2, 2007.

Donald Carl Lanzaro, born in Keyport, NJ on November 16, 1936. Donny was a fire policeman of the Morganville Fire Company when he became ill from the effects of kidney disease. After an extended period of treatments, he died in the Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York on September 14, 1959. He was only 22. He was buried at St. Gabriels' Cemetery in Marlboro.

William McKinley Lanzaro, born in Morganville on November 7, 1938. By this time, the family had moved from Keyport and renting an apartment above Abe Solomon's General Store in Morganville. It was there that Bill was born. He was named after his uncle, William Mckinley Winans, who died two years earlier at the age of 21 of encephalitis (acute inflammation of the brain). Bill opened "Bill Lanzaro's Auto Sales" in Matawan, N.J. on April 1, 1961, when he was only 22 years old. Initially, he sold only used cars, but by 1967 he obtained a Suzuki motorcycle franchise, and in 1971 his business became a Fiat and Peugeot dealership.

Bill married Ann Sakowski on October 13, 1962. Ann was born in 1943. They have four daughters.

Politically, Bill became involved in the Matawan Borough Republican Party, eventually becoming its chairman. He ran the successful 1970 campaign of Lillian G. Burry for borough council. In 1977, Bill unsuccessfully challenged longtime Democratic incumbent sheriff Paul Kiernan. Three years later, he was again the Republican candidate for sheriff, this time defeating Kiernan for a sixth, three year term. Bill, who campaigned on the issue that he would be a full-time sheriff, would go on to serve five terms himself. He was Sheriff from 1980 to 1995.

Soon after taking office, Bill was faced with a protest by inmates at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution who were demanding more privileges. The jail sustained some damage in the protest. Despite this serious introduction, Bill showed a deep concern for both his employees and the jail inmates. He felt the inmates were human beings first, whatever their shortcomings; that they were paying their debt and they needed to be treated fairly.

He also fought for better working conditions and pay for jail guards and sheriff’s officers. When he took office, he had a staff of about 10 sheriff’s officers who performed all law enforcement, court security and Civil Divison functions. He also inherited an overcrowded and unstaffed jail that was under a consent order to modernize. Process servers used their own cars back then. But by the end of this tenure he had 30 sheriff's officers, a state-approved court security plan that was a model for other sheriff's offices, a new 1,328-bed direct supervision facility run by 280 corrections officers, and a new fleet of cars that eliminated the need for servers to use their own vehicles.

Through Bill's guidance, the Sheriff's Office introduced various programs, including special identification cards for seniors and disabled residents, and the Ident-A-Kid child fingerprint program. Other initiatives were the work/wristlet program that combined electronic inmate monitoring with community work as well as Sheriff's Youth Week and a one-week prison awareness program for at-risk high-school students. Other reforms included the "pay or stay" sweeps, in which parents delinquent in their child support payments are arrested and held until payment is made. The county's Office of Emergency Management also came under the umbrella of the Sheriff's Office under his watch.

By 1995, Bill had had a falling out with some county Republican Party leaders, and was denied the party organization's endorsement for reelection that year. He challenged the organization-backed candidate, Joseph W. Oxley, in the Republican primary and was defeated for the Republican nomination. Afterward, he retired from political activity.

After he left office, Bill worked as a jail inspector for the N.J. Department of Corrections. He moved to Florida with his second wife, Jeanne, around 2003.

Bill was living in Bradonton Florida when he sustained injuries during a fall at his home on April 17, 2011. He may have suffered a stroke, which caused him to fall and hit his head. He never fully regained cognitive function and died two months later, on June 27, at a hospice in Venice, Florida, with his four daughters by his side.

Bill is the only Lanzaro with an entry in Wikipedia, the internet encyclopedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_M._Lanzaro.

● ● ● ● ● ●

Joe died at his home on Tennent Road in Morganville on November 3, 1985. He was 80 years old. When Evelyn passed away on May 2, 1993 at the age of 86, she left 14 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Joe and Evelyn are buried together with their son Donald in St. Gabriel's Cemetery in Marlboro.

-------- Lawrence V. Lanzaro and Philomena A. DellaPietro --------

Lawrence V. Lanzaro married Philomena A. DellaPietro at St. Joseph's Church on August 23, 1936. Mary Mauro was the maid of honor, while Eugene Lanzaro, the groom's brother, served as best man. Following the ceremony, the couple, with an escort of cars, paraded through Keyport and later went to Perth Amboy where they posed for pictures. A wedding reception was held at Blodgett's Hall in Keyport for 250 guests. Immediately after the celebration, the newlyweds left for a honeymoon at Niagara Falls.

Larry and Phil lived on Church Street in Keyport, and later on Main Street in Matawan. Phil was born in Matawan on December 4, 1913. Her parents were Felice DellaPietro and Antoinette Cicone. At the time of their wedding, Phil worked for Hanson-Van Winkle-Munning Company in Matawan. She was a member of the St. Clement's Senior Citizens group at the church in Matawan, and a member of Club 60 Senior Citizens. She was also a member of St. Jospeh's Catholic Daughters of America. She was a member of the Midway Hose Fire Company in Matawan. Larry worked as a traffic manager at the "Buff Factory", otherwise known as M. T. Chemical Company, in Matawan, for 50 years, retiring in 1974. He was a member of Club 60 and the Midway Hose Fire Company, both in Matawan, and the Keyport Knights of Columbus.

Larry and Phil had one son, Lawrence V. Lanzaro, Jr., born September 3, 1954 in Red Bank, NJ. Larry Jr. married Lisa Kulka on September 13, 1980. They had two daughters. Larry co-owned and operated G & L Auto in Keyport, New Jersey for 37 years before he retired in 2017. Larry ran twice in the New York City Marathon. On November 14, 1993, he finished in 4 hours, 45 minutes. The following year, on November 6, 1994, at the age of 40, he bettered his previous record by completing the race in 4 hours and 37 minutes. After Larry and Lisa divorced, Larry remarried, to Heather McTaggart in May of 2001. They have a son of their own.

Phil died June 21, 1987 at the age of 73. Larry lived to reach the age of 87 before passing on October 19, 1994. They are buried together at St. Joseph's Cemetery in Keyport.

Larry Jr. died suddenly at his home in Keyport on December 26, 2018. He was 64 years old.

-------- Catello R. Lanzaro and Genevieve Durante --------

Catello Richard Lanzaro married Genevieve Agnes Durante on March 18, 1931 at the Methodist Episcopal Church in Cliffwood, New Jersey. Genevieve, whose birth name was Jane, was known as Jennie, and Catello as "Cat" or "Dick". To me he was Uncle Cat. Cat, like my father, inherited the light fair skin of their German mother. In fact, Cat had blonde hair and they called him Dutchie when they were growing up. Jennie was born in Matawan, New Jersey on Christmas day in 1912, the daughter of Lorenzo (Lawrence) Durante and Rose Florence DiSanto. Lawrence was born in San Lupo, Italy on September 29, 1882 and arrived in America in 1901. San Lupo is located about 40 miles north of Naples. The Matawan DiSantos were also from San Lupo, but Rose was born in Jacksonville, Florida on April 20, 1891, the daughter of George Siegrist and Jane (Jennie) Ellison. Lawrence worked for the Central Railroad of New Jersey.

Lawrence and Rose lived on Gerard Avenue in the Oak Shades section of Matawan, not far from St. Joseph's Catholic Church and Cemetery, which is actually located in Keyport. They had seven children besides Jennie: Mary Durante 1908; Helen Durante 1910; Loretta Durante 1915; Antoinette Durante 1918; Luke Durante 1921; George Durante 1924; and Lawrence Durante Jr. 1928. According to Gloria Bucco, who wrote a book titled "Precious Cargo - A Collection Of Stories From The Italian Immigrants Of Matawan, New Jersey," the Durantes had a big brick oven in their backyard. Once a week they would light a fire and neighbors would bring unbaked loaves for the oven. The aroma of the baking bread would float over the entire neighborhood.

For more about the DiSantos and Durantes, click here.

Cat and Jennie lived in a home at 111 Highfield Avenue in Matawan, not far from Gerard Avenue. Today, the two locations are separated by the Garden State Parkway, which was completed through the Matawan-Keyport area in the late 1950's.

Cat and Jennie had 2 sons and a daughter. The first son, Eugene C. Lanzaro, was born September 6, 1931. Immediately following his graduation from St. Mary's High School in South Amboy in May of 1950, Gene followed his dream to Alaska to seek his fortune. He had worked for over a year to save up for expenses, and flew to Fairbanks, where he found work as a carpenter on government construction work. But he did that only during the off-season from salmon fishing, hunting and trapping. Two and one-half years later, he returned home for a brief visit with his parents in Matawan. At the time, he was only 21 years old. On October 24, 1970, Gene married Myrtle Swiderski, in Orange County, California. Myrtle was born Gladys Myrtle Friend in Kingwood Pre, West Virginia on August 25, 1923, the daughter of Clarence Friend and Lilly Braham. As far as I know, Gene and Myrtle did not have children. Gene died at the age of 60 on July 1, 1992. He is buried at Kechi Cemetery in Park City, Kansas. Myrtle was 81 and living in Albuquerque, New Mexico when she died on October 31, 2004.

The other son, Richard J. Lanzaro, was born January 24, 1937 in Matawan. He served in the Army between 1955 and 1957. At some point he moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, then to California. While in Las Vegas, he married Elaine Marie Sampson, on September 15, 1958. They had one son and seven daughters. My mother once told me that she remembered Elaine, that she was a "beautiful woman". Richie, Elaine and all the kids returned to New Jersey in 1974 and lived in Toms River. According to his sister, Richie's kidneys were damaged and he was on dialysis for years because he had undiagnosed and untreated high blood pressure. He was too busy earning a living for his family to take care of his own health. He underwent a kidney transplant, but the kidney was rejected by his body and he died on December 29, 1974. He was only 37 years old. He is buried at Ocean County Memorial Park in Toms River. One of his daughters, Joann, said he was the best human she has ever known.

Cat and Jennie's daughter, Rose Ann Lanzaro, was born February 16, 1946.

Cat and Jennie eventually divorced and Jennie remarried someone named Bolton. Cat and his daughter, Rose Ann, moved to Alaska around 1964. Rose Ann married Dennis Keating on June 18, 1971. They have two sons and a daughter, and live in Alaska.

Cat worked in Anchorage as a maintenance man for Alcom Exchange on Elmendorf, Air Force Base. He died March 2, 1981 at the age of 72. He was buried in Anchorage Memorial Park.

Jennie died in California on November 30, 1972. She was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

-------- Carmela Lanzaro and William A. Lau --------

Carmela Lanzaro married William A. Lau on October 6, 1937, in Elkton, Maryland. She was 26 years old, he was 45. William was known as Bill and Carmela as "Toots" or "Tootsie." Bill was born in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 31, 1892. His parents were Albert Lau, born September 30, 1862 in Sallenthin, Germany, and Anna Oeckler, born May 22, 1867 in Hafenpreppach, Germany. Albert's parents in Germany were Charles Lau and Ida Peters. Anna's parents were Johann Georg Oeckler and Anna Margaretha Syrer. To read more about these towns in Germany and the Lau-Oeckler ancestry there, click here.

Anna, or Annie as she was more commonly known, was 14 years old when she immigrated to America in 1881. She lived in Massachusetts for a while. On March 23, 1886, 18-year-old Ann1e met and married a German sailor named Paul Zeidler in Lowell, Massachusetts. Shortly after the ceremony, Paul returned to his ship and sailed away. Annie never saw him again. Somehow, she made her way to Philadelphia where she met Albert.

Albert immigrated to America in 1886 when he was about 24 years old. After he and Annie met in Philadelphia, they were married across the Delaware River in Camden, New Jersey on September 12, 1887. Albert was 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing 185 pounds. He had a light complexion, light-colored hair and mustache, and blue eyes. On his left arm he wore a tattoo of a lady. Annie stood a few inches taller, at 5 feet 10 inches. She weighed 140 pounds, had a dark complexion with light grey eyes. Together, they would have 8 children, but only 4 would survive into adulthood.

When the first child, Augusta (Gussie) Lau, was born in Philadelphia on March 5, 1888, the family was living at 242 George Street. Gussie lived until the age of 84, dying in 1972. After Gussie, came Charles Albert Lau, born in Philadelphia on September 15, 1890. He lived for only one year, dying from cerebral meningitis on September 19, 1891. They buried him at Greenmount Cemetery in Philadelphia. Around the time of Charles' death, another child was born. His name was probably William, but the only evidence we have of him refers to his name only as Billie Lau. He was born in Philadelphia on July 31, 1891. He did not survive to be recorded on the 1900 Federal Census, but the record of his death has not been found.

Bill was the next child that we have found in the records, born in 1892. After Bill, the fifth child born to Albert and Anne was Anna Lau, in Philadelphia in October of 1894. She died nine months later on July 31, 1895. She was buried with Charles at Greenmount Cemetery. The family was now living at 1236 Mascher Street. When the next child arrived, another daughter, they decided to name her after the recently deceased Anna. This Anna Lau was born December 22, 1896 in Philadelphia. Although we have evidence that she lived into adulthood, married and had at least one child, there is no record of her death.

Sometime between 1897 and 1898, the family moved to 88 Jefferson Street in Hoboken, New Jersey. It was here that child number seven was born. This was Grechen Lau, born in Hoboken on April 6, 1898. She, too, did not survive to be recorded on the 1900 Federal Census, but no record of her death has been found.

The eighth and final child, Albert Heinrich Lau was born in Hoboken on August 4, 1899.

In 1998, Cousin Theresa Lau sent me a copy of a remarkable document: Bill Lau's personal journal, in which he recorded personal details about his family members. I have used many of those details to provide the physical descriptions of several of the Lau family members. Theresa is the wife of Bill's son, William Francis Lau (1940-1985). To see the copy of the journal that Theresa sent me, click here.

● ● ● ● ● ●

By 1900, the family was living at 88 Jefferson Street in Hoboken. Somehow, they made their way to Brooklyn where Albert and Anna were running a hotel, of sorts. It was actually a saloon, with perhaps rooms that were rented to justify being called a hotel. The hotel/saloon, and their home, was located at 166 Columbia Street in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, not far from where the Lanzaros and Lamuras were living at the time.

When Bill's sister Gussie Lau was 16 years old, she married Henry Johnson in 1904. In 1911, when Bill's other sister, Anna Lau, was barely 14 years old, she married John Wilhelms (Williams) in New Jersey. They had a son, Albert J. Williams, born in 1911. Anna was five feet 3 inches tall and weighed 120 pounds. She had a fair complexion.

By 1913, Albert and Annie's marriage soured and Annie filed for a separation. After successfully gaining a legal separation, Annie moved to 129 Baltic Street, several blocks from the home on Columbia Street. At the time, Bill was 20 years old, and Son Albert 13. The long involved story about the separation was recorded for history in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. To read about it, click here.

Bill was five feet nine inches tall and weighed 145 pounds. He had a very light complexion with light hair and eyes. He wore his hair turned back. On his left arm he wore a tattoo of a cowgirl. Bill served in the United States Navy from July 30, 1908 to July 29, 1912. On November 29, 1913, he passed the police department examination and entered the New York Police Force on February 20, 1914. He was a New York City policeman and detective for 30 years. To read some newspaper reports depicting his police exploits, click here.

Before he and Toots were married, Bill had been married to Lillian Veronica Donahue on June 14, 1916. The marriage took place at Bill's mother Annie's house at 307 Court Street in Brooklyn. Lillian was born in Brooklyn on May 20, 1896, the daughter of John J. Donahue and Anna Mohan. Lillian was five feet nine inches tall and weighed 130 pounds. She had a fair complexion and a prominent nose. Initially, the couple lived at 107 Boerum Place in Brooklyn. They moved several more times before finally settling at 105 50th Street in 1924. This was right down near the docks on New York Bay. We don't know what this home looked like. By 1940, the entire 100-block portion of 50th Street had been torn down and replaced with warehousing.

Bill and Lillian had two sons and a daughter: William James Lau, born July 10, 1917; Gerard John Lau, born September 11, 1919; and Muriel Lillian Lau, born September 24, 1922. Until 1924, the family lived at 106 East 4th Street in Brooklyn. Living with them was Bill's mother Annie and his brother Albert and sister Anna. Although both Annie and her daughter Anna listed themselves on the 1920 Federal Census as being married, neither of their husbands was living with them at Bill and Lillian's home. Anna's son, Albert J. Williams, age 8, was living there. Anna died sometime before Bill's death in 1962.

Bill and Lillian separated in June of 1929. At the time, William was 11, Gerard 9 and Muriel 6. By 1930, Bill was living at 1905 50th Street in Brooklyn. Living with Bill was his mother and father, Albert and Annie, apparently reconciled. Also living there were Bill's two sons, William and Gerard, and Bill's widowed sister Anna Williams and her son Albert J. Williams (18). At the same time, Lillian and her daughter Muriel were living with Lillian's sister and brother-in-law, Margaret and Harold Chilton, at 615 68th Street in Brooklyn. Bill and Lillian finally divorced in 1933.

● ● ● ● ● ●

Bill and Lillian's children, William, Gerard and Muriel, were single and living together in 1940 at 1975 51st Street, in Brooklyn. A few blocks away, at 1949 53rd Street, lived the Kavanagh family: John P. Kavanagh and his wife Margaret F. (McCarthy), and their children, including a son, William Kavanagh, and a daughter, Eleanor Mary Kavanagh. The Lau and Kavanagh men were primarily longshoremen and probably worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Gerard married Eleanor Kavanagh in New York on October 5, 1940. Eleanor was born in Brooklyn on February 4, 1917. In 1943, Gerard enlisted in the U.S. Navy. In January of 1946, he was discharged but reentered service with the Navy in May of 1947 and served until his discharge in 1954. Gerard and Eleanor had two children, a daughter named Marguerite Lau and a son, Gerard J. Lau Jr. The son, known as Jerry, was born in Brooklyn on Christmas Eve in 1947. Jerry, whose nickname was "Hooky", served with the Air Force's 507th Maintenance Squadron as a Chief Master Sergeant. After retiring from the service, he worked as a civilian at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City. He was a boating enthusiast and owned several Chevy Corvettes.

Gerard Sr. was 71 when he died in Florida on January 8, 1991. Eleanor died on April 13, 1999 at the age of 82. They are buried together at Meadowland Memorial Gardens in New Port Richey, Florida. Jerry died on May 17, 2010 at his home in Oklahoma City at the age of 62.

Several months after Gerard married Eleanor in 1940, his sister Muriel married Eleanor's brother William Kavanagh in New York on April 5, 1941. William was born in Brooklyn a year before Eleanor, on February 20, 1916. William was a longshoreman. He and Muriel had a son, William Kavanagh, Jr.. William Sr. died at the age of 79 on April 29, 1995. On June 1, 2011, Muriel died. She was 88 years old. They are buried together at St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale, Long Island.

Gerard and Muriel's brother William Lau enlisted in the Army in 1941. On September 3, 1943, while still serving in the Army, he married Catherine Mildred Bell. Catherine was born in Barnwell, South Carolina, the daughter of Coy Manley Bell (1901-1973) and Effie Beatrice Murphy (1907-1935). After being honorably discharged from the Army when World War II ended, William reentered the service ten years later and served until his discharge in 1967. He was a veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam, attaining the rank of Master Sergeant.

William and Catherine had three children, two sons, James Lau and John Coy Lau, and a daughter Patricia Lau. William died on January 29, 1986 at the age of 68. He was buried in the cemetery in Williston, South Carolina, located about 12 miles north of Catherine's hometown of Barnwell. When Catherine died on February 12, 1999 at the age of 77, she was buried next to William at Williston Cemetery.

● ● ● ● ● ●

As mentioned above, Bill's sister Gussie Lau married Henry Johnson in 1904. She was 16 years old at the time. By 1920, they were living at 302 Union Street in Brooklyn with their daughter Viola Johnson, who was born in December of 1916. Henry was born in Brooklyn in September of 1884, the son of Norwegian immigrants Thomas and Julia Johnson. Thomas worked initially as a barber, but eventually held employment as a carpenter at the Brooklyn Navy Yard where Henry also worked as a sail maker. By 1930, Henry, Gussie and Viola had moved to 1859 East 37th Street in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. Gussie had a fair complexion, stood five feet 6 inches tall and weighed 150 pounds. Sometime between 1930 and 1940, Henry died. The 1940 Federal Census shows Gussie living as a widow with her brother and sister-in-law, Albert and Marie (Timms) Lau, at the Timms family home at 460 13th Street in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn. At some point after this, Gussie remarried, to a man named Miller. She died April 27, 1972 at the age of 84.

● ● ● ● ● ●

Bill's brother Albert Heinrich Lau married Mae McParkland (McPartland?). They had one child, Marie Lau, born July 31, 1917. The marriage did not last. On August 25, 1927, Albert married Marie B. Timms. Marie was born in Brooklyn on November 15, 1902, the daughter of William Timms and Katherine Wheeler. The Timms family lived at 542 Union Street in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn in 1910, then at 460 13th Street in the nearby Gowanus neighborhood in 1920. William worked as a "ship fitter helper" and a driver for a "gas wagon". Prior to her marriage to Albert, Marie worked as a stenographer for a law firm. She continued to work after marrying Albert. She was very proud of her work as she worked for one of the sons of Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman (Philemon Tecumseh Sherman.) Besides being a lawyer, Philemon as an accomplished author and public speaker. He gave an address regarding "General Sherman in the Last Year of the Civil War." This address was published in 1908 and Marie was provided with a copy.

Albert was five feet 8 inches in height and weighed 140 pounds. He had a light complexion. On his right arm was a tattoo of a skull, snake and dagger. In the 1930's, he and Marie lived at 290 East 56th Street in Brooklyn where he worked as an investigator for the police detective bureau. They had a son, John A. Lau, known as Jack, born December 3, 1920. By 1940, they were living at the old Timms family home at 460 13th Street

Jack was a World War II Navy veteran, enlisting in May of 1944, and was discharged two years later in April 1946. He married Jane Marie Yates and they had two daughters, Mary Jane Lau and Barbara Lau, and a son, John A. Lau, Jr., better known as Skip. Skip was born October 31, 1949. He served with the Air Force during the Vietnam War era, enlisting in April of 1969. After being stationed in Texas, California and Hawaii he was deployed overseas to the Philippines. He was discharged in April of 1973. Jack was 70 years old when he died on October 17, 1991. On March 15, 2000, Skip was only 50 when he died. Jane died December 29, 2007. She was 87 years old.

● ● ● ● ● ●

As mentioned earlier, Bill and Toots were married in Brooklyn on October 6, 1937. To read a sensational but very sad story about an episode in Bill's police career just a few weeks before the marriage, click here.

In 1939, Bill and Toots moved from 1905 50th Street in Brooklyn to Toms River, New Jersey, and in August 1943, they purchased the house at 105 Hooper Avenue, where they raised three sons, Robert Eugene Lau, born July 1, 1938, William Francis Lau, born April 2, 1940, and Lawrence Frederick Lau, born August 2, 1943.

Robert married Guadelupe Medina on January 23, 1959. Robert (Bob) and Guadelupe (Lou) Lived in Kansas City, Missouri. They had two daughters and two sons. One of the sons, William Francis Lau, born June 25, 1966, died tragically in an auto accident on June 26, 1982, a day after his 16th birthday. Bob passed away March 12, 2007 at the age of 68.

William (Bill) was an Air Force veteran, serving in Okinawa and Korea, and reaching the rank of Captain. Afterwards, he was a postal carrier for the Leonardo Post Office and a production foreman for Revlon and White Westinghouse in Edison, and Knickerbocker Toys in Middlesex.

Bill married Florence Brown. They had two daughters and a son. One of the daughters was Debra Louise Lau, born September 16, 1966 in Lubbock, Texas. In 1988, she graduated Ursinus College in Collegeville, PA with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She was a member of the National Honor Society and a volunteer Spanish interpreter for the Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Browns Mills, NJ. Debra was teaching at Pemberton High School in Pemberton Township, NJ when she died tragically on May 31, 1992, from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. She was only 25 years old.

After Bill and Florence divorced, Bill married Theresa M. Covert. They had a son and daughter. Bill died July 13, 1985 when he was only 45 years old.

Lawrence (Larry) married Mickey Jouflas. They had two sons and a daughter. Following a divorce, Larry married Donna Applegate. Donna had a daughter from a previous marriage.

● ● ● ● ● ●

Toots passed away May 6, 1961 at her home in Toms River, when she was only 50 years old. She was buried in the Lanzaro family plot at St. Joseph's Cemetery in Keyport, New Jersey. Bill died a year later on June 9, 1962. He was 71. He is buried at Riverside Cemetery in Toms River.

Back to the Top!