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425 Broad Street
Carlstadt, NJ 07072
Phone: (201) 438-6708
Philomena Moran

Philomena M "Ena" Moran (Caffrey)

Tuesday, December 2nd, 1930 - Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019
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Philomena M. Moran “Ena” (nee Caffrey), 88, of Carlstadt for 61 years, passed away at home surrounded by her loving family on April 3, 2019. She was born in Dublin, Ireland and came to the U.S.A. in 1956. Mrs. Moran was a homemaker and provided daycare in her home to dozens of infants and toddlers, known to all as “Nanny”. Ena enjoyed gardening, reading and music. She was a parishioner of St. Joseph’s Church. Beloved wife of the late Edward J. Moran. Loving mother of Philly Moran, Eddie Moran, Brian Moran, Kevin Moran, Sean Moran, Kathy Keezer, Kerry Moran, Matt Moran and Tommy Moran. Cherished grandmother of 17 grandchildren, predeceased by one grandson and great grandmother of four great grandchildren. Dear sister of Elizabeth “Lyle” Garnham and the late Frank Caffrey, Matthew Caffrey, Maureen O’ Connell, Veronica “Vera” Kelly, Ann Mills, Clare Mihalescko, Christine Caffrey, Patricia Caffrey and Finnula Caffrey. Funeral departing from the Kimak Funeral Home, 425 Broad Street, Carlstadt on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at 9:00 AM for a Funeral Mass in St. Joseph’s R.C. Church, East Rutherford at 9:30 AM. Interment Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. Visitation Tuesday 2-4, 7-9 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 | 2:00pm - 4:00pm
    Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 2:00pm - 4:00pm
    Kimak Funeral Home, Inc.
    425 Broad Street
    CARLSTADT, NJ 07072
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Second Visitation

    Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 | 7:00pm - 9:00pm
    Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 7:00pm - 9:00pm
    Kimak Funeral Home, Inc.
    425 Broad Street
    CARLSTADT, NJ 07072
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Wednesday, April 10th, 2019 | 9:30am
    Wednesday, April 10th, 2019 9:30am
    St. Joseph's R.C. Church
    120 Hoboken Road
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Fr. Joseph Astarita
  • Interment

    Holy Cross Cemetery
    340 Ridge Road
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


Donations are being accepted for: ST JUDE CHILDRENS RESEARCH HOSPITAL INC.


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Private Condolence

Thomas Moran

Posted at 08:55pm
Eulogy for Ena Moran
by Thomas Moran

My mom loved to help things grow, to help them thrive.

So, it is no wonder that at the center of our yard was a garden, and my earliest memories of my mom are in that garden - the smell of topsoil, and azaleas, and hydrangeas, and Spring - Mom kneeling among the border hedge making a place for the seedlings among the older perennials. There were some Spring days where she’d stay in the garden from sun-up to supper tending the little lives in her charge, eliminating all threats, ensuring they each had the sun, and the water, and the space they needed.

At the far end of the garden, a statue of The Virgin Mary, Mother of God, watched over my mom, and her seeds, and shrubs alike. As with the rest of her life, my mom took no credit for her thriving garden, but rather passed the praise on to Mary, Her Son, and His Father.

Of course, flowers were not the only things my mom loved to grow and tend to. And with 9 of us children running around the yard, it is a minor miracle that any of those flowers survived a single weekend. I can almost hear Mom saying, “See, that’s because I had Mary watching over them for me. How else would you explain it?”

You win, Mom. You win.

While the care she gave her garden and the joy that she received from her garden was impressive, it pales in comparison to the care she gave to children and the joy she received from a child’s embrace.

When I was little, my mom tucked me into bed every night. And while some might expect that by the ninth child this ritual would be somewhat perfunctory - one story, one glass of water, one trip to the bathroom, no exceptions - this could not be further from the truth. At 9 o'clock, my mom would sit down on the edge of my bed, smile down at me, and really, truly listen to me for as long as I felt like talking. If I had concerns, she would comfort me. If I had questions, she would educate me. If I felt like making up silly stories, she’d indulge me. This could, and often would, last for hours.

Often during these late night chats, I’d ask her about her life in Ireland and what her life was like when she was my age. My mom always tried to be straight forward. Later in life, whenever I’d try to sugar coat something she’d say, “Tell the truth and shame the devil.” And so, as I peppered her with questions, she tried to give me an honest accounting of what it was like growing up in the 1930s and 1940s in Ireland.

I heard the good - all about her father, the farrier, with whom she shared a mutual adoration, her father who permitted her to set out alone to explore the environs on horseback from the time she could reach the saddle and pull herself up.

I heard about the time she toppled into the canal that ran behind her house, how the patio chair had fallen in on top of her, and how she thought that day would be her last until her father’s arm reached down into the murky water and pulled her back up. I also learned that that experience was the reason my swimming lessons were not optional.

She told me all about her mother and the house full of children that would foreshadow her own, about her two rowdy brothers, Matt and Frank, destined for Australian adventures, about her gaggle of sisters and the various roles they played: Maureen the queen bee, Vera the rebel, Clair the caregiver, Nan the baby, Lila the reasonable one (though I learned last night that you wouldn’t want to tell her what to cook her husband for breakfast. That’s where her reasonableness ends).

But she also told me of the struggles she experienced growing up in Ireland. She told me of the three sisters - Patricia, Fionnula, and Christina - who died too young from ailments that were often treatable in the States.

She told me of the harsh corporal punishment in a school system that had no concept what dyslexia was, let alone how to teach a dyslexic child. She told me of how, despite those struggles and abuses, she longed for more education when at the age of 14 she went to work in a tin factory to help support her family.

Children had to grow up pretty fast in those days. And as my mom grew from a horse riding tomboy into a beautiful young woman, her days in the factory would soon come to an end. My grandmother, who handled all the financial affairs of the house, was approached by a modeling agent who convinced her that young Ena could make much more money as a model under his management than as a factory worker processing tin cans.

Mom didn’t talk much about her modeling days, and when Dad would bring up the fact that she had won beauty pageants, she’d get embarrassed. She never revelled in people complimenting her beauty, and she confided in me that she’d much prefer to be told she was a good person than a beautiful woman. As for modeling, she did like the nice clothes, which were finer than anything she could afford, but she did not like being employed as what she called “a bloody clothes hanger.” She yearned for a job that would give her a voice, where she could earn a name for something other than her looks.

But what could she do? Her mother made the decisions about where she and the rest of the kids worked. And my mom was making good money modeling.

Grandma was clever and strong-willed, but in my mom, she met her match. When she finally had had enough of modeling, one scandalously short haircut got her released from the rest of her modeling obligations and freed her up to pursue other gainful employment.

In the years following her modeling, my mom became a waitress. Still wanting to ensure that her voice and the voices of the other women who worked in the restaurants and ballrooms were heard, she eventually became a union representative. As a union rep, she quickly gained the reputation for being a fearless defender of the rights and dignities of the other employees.

It’s a lucky thing for her nine children, seventeen grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren that she was working a shift in an ice cream shop when two Americans soldiers on leave, Ed Moran and his buddy O’Brien, walked in.

According to Mom, every girl in Dublin claimed love at first sight when they saw Ed Moran, and my mom was no exception, the only difference being that when Ed Moran looked at Ena Caffrey, he fell in love right back.

I’m sure my grandmother must have been quite surprised when my mom told her that an American planned on courting her, but she must have bee even more surprised that my mom planned on letting him. You see, my mom had a notorious reputation for being singularly uninterested in being courted by anyone, a predisposition that had earned her the nickname “the ice queen.”

But over the next two weeks of courting, the ice queen’s heart melted, and when he returned on his next leave the two would be married.

That last one was perhaps my favorite bedtime story of all.

After they were married, It must have taken incredible courage to leave the only home she had ever known, to leave her entire family, to leave every friend she had in the world to cross the Atlantic and to begin a new life.

But while mom tended the new life - those little seedlings named Philly and Eddie and Brian - she did not forget her perennials. She and my dad worked tirelessly sponsoring Caffrey after Caffrey for green cards (and I found out last night, smuggling some across the border illegally) until the entire Caffrey clan had immigrated to the United States or Canada.

With both the immediate and extended family growing, my mom didn’t rest. Soon she was busy growing my father’s fledgling taxidermist business and six more children. And when she had those children firmly established, she started yet another business, this time a daycare, where she found a seemingly endless supply of children to love and to love her in return.

Of all my mom’s gifts, of which she had many, her facility with children may have been her greatest. In all the years, and all the children that passed through 539 Jefferson Street, I can’t remember a single one that did not instantly warm to my mom.

She had a smile so filled with warmth and compassion that it could instantly soothe a squealing infant, it could calm a toddler, it could make a sullen teen give a begrudging smirk.

Each night her smile was the last thing I saw, and every morning her smile greeted me once again. “Wake-y, wake-y! Rise and shine! Time to get up and dance on a dime!” Her Irish accent causing each syllable to skip like a stone across still water, coaxing me out of bed and down the stairs to the kitchen that overlooked Mary’s garden.

Dave Hollenbeck

Posted at 01:42pm
It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of Philomena or Mrs. Moran to us. On behalf of the entire Hollenbeck Family we hope the entire Moran family finds some comfort in the many fond memories of Mrs. Moran during this very difficult time. We are comforted by knowing that she crossed another sea to be with her husband. With our deepest condolences, Dave, Sue and the entire Hollenbeck Family.

Love, Shannon, Ralph, Samantha and Kenny

Posted at 07:57am
Please accept our most heartfelt sympathies for your loss... Our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.
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