ABOUT MIKE +
THE MAN WITH A SMILE
September 4, 2008 marked a very sad day for our community. It was on that day that Mike Fuccile was tragically murdered on his way to work at the Merrill Lynch office in Jersey City, NJ. He left behind his wife of ten years, Nancy, and three children, Michael 7, Jack 5 and Brooke 3.
He was born and raised in Toms River, NJ and lived in Metuchen for the last ten years. Mike was a graduate of Villanova University, where he and Nancy met and he also earning a degree in accounting.
In those ten Metuchen years, Mike has become an integral part of the community through his service to Metuchen Little League, Metuchen Town Soccer, Metuchen Recreation Youth Basketball and so many more activities targeting the kids of Metuchen.
As an active father and family man, Mike played a substantial role in his children’s lives, whether that meant being the team manager for his son’s little league teams or coach of their basketball and soccer teams or even just playing video games with them. He was always the first person to get the wiffleball or kickball games started for the kids at a barbeque or play in a tag football game on the beach.
Mike was always there for anyone who needed him, especially Nancy and the kids. Unfortunately he can’t do that anymore. This is our chance to do some of the things he did, show support for Nancy and the kids, participate in the community and have fun as a family. Mike would have been the first one doing this for someone else, let’s do it for him.
OUR FAMILIES YOU HAVE HELPED
MADHVI MIGLANI BHATIA
Madhvi Miglani Bhatia, (21st August 1979 - 25th December 2018), was a beautiful person inside out. She was a proud mother of 2 beautiful children, 10 year old son Rocky &
4 year old daughter Ginni. Madhvi completed her Bachelor's in IT from NJIT, always involved within the community, she loved to help people out, always stood by her family & friends, was completely dedicated to her house, children & family. She unfortunately had a cardiac arrest on 25th December 2018 in her sleep - her children, husband & her house has not been & will never be the same again.
RIASARI (SANTY) LAOH
Naomi Harahap and Riasari (Santy) Laoh are a mother and daughter who have lived in Metuchen since 1997. Naomi went through the whole Metuchen school system, graduating from Metuchen High School in 2016. In April of 2018, while Naomi was a student at Rutgers University, Santy (age 50) experienced a hemorrhagic stroke on her brain stem. She was rushed to the emergency room and had surgery in order to stop the bleeding. Santy was then placed in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit for a few weeks due to the critical condition she was in. She has undergone multiple surgeries in the SICU, including a major head surgery and the removal of a pheochromocytoma (tumor) from her adrenal gland. Santy now has a permanent drainage tube inside her head, a suprapubic catheter inside her bladder, a tracheotomy for breathing, and a PEG tube for feeding her. Naomi has been actively engaged in her mother’s recovery process including visiting and interacting with Santy to the best of her ability, while still being enrolled in college and working as many hours as possible to make ends meet. Naomi had to move out of their apartment in Metuchen and now has no permanent home, living in Rutgers housing even during breaks.
Despite not having insurance, Santy has been able to stay at the Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick through Charity Care. The next step for Santy would be to go to a rehabilitation center, but due to financial difficulties and struggles, that is not a feasible option at this time. Naomi has been pressured by her appointed social workers that repatriation could be the ultimate future for her mother. Naomi has reached out to lawyers in order to do anything she can to keep her mom in the United States with her and to continue to receive proper care. Naomi has filed a petition for her mother in hopes to keep her by her side through the rest of her journey. Naomi and Santy are appreciative of the support the Metuchen community has shown them the past year by giving Naomi rides when needed and visiting with her and her mother. At this point, the financial burden and paperwork involved in finding the right place for her mother are overwhelming and Naomi appreciates any support the community can provide.
Kevin Hamilton died suddenly as a result of an accidental overdose on September 28, 2018. He was 24. Kevin was born and raised in Metuchen, attending Saint Francis Cathedral School and Edgar Middle School. He played in the Metuchen Little League, Rec Soccer, Travel Soccer, Flag Football, Floor Hockey, CYO Basketball…Kevin loved his sports. Kevin was a Cub Scout and a Boy Scout and proudly achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Kevin attended Union Catholic High School, graduating in 2012. He then went on to Manhattan College, where he received his BA in Accounting in 2016. He was working on his final course for the completion of his MBA when he passed away.
Kevin had an infectious joy that spread to all he met. He loved music as much as sports, and was a self-taught guitarist. He wrote many songs himself, which he played during appearances at The Stone Pony, and at many local venues in Metuchen and in New York City. His quick wit and hearty laugh punctuated his performances. His many friends from Metuchen, Union Catholic, and Manhattan College all share stories of his kindness, generosity, and good humor.
Kevin’s quote on the back of his business card reads,
“THE GREATEST GIFT YOU CAN GIVE IS MUSIC. THE GREATEST GIFT YOU CAN BE IS A FRIEND.”
In the last year of his life, Kevin continued working toward his master’s degree while battling depression. He had no history of drug abuse, and his tragic death points out the dangers in opiate use – even once.
While the Hamilton family mourns their beloved Kevin, they are so grateful for the outpouring of support, both material and spiritual, from their family, friends, and the Metuchen Community. They have been overwhelmed, and are grateful for the support of the Fuccile Foundation.
On June 16th Hamilton Hearts will be walking in memory of Katie and Kevin Hamilton.
KATHLEEN TARA HAMILTON
Kathleen Tara Hamilton, 27, of Metuchen, NJ passed away after a long battle against addiction on April 12, 2019 in Delray Beach, Florida.
Katie was born in Manhattan, and moved with our family to Metuchen in 1992. Katie attended Saint Francis Cathedral School, Edgar Middle School, Metuchen High School and after a transfer graduated from Union Catholic High School in 2010. She briefly attended the University of West Virginia, and left after becoming pregnant with her daughter Emily Claire. She also completed some coursework at Middlesex County College.
Katie played T-ball and softball in the Metuchen Little League, CYO Basketball, and Rec Soccer. She was a faithful Altar Server at Saint Francis Cathedral, where she also sang in the Youth and Junior Choirs. She was a Girl Scout and received the Bronze Award. She loved to dance and act and sing; she performed in plays at Edgar Middle School, and, along with her late brother Kevin, was in plays at “Kids in the Park”.
Katie was very involved in pro-life activities, volunteering at the Life Choices Research Center in Metuchen and active in the pro-life club at Union Catholic. She lived this value when faced with pregnancy at a young age.
Our Katie was one of the most courageous people you could know. Her story is difficult, but necessary to tell to raise awareness of the dangers of prescription pain medications. Following a car accident in 2013, she was prescribed pain medications that began her battle with addiction. She was in various treatment and sober living programs these past years, and like so many afflicted with this terrible disease, her recovery was a series of terrible suffering and small but hard-fought victories. She experienced horrific domestic violence, which after great effort and the help of the Metuchen Police Department, we were able to rescue her from. In 2018, her sober living home was destroyed by the hurricane in Wilmington, NC, and she came home for a few days while we tried to figure out next steps. She had been clean for over 6 months, and sadly relapsed and almost died. Tragically her brother Kevin had also tried the opiates and died from a fentanyl overdose last September. Following Kevin’s funeral, Katie entered a treatment program in Florida, where she was doing unbelievably well. We visited her twice, and just in March, had a wonderful visit with her. We cried together, laughed together, and left there with the hope and happiness that our beloved Katie was back with us for good. She had a great job where she was loved and supported by her manager and co-workers, a beautiful home by the beach and her job, and we continued to stay in touch with her. Financial considerations apparently forced her to move out of her sober living home, unbeknownst to us. She relapsed and died of an overdose one day after moving out. Addiction is a relentless and powerful disease. Our Katie was a woman of great courage, always loving her daughter Emily and all of us, and willing to fight, to rebuild her life, and to overcome her disease. She helped so many in NA, in her work, and always brought a smile and laughter with her. We know she is with her brother and her family in heaven - and look forward to the day when we can all be home together. Despite what we see or experience in this life, we know that God is always victorious, and that victory of love is for each and every one of us. If God could love Katie more than we do, then all will truly be well.
We will all love and miss our beautiful Katie. She was a person of great courage and perseverance, a daughter and mother who truly loved each of us and of whom we were and will always be proud - something we never tired of telling her. We will be forever grateful to everyone who helped us and Katie in her recovery: our many friends in the Metuchen and St. Francis Cathedral communities, the Metuchen Police Department, Katie’s NA and our Nar-Anon support communities, and all who have prayed for her and for us over this long struggle. Please continue to pray for Katie, for Kevin, and for our family.
On June 16th Hamilton Hearts will be walking in memory of Katie and Kevin Hamilton.
Richard Doherty grew up in Metuchen, with his two older brothers. He loved to play sports with them. They played soccer, baseball, pop warner football, and hockey. As Richard got older he was unable to keep up with the more active sports, but that didn't stop him from playing on the varsity baseball team his senior year, and graduated from MHS in 2001.
Richard was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) at birth. He has been fighting for each breath his entire life. CF is a progressive, genetic disease which causes the body to produce a thick sticky mucus that plugs up the lungs and other vital organs. Currently, there is no cure for CF, only treatments to help manage the symptoms. Richard does three to four breathing treatments, totaling 90 minutes, every day to maintain minimal lung health. Three days each week, he receives chest physical therapy to help him cough up mucous in his lungs.
In 2004, Richard met the love of his life, Megan, at a party in Metuchen. The two of them have been inseparable ever since. Megan jumped in feet first into helping care for Richard. They were married in May 2014. After struggling with infertility, they welcomed their son in 2017. Their little boy has been such a blessing in their lives.
Richard has spent his entire life in and out of the hospital battling chronic lung infections. After 35 years, the bacteria in his lungs have built resistance to all antibiotics available to us today. This means there are no more options to treat him should he get sick again. The only thing left available for him going forward is a double lung transplant. Richard, Megan and their 2 year old son travel to Philadelphia regularly to meet with the lung transplant team. They are doing everything they can to get him approved and eventually listed for transplant.
The Doherty family would like to thank everyone who has supported them through this difficult time.
Nadia, mother of Andrea Ruiz (16) & Alejandro Ruiz (14) and wonderful wife to Bernardo Ruiz, had a radiant, good-hearted personality guided by her faith that left a mark on many people’s lives who will always love her. She was diagnosed with stage 4 uterine cancer in early December of 2017. She suffered from a lot of pain and spent over a month in the hospital before she could finally go home.
Since that initial scare, Nadia has been in and out of the hospital for various reasons. She was receiving chemotherapy before she was recently switched to immunotherapy, a more effective way to attack the cancerous cells. She underwent another surgery on January 17, 2019 to remove a tumor on her lower back. It was a long struggle, but Nadia kept fighting up until the very end. She was always in a positive mindset and peacefully passed away in her home on February 21, 2019 surrounded by her loved ones. She had developed her faith more fully and strengthened her connection to God during that long year. The tremendous support from friends and family really motivated her in addition to her love of God. She graduated from Rutgers and Rutgers Law with a law degree. She used her degree to become a paralegal and spent most of her career working in New York City. Nadia used her skills to benefit many different families, especially in the Latin community. She sacrificed her profession to raise her kids and was a part-time Spanish teacher at St. Helena’s until she was diagnosed. She was an active participant of the St. Francis Cathedral School community where she was former Co-president of the HSA, Girl Scout Troop leader, and Class Parent. She was a patient, faithful, spiritual woman as well as a loving and compassionate wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend.
The Ruiz family has been a large part of this community. Both Andrea and Alejandro Ruiz have attended St. Francis Cathedral School from pre-k 3 through eighth grade. Andrea Ruiz is currently a sophomore at Mount Saint Mary’s Academy who has played for Metuchen Rec and Travel Soccer. Her brother, Alejandro Ruiz, recently graduated from St. Francis with his Class of 2019. He will be attending St. Joseph’s High School in the fall as an incoming freshman. He played basketball for St. Francis for five years and has played soccer for most of his life. Bernardo Ruiz, a loving father and husband, has spent 25 years with Nadia by his side and their marriage bond will never be broken. The Ruiz family is very grateful for all the love and support they have received and continue to receive from many as they keep Nadia close to their hearts and carry her memory forward. We will love her forever and want to thank the Fuccile Foundation for their love and support.