Mother of Chatfield’s fifth president passes away

October 26, 2023

CLICK HERE TO DONATE to the Joseph W. Tafaro Scholarship fund in memory of Florence Tafaro, mother of Chatfield’s fifth president, John P. Tafaro.

Florence Tafaro ObituaryFlorence Tafaro

The Chatfield Edge community mourns the loss of Florence Reino Tafaro. Mrs. Tafaro was the mother of Chatfield’s fifth president, John P. Tafaro. She was a loyal friend and supporter of Chatfield College and helped establish the Joseph W. Tafaro Scholarship Fund in 2009. Florence was touched and moved when she received thank-you notes from scholarship recipients, remarking that her husband would have loved Chatfield and its mission.

Florence was 95 when she died on Tuesday, October 24 in Florida after a brief illness and long, happy life. A full-time resident of Vero Beach for the past thirty years, she was born and reared in Milburn, NJ, and lived much of her adult life in Maplewood and Bedminster, NJ.

Florence was predeceased by her parents, John and Rosalie Reino, her husband Joseph W. Tafaro, MD, and her son Joseph, Jr. She was also predeceased by sisters Marion Melielo, Connie Klena, and infant brother Daniel Reino. She is survived by her sister, Edith Collopy, sons Stephen (Laura Nash) Tafaro, and John (Charlotte) Tafaro, daughters Suzanne (JT) Mooney, and Rosemary Tafaro (John Britton), thirteen grandchildren, and seventeen great-grandchildren (with one on the way), as well as many nieces, nephews, and dear friends, all of whom loved her very much.

Florence was born in Milburn, NJ on November 18, 1927. She attended St. Rose of Lima grammar school and Milburn High School. Upon graduation she attended St. Michael’s Hospital Nursing School where she earned her R.N. and met her future husband, Joseph W. Tafaro, MD. Her nursing career included caring for various family members’ common illnesses, assorted broken bones, and administering the occasional vaccination.  She was a devoted wife and mother, and spent countless hours driving her children, and others’ children, to a wide array of activities and sporting events. Well into her forties, she resumed her formal education when she enrolled at Kean College (now Kean University) and earned her bachelor’s degree in art history at age 50, for which she was most proud. In retirement Florence enjoyed the warm weather in Florida, cooking for family and friends, reading multiple books each week, and her book club.

Services were held October 31 at Bradley, Smith & Smith Funeral Home in Springfield, NJ with internment following at St. Rose of Lima Church in Milburn, where she and Dr. Tafaro were married in 1949. She was laid to rest there with her husband and son, Joseph Jr.

Bradley, Smith & Smith Funeral Home in Springfield is assisting the family.  Memorial gifts may be made to the Joseph W. Tafaro Scholarship Fund at The Chatfield Edge.  Click here to donate.

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