2017-02-21 / Obituaries


Lola Meola Pastena, 98, entered into eternal rest on Monday, February 13th, 2017. Born on March 7, 1918, to Anthony and Anna (Luongo) Meola, she was named Columba for her paternal grandmother but was from day one always called Lola and legally changed her name. She attended Cleveland Street School where she received the President’s award for having the second highest average in the class and graduated from Orange High School Scientific Course in 1935. Prohibited by finances from pursuing a degree in engineering at NYU, she went on to graduate from Drake College Secretarial Course.

She worked for the U.S. Navy and Tiffany and Company in Newark. It was there that she acquired her passion for artifacts and antiques and where a coworker introduced her to her brother Anthony James Pastena. Their 60-year marriage began on Sept 24, 1944. She studied dance and acting and together with Frank Carrington, introduced summer stock theater to New Jersey and thus began the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ. She herself acted and once sang “I’m Gonna Dance Wit De Guy Wot Brung Me” on Broadway. Working with Frank Dailey, her theater group began theater in the round at the Meadowbrook Theater in Cedar Grove, NJ. On the business side she filled the house to capacity booking in the Big Bands (Ellington, Dorsey, Miller, etc). In 1948, her theater group was invited to bring their show to Broadway. Missing her son’s first step, she walked away to become a full-time mother and lived and raised her children in Livingston, NJ for 40 years.

Wishing to be closer to her children and grandchildren, she moved to Somers, NY in 1984. A devastating house fire sent her back to NJ but she again moved to Somers in 1992. An avid reader, art and antique collector, she valued her family above all else. Charming, warm and kind, she welcomed her neighbors and friends and family her into her eclectic home and was truly loved by any and all lives that she touched.

She is survived by her son Dennis A. Pastena, M.D, a plastic surgeon in Westchester and Putnam Counties, her daughter-in law Paula (Coleman) Pastena, an ophthalmologist in Putnam County, and her daughter Janis A. Pastena, M.D, M.P.H, a former general, trauma and critical care surgeon at Westchester Medical Center, her beloved grandson Ryan M. Pastena, M.D. and his fiancée Jenika S. Karcich, M.D., and dozens of nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her husband Anthony James Pastena, her granddaughter Lauren Lynne Pastena, and her sisters Genevieve DeLuca and Elaine Neis.

Visitation was at Clark Associates Funeral Home, 4 Woods Bridge Road, Katonah, NY 10536 Thursday, February 16, 7-9PM and Friday, February 17, at 2-4 and 7-9 PM. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Saturday, February 18, at 11:30AM at St. Joseph’s RC Church in Somers, NY. Interment followed at Amawalk Hill Cemetery, Quaker Church Rd., Yorktown Heights.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Tribute Program St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital PO Box 1000 Dept 42 Memphis, TN 38101-9908.

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